By Jack McLoone
On Monday, April 5, the Fordham football team announced its schedule for the 2016 season. The season will be the first for new head coach Andrew Breiner, who was promoted to the role from assistant offensive coordinator after Joe Moorhead left to become the offensive coordinator at Penn State.
The schedule changes are apparent from the first game of the season. After taking on Army-West Point in their opener for the last two seasons, the Rams will now face a different branch of the military in the Naval Academy on September 3 in Annapolis. This is their lone game against an FBS opponent. The Midshipmen are perennially ranked in the top five rushing offenses in the FBS, finishing second last year. The Rams picked up a 37-35 win on the road at Army-West Point last season and will look to do so this year at Navy.
Another notable difference in the schedule is the lack of the annual Liberty Cup game against Columbia University. Last season’s game was the last one in the 14-year series, which the Rams led 10-4.
The home opener for the Rams will be on September 10 against the Elizabeth City State University Vikings, a Division II school coming off a 4-5 season.
The Rams’ first Patriot League game comes on October 8 at home against Lafayette College. The Rams went on the road and won last season’s matchup with Leopards, putting up one of their strongest performances of the season for a 35-7 victory. Then-sophomore running back Chase Edmonds rushed for 234 yards (a career high at the time) and two touchdowns. Besides the defense holding the Leopards to seven points, the special teams unit also blocked two field goals.
After an Ivy League matchup, this time at home against Yale on October 15, the Patriot League schedule continues for the rest of the season. The Rams will play two more Patriot League games at home, on October 22 against Georgetown University and November 5 against Colgate University.
Perhaps the most anticipated game of the season will come on November 12, the penultimate Saturday of the regular season: the Crusader Cup against Holy Cross. Fordham and the Crusaders will meet at Yankee Stadium for the 30th iteration of the game, which is also a Patriot League matchup. Their last matchup was one of the most exciting of the season, with the Rams coming away with a 47-41 win in overtime. Edmonds had four touchdowns in the game, including the game winner. The Rams have won the matchup four years in a row.
Fordham’s final game of the regular season will be played at Bucknell University on November 19.
The Rams will be looking to make it back to the FCS tournament for the fourth year in a row and win the Patriot League after coming in second last season and winning in 2014. They will start their journey on September 9 in Annapolis.