Football | Fordham Poses Challenge

The Georgetown football team (3-3, 0-1 Patriot League) will travel north to the Bronx to take on the Fordham Rams (4-2 Patriot League, 1-0), who are currently second in the Patriot League standings.

After getting out to their best start in 15 years, the Hoyas saw their early-season momentum come to a halt with three consecutive losses, with their most recent loss coming this weekend against the second-ranked offense Lehigh (5-2, 2-0 Patriot League) at home, a 35-3 domination.

The Hoyas now regroup after their third straight game allowing more than 30 points. The Rams boast the top-ranked offense in the league and will prove to be a tough test for the Hoyas. This season, the Rams have averaged 45.5 points per game. On offense, the Rams are led by junior running back Chase Edmonds.

“Edmonds is the best back in I-AA.” Georgetown Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said. “We’ve done a pretty good job of defending him the last two seasons.”

Edmonds has picked up from where he left off his first two years, leading the league by a large margin in rushing this season. He averages 177.5 rushing yards per game and  8.7 yards per carry. In last season’s 38-31 win over Georgetown, Edmonds had his way with the Georgetown defense, slicing them up to the tune of 137 yards and one touchdown in 20 rush attempts.

However, the Hoyas’ defense cannot just focus on Edmonds, as the Rams have multiple offensive threats. Fordham possesses the No. 2 overall passer in the Patriot League in senior quarterback Kevin Anderson. Anderson has a touchdown-interception ratio of 16-3 this season, averages 237.2 passing yards per game and has a quarterback efficiency rating of 149.1.

Anderson has the third-ranked offensive line in terms of sacks allowed, having let up just 10 sacks all season.

“Their O-line is all really big. They’re all really good. We’re going to try our best against them. We got to be really physical on the D-line and hope for the best.” freshman defensive lineman Khristian Tate, who had eight tackles, including two tackles for a loss, one pass breakup and one sack, said.

The performance highlights the contributions made by many young players on the football team this year. Georgetown’s depth has been tested early on with injuries to several key players, but the performance of freshman defensive tackle Marquis Parris, freshman wide receiver Michael Dereus and Tate have helped offset those losses.

“Those guys on defense have showed up because they’ve won some time and won spots … The more snaps we can get those guys in live situations is great, and it’s a credit to our guys in recruiting that some of those guys on defense are starting to step up and be impact players in the Patriot League,” Sgarlata said.

The Hoyas have a lot of issues to fix on defense, starting with the fact that they have let up 97 points in the last three games. 

However, the defense has been opportunistic in forcing turnovers this season. Just last week, the defense notched two interceptions against Lehigh, and on the season, Georgetown is second in the Patriot League in interceptions with 10. Forced turnovers will be key for the Hoyas on defense if they are to have a chance at stopping the high-powered offense of Fordham.

Overall, the Fordham defense is second-to-last in the league in scoring defense, allowing 33.8 points per game, opening up holes for the Hoyas to exploit The Rams’ defense is also last in the league in allowing third-down conversions, at a 43.3 percent clip.

“I wouldn’t say [they have] vulnerabilities,” sophomore wide receiver Brandon Williams said. “They’re pretty athletic across the board. It’s just a matter of some people making plays and that’s what we got to do Saturday.”

The third down battle between the Hoyas’ offense and Rams’ defense will be a struggle of futility, as the Hoyas’ inept offense is also last in the league at converting third downs, having converted just 22-of-91 third downs.

After losing its starting senior quarterback and co-captain Tim Barnes to a shoulder injury against Harvard, the Georgetown offense has struggled to adapt with sophomore quarterback Clay Norris under center.

“[Norris has not been] too much of an adjustment, kind of keeping everything the same. It’s just a next-man-up mentality that we have, and we’re just carrying it through,” Williams said.

“Going to New York is like going home. We have a ton of guys from up there, and we have a huge alumni base up in New York City and the surrounding area, so I’m always excited to get the chance to go back up to New York,” Sgarlata said.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. this Saturday at Fordham.

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