Amid all the pageantry of Fordham football’s 117th home opener, there was an uneasy feeling at Rose Hill in the Bronx.
Chase Edmonds, the Rams’ 2016 FCS All-American running back, would miss the first game of his collegiate career. Without their biggest offensive weapon, the Rams were walloped by FCS powerhouse Eastern Washington, 56-21.
The Chase-less Rams were crushed in the running game, mustering just 26 net yards. Quarterback Kevin Anderson was battered without his safety blanket en route to absorbing a career-high 10 sacks.
Edmonds’ absence is the latest in what has been an injury-plagued campaign. The senior and his backup Jared Brevard missed Saturday’s game, along with center Ben Hartman. Austin Longi, a 2016 All-Patriot league wide receiver, has not played since Week 1.
“We gotta keep fighting, people can see there are guys out right now, but that is not an excuse” head coach Andrew Breiner told WFUV radio following the EWU loss.
Fordham (1-2), an FCS playoff team in three of their past four seasons, has struggled with slow starts in 2017. Substantial first quarter deficits against Army (64-6 loss) and Central Connecticut State (38-31 win) made for tough holes to dig out of.
They trailed 21-7 at the half Saturday against the Eagles, who gifted Fordham three turnovers before the break.
With two blowout losses and conference play two weeks away, a potential FCS Tournament at-large bid may be already off the table.
“We are going to block better. We are going to tackle better,” Breiner said. “We are going to work harder, and we’ll see the results when we do that.”