Coach Masella, Coach Maguire, Defensive Lineman Pat McGee, and Offensive Lineman Connor Hartigan join us.
Two-yards and a cloud of dust has become a dream scenario for the Fordham defense as they struggled once again to contain its opponent’s ground game, allowing 260 rushing yards as well as five touchdowns to Lafayette en route to the Rams fifth consecutive loss. Injuries continue to play a major role in the Rams’ defensive woes, especially along the line, where three of the top four players on the depth chart have been out or limited through recent weeks. The continued progress of the offense, led by QB Ryan Higgins, was not enough to close the gap in a 45-24 defeat.
Kyle Kesses and I sat down with Coach Masella to discuss the state of his team at a critical juncture in the season. He elaborated on the adjustments made on defense to compensate for the loss of key pieces and how that affected the team’s performance and tactics. We also looked into the improved production of the offense, which saw players at all of the skill positions turn in noteworthy performances. Tailback Darryl Whiting recorded his second 100-yard effort of the season to lead the ground game, while Higgins’ 413 yards through the air marked a career high for the junior out of Long Island. Higgins spread the ball around all afternoon, finding 9 different receivers who caught passes. Converted wideout Blake Wayne had a breakout game, hauling in nine balls in the contest.
We talked about Wayne's performance with Receivers Coach Patrick Maguire, who praised the converted quarterback’s work ethic and athleticism in the move to wide receiver. Coming off the unit’s best performance of the season, he highlighted the difference that having Higgins at quarterback played in the success of the vertical passing game and how it changed their use of the playbook.
Both the struggling defense and surging offense are in for a challenge this week, as they head to West Point to take on the US Military Academy in Fordham’s second game vs. an FBS-level opponent this season. Coach Masella broke down how and why the Army triple-option attack is so difficult to stop and how he plans to manage Saturday afternoon’s contest. Fans, students, and alumni can look forward to what he called perhaps, “the most important game for Fordham football in 50 or 60 years."
Saturday marks Fordham's first matchup with Army and visit to West Point since 1949.
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