#22 Fordham FCS Football 2015 Preview

George Hammond

Fordham Rams

Overall Rank: #22
#1 Patriot

Fordham Team Page#22 Fordham FCS Football 2015 PreviewBuy Fordham Football Tickets

After winning their first Patriot League title since 2007 last year, Fordham is tabbed to win the conference title again this year in the league’s preseason poll despite losing more than 30 players to graduation, including 18 starters. The Rams went 6-0 last year to become the first team since 2003 to go 6-0 in the league. They advanced to the second round of the FCS playoffs after defeating Sacred Heart at home in the first round before losing at New Hampshire in the second round.
2014 Record: 11-3, 6-0
2014 Postseason: FCS playoffs
Coach: Joe Moorhead (29-10 at South Carolina State and overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Andrew Breiner
Defensive Coordinator: Jon Wholley and Tim Cary

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Chase Edmonds, RB, 1,838 yards
Passing: None
Receiving: Marcus Jones WR, 186 yards
Tackles: George Dawson, LB, 68
Sacks: Josh Vaughn, DL, 1.0
Interceptions: George Dawson, LB, 2

Other Key Returnees: WR Jorge Solano, OT Anthony Coyle, OT Kyle Vaughn, LB David Barletta, CB JQ Bowers, CB Lourenzo Smith, P Joe Pavlik, OL Garrick Mayweather Jr.

Key Losses: QB Mike Nebrich, TE Dan Light, DL Brett Biestek, DL DeAndre Slate, DL Nick Merino, WR Brian Wetzel, WR Tebucky Jones, WR Sam Ajala

With quarterback Mike Nebrich gone, all eyes will be on sophomore running back Chase Edmonds, who was fourth in the FCS nationally in all-purpose yards last year. In addition, he had 1,838 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns (both school records). Edmonds was named the Patriot League’s preseason offensive player of the year while graduate student linebacker Stephen Hodge has been tabbed as the preseason defensive player of the year. Hodge was the league’s defensive player of the year in 2013, but he missed all of last year because of injury. Complementing him on defense will be linemen Marlon Crook Jr. and Justin Vaughn. The Rams’ defense will receive help from strong safety Jihaad Pretlow, a transfer from Temple.

While the quarterback position may work itself out, there’s no question Fordham will miss Nebrich and, for the first time in recent history, Fordham will enter the season with a starting quarterback who has not thrown a pass in a regular season game. Junior Kevin Anderson, who transferred into the program from Marshall last summer, was 29-of-43 in the spring game, though and figures to get the job. The Rams’ receiving corps also took a hit as the team’s top four receivers are gone. And only one of five offensive line starters, Garrick Mayweather Jr., returns although he is an All-Patriot League selection.

The Bottom Line:
Despite the graduation losses, don’t expect the Rams to go quietly. In fact, there’s talent galore. But is there enough talent? It won’t take long to find out. Fordham opens at Army, then hosts CAA preseason favorite Villanova – a team that spanked the Rams 50-6 in 2014. So it’s possible Fordham could be 0-2, but the key span (at least league-wise) will come at the end of October and early November when the Rams play Lehigh, Colgate and Bucknell in successive weeks. This won’t be the dominant team of 2014, but if Anderson plays well at quarterback – which he can – and they find receiving threats, the Rams could win another Patriot League title.

Projected Postseason: FCS Playoffs

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 168.1 (55th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 326.1 (4, 1)
Total Offense: 494.1 (7, 1)
Scoring Offense: 40.6 (5, 1)  
Rushing Defense: 176.8 (67, 3)
Pass Defense: 164.2 (9, 1)
Total Defense: 341.0 (28, 2
Scoring Defense: 23.2 (39, 5)
Turnover Margin: 0.43 (28T, 2)
Sacks: 2.43 (30, 2
Sacks Allowed: 3.00 (100, 7)

Madness 2015 Recruit Rankings:
#69 Jordan Allen
#100 Erik Rottsolk
#123 Corey Caddle
#181 Noah Nix


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