Fordham head coach Andrew Breiner hasn’t had much to celebrate heading into the Rams’ Patriot League opener against Lafayette on Saturday.
His team sits at 1-4, losers of three straight for the first time since 2011, following a 41-10 loss to Yale last Saturday in the Bronx.
Fordham’s roster has been ravaged by injuries, including that of FCS All-American running back Chase Edmonds, who returned from a two-game absence against the Ivy League school.
But, for the second-year coach, it’s still the most wonderful time of the year.
“There is a different feel to conference play. There is a different type of intensity,” Breiner told amNewYork on Thursday. “It’s my favorite time of the year. These are the games that determine who is a champion.”
The Rams’ conference championship hopes, and a FCS playoff berth, might not be off base. None of the seven Patriot League squads came out of non-conference play above .500. Lafayette (1-4, 1-0 Patriot) was winless before beginning its conference slate by beating Holy Cross.
“This thing is wide open,” Breiner said. “We cannot continue to play at the level we have and expect to win, but we have an opportunity here to start fresh.”
The presence of Edmonds, who hadn’t missed a game before this season, certainly will help. The senior needs 139 yards to break the Patriot League’s career rushing record.
“Chase is arguably one of the best running backs in the country,” Breiner said. “So having him back in there allows us to really do what we want to do with a talented back.”