Patriot League Play Opens Against No. 13/15 Fordham
| Lafayette vs. No. 13/15 Fordham
|Gameday Info||GoLeopards.com Gameday|
|Date||Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 at 6 p.m.|
|Location||Easton, Pa. | Fisher Stadium|
|Tickets||Lafayette Athletics Ticket Office|
|Game Notes||Lafayette | Fordham|
|TV|| Lafayette Sports Network (RCN 4/8, 1004/608 in HD, WBPH-60)
Gary Laubach, Mike Joseph, John Leone
|Live Streaming||Patriot League Network
Gary Laubach, Mike Joseph, John Leone
|Social Media||Twitter & Facebook|
THE OPENING KICK
MATCH-UP: Lafayette (1-3) opens Patriot League play on Saturday, hosting No. 13/15 Fordham (3-1) at 6 p.m. in a matchup of the last two Patriot League champions. The reigning Patriot League champions bring their high-powered offense to Fisher Stadium, averaging 35.5 points and 429 yards of offense per game.
LAST TIME OUT: Lafayette rallied from a two-touchdown deficit to capture a 35-24 win at Wagner on Saturday. Junior QB Drew Reed was efficient under center, completing 23-of-34 for 308 yards while throwing for four touchdowns and rushing for a 10-yard score as the Leopards recorded their first victory of the season. The Lafayette defense turned over Wagner three times and forced punts in several key situations.
LIMITING PENALTIES: The Leopards have limited penalties in the early going, ranking second in the nation in fewest penalties per game (3.25) and fourth in fewest penalty yards per game (25).
THE TURNOVER STORY: Turnovers don't always tell the story of the game. For the first time since the 2013 regular-season finale, Lafayette did not commit a turnover the entire 60 minutes in the loss vs. Princeton on Sept. 19, but lost by 33 points. The turnover numbers were more telling at Wagner where the Leopards forced three. A forced fumble by Matt Smalley and recovery by Mark Dodd swung the momentum in the Leopards' favor and interceptions by Jared Roberts and Clay Rush clinched the game in the fourth quarter. The Leopards were +1 in turnovers vs. Princeton, -2 at Delaware and -1 vs. William & Mary. They are +1 for the season.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: Freshman WR Joey Chenoweth parlayed his nine-catch, 105-yard receiving performance at Wagner into Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors. Chenoweth is third on the team in receiving with 17 catches in two games, just three catches behind team leaders Matt Mrazek and Rocco Palumbo with 20 catches apiece.
REED AT QB: Entering the Princeton game, there was an open competition at quarterback between juniors Drew Reed and Blake Searfoss who had split time through two games. Reed was named the starter and completed 26-of-34 for 220 yards with a touchdown. He followed with a 23-of-34 outing at Wagner when he threw four touchdowns and ran in another while earning honorable mention status in the running for STATS FCS National Offensive Player of the Week.
PATRIOT LEAGUE OPENERS: Lafayette is 17-12 in Patriot League openers, with Patriot League play first beginning in 1988 as the Colonial League, and 15-10 since 1990 when the league took its current name. The Leopards have won eight of their last 11 Patriot League openers (Georgetown in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, Fordham in 2005 and Bucknell in 2006, 2012 and 2013) with the losses coming to Georgetown in 2010 and 2011 and Fordham in 2014.
THE SERIES: Saturday's matchup is the 34th in a series that began more than a century ago with a 48-0 Lafayette win on Oct. 17, 1903. Lafayette leads the series 22-10-1, holding a 12-5-1 mark in Easton. The lone tie in the series came in 1916, an exciting 0-0 affair. Fordham's 42-18 win over the Leopards last season, when the Rams were ranked 16th and 19th in the Top 25 polls, was the largest margin of defeat for the Leopards in the series. The two teams have met every season since 1989 with the exception of 1996.
PUNTING: Junior punter Ryan Forrester has been a consistent performer for the Leopards in the early going. Forrester has punted 24 times for 39.5 yards. The height and placement of his punts have resulted in returns on just 10 of those punts.
INJURY REPORT: Nine of the Leopards' projected starters have missed significant time this season. Four offensive starters (DeSean Brown-2 game, Dan Dellovade-3 games, Nick Zataveski-2 games, Tim Vangelas-4 games), and five defensive starters (Darren Wright and Chris Brockman-out for season, Philip Parham-4 games, Draeland James-3 games, Steve Mercado-1 game) and one special teamer Ryan Gralish (3-games) have missed significant time.
RED ZONE: The red zone has proved problematic for the Leopards, who have scored six times in 11 attempts this season. Lafayette was 4-of-4 on offense at Wagner to break a disappointing trend. Defensively, Lafayette has allowed opponents to score on 14-of-15 attempts. Seven scores were touchdowns.
BRYANT IN THE NATION: Sophomore LB Brandon Bryant continues to rack up tackles, ranking 10th in the nation in total tackles (11.8 tpg) and seventh in solo tackles (7.0 tpg). He made a career-high 18 stops at Delaware and garnered Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors, seven days removed from 13 tackles vs. William & Mary. In his last outing, Bryant had seven stops.
ABOUT NO. 13/15 FORDHAM: Fordham is coming off an 11-3 campaign in 2014 when the Rams finished 6-0 and in first place in Patriot League play. The 2015 installment is 3-1 after a home loss to No. 2 Villanova (14-7) in week two. Fordham owns a road win over FBS opponent Army, 37-35, on Sept. 4.
The Rams return three starters on offense and just one starter on defense after losing five offensive and nine defensive starters to graduation. Fordham welcomes back 46 letterwinners.
Fordham's offense features junior QB Kevin Anderson, a transfer from Marshall Univ., and sophomore TB Chase Edmonds. In 2015, Anderson has thrown for 11 touchdowns and 1,077 yards, ranking him third and ninth in the country, respectively. Edmonds has accumulated 420 yards on the ground this season, averaging 6.4 yards per rush on 66 carries. Edmonds' eight total TDs (5 rushing; 3 receiving) rank him second in the FCS. The Harrisburg, Pa. native is coming off a 2014 season in which he ran for 1,838 yards and was a consensus All-American and the FCS national rookie of the year.
Graduate student LB Stephen Hodge leads the Fordham defense with 41 tackles, registering 1.5 sacks with 6 TFL.
Fordham is coached by Joe Moorhead (Fordham '96) who is in his fourth season with a 32-11 head coaching mark.