MATCH-UP: Lafayette (5-4) plays the rare non-conference game against a Patriot League opponent when it travels to Fordham (5-4) on Saturday. The game has no bearing on the Patriot League standings, but the winner will be guaranteed a winning season with just one regular-season game following. The Leopards have lost two straight and are coming off a 65-41 shootout loss at Colgate. Fordham lost its last outing 27-24 at Bucknell.
A WIN OVER FORDHAM…would make Lafayette 6-4…hand Lafayette two straight victories over Fordham for the first time since 2008-09…award Lafayette its first winning season since 2009.
THE GOOD…Lafayette racked up a season-best 542 yards of total offense, its first 500-yard performance since Nov. 13, 2010. It came on a season-best 284 yards rushing. The Leopards gouged out 10.4 yards per play and scored touchdowns on five straight possessions.
THE BAD…The Leopards gave up a season-high 65 points, the most a Lafayette team has surrendered since Oct. 5, 1946 (66 vs. Penn). The defense surrendered a Patriot League-record 755 yards against Colgate’s read option, allowing 531 yards on the ground. Colgate averaged 10.6 yards per play.
THE LONG RUN…Four of the Leopards’ longest plays from scrimmage of the season came at Colgate. Vaughn Hebron tore off a 63-yard run for a touchdown, the second longest play from scrimmage of the season. Ross Scheuerman also contributed a 53-yard run, the fourth longest and added a 25-yard touchown run. Zach Zweizig threw a 48-yard pass to Mike Duncan and hit Brandon Hall for 32 and 21 yards.
APPROACHING MILESTONES: Currently with 105 career receptions, junior WR Mark Ross needs two more catches to move into Lafayette’s top 10 for career grabs. With 1,493 career receiving yards the junior is 58 yards short of advancing to 10th place on the career receiving yards chart. On the season, Ross has 56 catches for 790 yards, the 10th best single-season yardage performance in Lafayette history. Ross surpassed Frank Corbo (783 in 1983) with his 106-yard effort at Colgate. In terms of single-season receptions, Ross ranks ninth, needing nine more catches to advance to second place held by Mark Layton.
• Fordham comes into the weekend with a 5-4 record, as the most improved program in the Patriot League. The Rams are coming off a 1-10 mark in 2011. •The Rams return seven starters on offense and eight on defense.
• The passing game has been a key to the Rams’ offensive attack in 2012. Senior QB Ryan Higgins has completed 212-of-314 attempts (67.5%) for 2,404 yards. The native of Merrick, N.Y., has thrown 10 touchdowns to seven interceptions.
• Sophomore WR Brian Wetzel and senior TB Carlton Koonce are Higgins’ favorite targets. Wetzel has reeled in 55 catches for 755 yards and three TD’s while Koonce has 41 grabs for 253 yards and a pair of scores.
• Koonce is the team’s top rusher, racking up 1,175 yards on 236 carries for nine touchdowns. Koonce is averaging 130.6 yards per game and five yards per carry.
• Defensively, senior LB Michael Martin leads the team with 93 tackles, including nine tackles for loss with four sacks and five forced fumbles.
• The Rams feature one of the top kickers in the Patriot League in senior Patrick Murray. Murray has yet to miss a PAT this season and has hit 21-of-24 field goal attempts, including a career-long 55 yarder vs. Cincinnati.
• Joe Moorhead (Fordham ’96) is in his first season as the head coach at his alma mater.
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