(Photo: Fordham University)
Ranked 21st/20th in the two most reputable FCS football polls (FCS Coaches’ Poll and STATS FCS Top 25) before the 2015 season, Fordham University students, alumni, and fans were hopeful of another successful season for the Rams, where they reach the FCS postseason as they did the past two seasons.
Fordham (1-1) improved in the rankings to 16 in both polls with a 37-35 defeat of Army in the opening game of the new season on the road at West Point. The victory was Fordham’s first over Army and their second over an FBS school. Fordham did not let several potential difficulties prevent them from achieving a victory. The Rams lost 30 seniors to graduation and had 18 new starters. Many of their key players are new to the team.
Fordham faced no easier opponent for their home opener on Saturday. The Villanova Wildcats (1-1) despite a loss in their opener are ranked tied for 2 in one poll and 6 in the other. The wildcats are the highest ranked football team Fordham has ever played at Jack Coffey field on Fordham’s Bronx campus.
Last year’s FCS Player of the year, John Robertson, Villanova’s senior quarterback was responsible for all 14 of the points scored by the Wildcats. His 6 yard pass to Kevin Gulyas put the Wildcats on the scoreboard mid-way through the first quarter. Less than three minutes into the second quarter, Robertson, the favorite to be the CAA Offensive player of the year for the second straight season, ran the ball 4 yards to cross the goal marker for the game’ second touchdown.
Villanova’s 14-0 lead remained in effect until 3:52 before the half when Kevin Anderson, the Fordham quarterback, threw a touchdown pass of 20 yards to freshman Cory Caddle.
The 14-7 score remained intact for the rest of the contest. The closest either team came to scoring again were two filed goal attempts by Villanova that were blocked. The Villanova win broke the 14 game home winning streak of the Rams.
The Fordham offense that was exhibited the previous week against Army was not present as the Rams were held to 182 yards gained. The rains which fell on the Bronx throughout the contest could have been factor in holding down the scoring. The far less experienced Fordham players were opposed by a team that is dominated by upperclassmen and ranked among the best in the FCS.
Both teams were ranked as preseason favorites to their respective conference championships. Thus, it is likely the Rams and Wildcats will achieve many more impressive victories as the season progresses.