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Jeff Kolpack, Published January 04 2014

Tigers' talented running back held under 100 yards by Bison

FRISCO, Texas – There were times in Saturday’s Division I FCS national title game where Towson University’s Terrance West looked every bit of the higher-end NFL prospect that he’s been tabbed.

“He’s a man,” said North Dakota State defensive coordinator Chris Klieman: “He was every bit as good as advertised.”

But in the end, the Bison held the talented junior running back to 99 yards on 22 carries, and that was a big factor in the 35-7 NDSU win at Toyota Stadium.

His long run was 19 yards – and that’s something Klieman said was a priority.

“We were trying to prevent the 60-, 70-yarders that he’s gotten against people,” Klieman said.

Towson head coach Rob Ambrose said he didn’t think his offensive line played particularly well. West scored the team’s only touchdown on a three-yard run in the first quarter.

“I thought Terrance played well considering the circumstances, the team he was facing, the defense he was facing,” Ambrose said.

Ambrose was asked about West’s possible early entry into the NFL Draft.

“It’s not a question Terrance has the talent to play at the next level,” he said. “There’s got to be a conversation about where he could actually go, and we’re going to weigh both possibilities – playing at the next level and guaranteed continuation of his education obtaining his degree at some point or I’ll kill him. He knows it, too, and I mean that in love for all you literal people out there.”

Two Towson starters suspended for game

Two starters for Towson were suspended and didn’t play on Saturday. Cornerback Jordan Love and tight end James Oboh were ruled ineligible because of NCAA violations, according to the school.

Oboh was fifth on the team in receptions with 24 and was tied for the team lead in touchdown receptions with four. Love was seventh on the team in tackles with 64 and is second in pass breakups with 10.

Tigers’ season will go down in history

Towson finished 13-3 in a season that will go down in history. It was the first title appearance for the Tigers.

“We lost the day but we won the year,” Ambrose said.

The Tigers had the edge in time of possession against a team that led the FCS in that category. Towson had the ball for 33 minutes, 38 seconds to NDSU’s 26:22. The Tigers also outgained the Bison in total yards 373-345, although a chunk of those came through the air with the Bison in more of a prevent-type look.

“Clearly, we’re not there yet but we’re getting pretty close,” Ambrose said.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia