Rhode Island Opens Season With 34 - 20 Win Over Fordham University
The Rushing Attack Continues +378 Yards
Big Pass Plays Add To Offensive Weapons +138 Yards
Colin Gallagher Kicks 51 Yard Field Goal - School Record
Defense Holds Fordham To Scant 33 Yards On The Ground
Fordham Passes For 216 Yards But Rhody Defense Gets 3 Interceptions
Saturday, September 3, 2005
Special Report & Photos
PhotoSports.com - Nick Murgo
It was a game much reminiscent of last season's contest in the Bronx against Fordham University: high heat, players cramping, exchanging leads, and big kicks on special teams. Rhode Island won the game by 14 points, but not until the Rhody Rams put its last score up on the board with two minutes to go was the victory secured.
The Fordham Rams were under pressure all day as starting QB Derric Daniels was sacked four times while Rhody's own QB, Jason Davis, had 46 net yards rushing and 138 passing with no sacks. Rhode Island's offensive line protected Davis who started the game with a 43 yard strike to Jerell Jones, three plays later Chad Campbell rushed 9 yards for the first TD of the season.
By the fourth quarter, Rhody's offensive line had established almost complete domination - moving Fordham off the line of scrimmage at every snap of the ball. After the game, senior A back Calvin Poole said that it really wasn't until late in the third quarter that the offense found its grove. Scoring early and quickly in the game, Rhode Island found itself ahead by only two points at half time, the result of a Fordham safety on a bad snap during an attempted punt.
Fordham actually went ahead early in the third quarter when a Rhody fumble resulted in a 42 yard drive and a 32 yard field goal gave Fordham their first (and only) lead. Trailing 13-12, Rhode Island marched from its own 35 to the end zone when Davis scored from 2 yards out, Colin Gallagher's PAT made the score 19-13.
After another Rhody fumble and several exchange of punts, Rhody found itself backed up to its own one yard line with third and sixteen. Davis then found WR Keith Brown open on a straight fly and the pass/run netted 51 yards, it was the biggest plays of the game. Six rushing plays later, Davis again crossed the end zone and with a pass to Jeff West for the two points after attempt, Rhode Island opened up a 27 - 13 lead.
In the heat, everyone knew the Fordham Rams were running out of gas and when QB Daniels had to leave the game after a 3 yard rush and hit by Pat O'Neil, fans began to think this one was over, and apparently the Rams defense let down as well. On the next play, replace QB Matthew Fullam completed a 37 yard pass for a Fordham TD and with the PAT the Rhody Rams found themselves up by only one TD, 27-20. The Rams from the Bronx knew they were still in this game with plenty of time left in the fourth quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff Rhody began a drive on its own 20, then faced again with another big third down and three, Calvin Poole took the pitch from Davis but there was no running room, Poole then reverse his direction and outrunning the defense he turned the opposite field corner and picked up 26 yards. The Rhody Rams offensive line then took over, with a total of 17 plays they ate up 80 yards and 7 minutes of clock leading to a the final TD scored by Chad Campbell. The drive included a very important fourth and one from the Fordham 27. Rhody took a time out and the play called was a straight B back dive with freshman Joe Casey running up inside. Casey picked up four yards, the Rhode Island defense was kept on the sidelines, and the big O kept on running.