After five straight losses, Head Coach Rob Sgarlata and the Georgetown football team (2-7, 0-4 Patriot League) travel to the Bronx, N.Y., this Saturday to take on the newly crowned Patriot League champion Fordham (9-1, 5-0 Patriot League). The Hoyas hope that they will benefit from a bye week and be ready to take down a talented Rams team.

“We’ve had great stretches during the year and we’ve always been battling with trying to be more consistent, and I think the bye week with the extra practice is going to help us in that department,” Sgarlata said.

Fordham Head Coach Joe Moorhead has resurrected the football program for the Rams, taking over in 2012 after a 1-10 season prior to his acceptance of the position and increasing the team’s win total in each subsequent season. Moorhead was a Georgetown football assistant coach from 2000-2003.
Sgarlata had nothing but praise for the Fordham coach.

“Joe coached here for a while. He’s an excellent coach, and has done a great job there. Those kids were 1-10 as freshmen that are the senior group now,” Sgarlata said.

The focus for the Hoyas will be to stop electrifying freshmanrunning back Chase Edmonds. He was named to the Payton Award watch list, which is given to the NCAA FCS national player of the year. Edmonds is certainly deserving of the honor, averaging 142.5 yards rushing per game, with 20 touchdowns this season, tying him for the single-season record at Fordham. He also is fifth on the school’s single-season rushing record list, with 1,425 yards and two games left to play in the regular season.

Senior defensive lineman Jordan Richardson explained how the Hoya defense would try to stop Edmonds.

“[We will use] an aggressive run front, strong defense in the box, just playing our keys, playing good technique,” Richardson said.
Sgarlata also made of note of Edmonds’ talent.

“Edmonds the running back has been tremendous as a freshman. … He’s a really tough combination of strength and speed,” he said.

The Fordham offense is ranked first in the Patriot League in total offense with 511 yards per game, and first in scoring offense with 42.3 points per game. Senior quarterback Peter Maetzold has filled in for injured junior starting quarterback Mike Nebrich, who has appendicitis, the past two games, including the conference-clinching overtime win against Bucknell last week. Nebrich, a transfer from Connecticut, is expected to return Saturday according to Sgarlata.
“We’ve had battles with [Nebrich] over the last two years. He runs their offense and is excellent,” Sgarlata said.

The Rams’ defensive line is anchored by two returning all-Patriot League picks from last year: senior DeAndre Slate and graduate student Brett Biestek. In the secondary, the Rams return all four of last year’s starters, with first-team all-Patriot League senior cornerback Ian Williams, second-team selection senior cornerback Jordan Chapman and second-team senior safety Levon Williams. The experienced Rams defense is second in the Patriot League in scoring defense, behind only Georgetown, and they boast the second-best total defense in the Patriot League, only allowing 167.1 passing yards per game.

Fordham’s Patriot League-best red zone defense figures will present a challenge to the Hoyas, who have been inconsistent within their opponents’ 20-yard line this season.

“They play a lot of man coverage. They have some guys that can make great plays down in the red zone. So we’re looking to try and take advantage of that, and put our best versus their best,” junior quarterback Kyle Nolan said.

For the Hoyas to get the upset over the Rams, they will need to limit turnovers on offense and hope that they can stop Edmonds from taking over the game.

“We have to play a smart football game; we have to limit their opportunities and have the football,” Sgarlata said. “The number one thing with Fordham’s offense is to stop the run game so you can focus on the pass. And then for us on offense we have to play mistake-free football.”

Nolan reiterated his coach’s thoughts on preventing turnovers.

“We’ve got to do a good job of keeping the ball, keeping our offense on the field and trying to elongate drives as much as possible,” Nolan said.

Come Saturday, the Hoyas will need to be clicking on all cylinders in order to defeat the Rams. Kickoff in the Bronx is set for 1 p.m.

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