Tom Flacco: Defense Key To Towson Football’s Early Success

Towson football has jumped out to a 3-0 start in 2019.

The early-season success can be attributed across the board, but a lot of credit should be given to the anchor of the offense, redshirt senior quarterback Tom Flacco.

But he deflects the credit to the rest of the team, especially the defense, which has held opponents to 47 total points this season. The Tigers held North Carolina Central to three points as part of a victory Sept 7.

“They keep getting teams off the field and that’s what’s really important,” Flacco said on Glenn Clark Radio Sept. 19. “They’ve had three-and-outs. They’ve had things like that, and as an offense, we’re able to get back out there and wear teams down. … The way they’ve been doing that is great.”

Flacco is the younger brother of former Ravens and current Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco. Joe played 11 seasons in Baltimore, winning Super Bowl XLVII and Super Bowl MVP honors in February 2013. Joe came from FCS Delaware, and Tom is following a similar path now with the Tigers, but his road to Towson was far from smooth.

A two-sport star at Eastern High School (N.J.), Tom Flacco played at Western Michigan from 2015-2016, then spent a year at Rutgers in 2017. For the past two years, Flacco has led the way for Towson, which is currently ranked fifth in the country in the FCS.

Flacco led the team in passing and rushing last season. He threw for 3,251 yards and 28 touchdowns and rushed for 742 yards and four touchdowns. This season, he’s thrown for 788 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 155 yards and one touchdown.

Towson has played well this season, winning two tough road games at The Citadel (now No. 25) and Maine (No. 12). The team as a whole is gelling, according to Flacco.

“I think the composure we have as an offense is really great,” Flacco said. “We went down against The Citadel and everyone was just like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ No one fretted or anything.”

That’s not just due to having the experienced Flacco at quarterback. Running back Shane Simpson and wide receiver Shane Leatherbury, both of whom are redshirt seniors, have been with Flacco the past two seasons, and the three had developed into the team’s top playmakers.

Unfortunately, Simpson suffered a season-ending knee injury in Towson’s 45-23 win against Maine Sept. 14. Still, Flacco feels more comfortable with the team this year since he’s been with them an entire season unlike 2018, when he had only recently transferred.

“My relationships are deeper with the wide receivers, with the offensive line, the running backs,” Flacco said. “I’m not just the transfer that came in June, so I’ve created more relationships with everyone, the coaches included. For me, I just feel more comfortable. … Last year was the same way, but we didn’t finish. This year, we know what we need to do.”

Towson, like every other program, is just trying to focus on the next game, which for them is against No. 18 Villanova Sept. 20. However, the Tigers do have some big goals down the line, including a national championship. Towson fell short of that goal last year, falling to Duquesne in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

“Last year, I believe we were capable of doing those things and even better things. It allows people on the team to trust that they know what we can do,” Flacco said. “Everyone’s working toward a goal. Everyone believes in that goal so you have a bit of an easier buy-in. Now it’s that the point where if you’re not bought in, you’re out. The ship’s moving with or without you.”

To hear more from Flacco, listen to the full interview here:

Photo Credit: ENP Photgraphy