Fordham Loses at Rhode Island, but Can See Improvement
Fordham Football has gone step-by-step through the first three games of the season. The most recent foot landed in Kingston, R.I. on Saturday afternoon where Fordham was tripped up 21-17 at the hands of U.R.I.
In our second edition of Monday Night Quarterback, Fordham Head Football Coach Tom Masella breaks down his team’s play on Saturday, evaluates their performances through three games, and gives us a sneak preview at what to expect at Colgate this weekend.
Coach Masella knows that his team is littered with inexperienced underclassmen, but he has also seen improvement from week one. On Saturday, Fordham trailed 14-3 at halftime before storming back and taking the lead 17-14 more than halfway through the fourth quarter. Minutes later, though, Rhode Island scored what proved to be the game winning touchdown. “In the end, I thought their experience won out and they had a couple more bullets in the gun – so to speak – and we got worn down,” said coach Masella, “I’m proud of our kids, I’m disappointed in the results, but we’re moving in the right direction, there’s no doubt about that.”
In addition to Coach Masella, Fordham Defensive Coordinator Matt Dawson joined us on the show. Coach Dawson spoke about the state of the Rams on the defensive side of the ball and some of the improvements that must be made in order for Fordham to earn their second win of the season this weekend. Fordham scuffled on defense throughout most of the first half against Rhode Island – allowing 14 points on 319 yards of offense – but made some necessary adjustments in the locker room. Coach Dawson said, “[In the second half] we became a little bit more aggressive at the line of scrimmage and that seemed to work for us.”
Looking forward to Satruday’s game, Coach Dawson said the remedy is rather simple, “We need to stop the run; we need to get off the field better than we did…and we need to do a better job of not giving up 10 play drives. [We] need to get off the field and get the ball back to our offense quicker.”
The first player who appeared on the show Monday night was Mike Martin, a junior middle linebacker, who chipped in with nine tackles on Saturday. Martin was a big part of the defense last year and has built on his strong sophomore season with continued success through the first three games of 2011. Mike said, “Understanding offensive schemes and what [the offense] is trying to do,” allows him to become effective against both the run and the pass. Martin commented on the importance of being familiar with the other linebackers and how trust plays a vital role in team defense.
Coach Masella made a somewhat unexpected decision in the preseason and elected to start a freshman quarterback, Peter Maetzold. On Monday night, we were able to sit down with the young Texan for the first time this season. The Rams offense bears a resemblance to the one that Maetzold conducted in high school in Friendswood, Texas. Consequently, his freshman season has made for a seamless transition. “It took a couple of weeks to get the terminology down, but I ran a similar offense in high school, [the] assignments and the routes and the type of offense [were all] real similar and that helped me,” said Maetzold.
We also asked the freshman about the emotions he felt when he stepped on the field for the first time in a collegiate game, and then he got the opportunity to hear the call of his first career touchdown pass – which came against Columbia on September 10.
On Saturday, Fordham will clash with a Patriot League school for the first time this season as the Rams make their way to Hamilton, NY to face Colgate University. The game begins at 1:00 and can be heard on both 90.7 FM and wfuv.org beginning with the pregame show at 12:50.