When watching Fordham play this season, the best piece of equipment any fan could bring to a game would be a calculator.
That’s because the high-flying Rams are currently the leading scorer (average points per game) among FCS schools. The points keep on coming.
Fordham (4-1) is averaging 51.8 points per game.
The good news is that nobody has been able to stop the Rams offense. The bad news is that the Rams have a lot of trouble on the other side of the ball. They are allowing 44.4 points per game, which is 120th among 123 FCS teams.
The lone loss came in a game where the Rams scored 52 points and still lost by a touchdown. That was a 59-52 defeat at FBS Ohio University.
Senior Tim DeMorat is leading the offensive brigade with some stunning stats.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound DeMorat has completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 2,153 yards, 26 touchdowns, and three interceptions. He is the FCS leader in passing yards per game (430.6) and passing touchdowns. For good measure, he has rushed for 80 yards (3.2 avg.) and two scores.
His success should not come as a surprise. He is a three-time first-team All-Patriot selection and the two-time reigning Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year.
It’s just that this season in the first five games, he has taken things to another level.
Last year, he averaged 292.2 passing yards per game while throwing 31 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. That was in 11 games. This year, he has not thrown an interception in his last three games. His best outing was the loss to Ohio when DeMorat completed 27 of 35 passes (77.1%) for 503 yards, six touchdowns, and no interceptions.
His main target has been senior Fotis Kokosioulis, who already this season has 49 receptions for 738 yards and eight touchdowns. Not surprisingly, Kokosioulis (5-9, 180) leads the FCS in receptions per game (9.8) along with receiving yards and touchdowns.
Like DeMorat, Kokosioulis is shattering his totals from a year ago. In 11 games he had 57 receptions for 783 yards and 13 touchdowns.
During that aforementioned Ohio game, Kokosioulis had 13 receptions for 320 yards and four touchdowns. Here are all four of those scores.
The Rams aren’t one-dimensional on offense. They also average 5.5 yards per carry and have two players who have rushed for more than 400 yards.
Graduate student Trey Sneed (5-11, 215) has rushed for 443 yards (5.4 avg.) and four touchdowns. Sophomore Julius Loughridge (6-0, 210) has rushed for 438 (6.0 avg.) and three scores.
The architect is fifth-year coach Joe Conlin, who didn’t have the playing profile to suggest that he would be presiding over an offensive machine. Conlin was a three-year starting defensive tackle at Pitt, where he graduated in 2002. He began his coaching career as a defensive line coach at West Virginia Tech in 2003 and then served as a defensive line and then linebackers coach at New Hampshire before becoming an offensive line coach there in 2009. From 2014 through 2017 he was the offensive coordinator/associate head coach at Yale before taking his offensive talents to Fordham.
Offensive coordinator Kevin Decker is in his fourth season on the job. He is a 2012 graduate of New Hampshire, where not surprisingly, he played quarterback. As a senior in 2011, he was the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year.
So with an abundance of offensive firepower and brainpower, one question still must be answered – can the Rams win with a high-powered offense and a leaky defense?
Last year, the Rams had their best record under Conlin at 6-5.
This year they are considered a major threat in the Patriot League, but not the favorite. HERO Sports FCS analyst Sam Herder has Fordham ranked No. 24 in this week’s ballot for Stats Perform FCS Top 25 media poll. The higher-ranked Patriot League team is Holy Cross (5-0), which is No. 8 on Herder’s ballot.
Fordham visits Holy Cross in an Oct. 29 showdown. Holy Cross averages an impressive 34.2 points per game, which is 21st in FCS. The Crusaders, however, are allowing just 18.6 points, which is 20th in FCS.
That offensive and defensive balance appear to be the better way to go.
For now, Fordham will continue their entertaining brand of football and test the limits of whether a team with such offensive firepower and defensive limitations can continue to prosper at such a high level.