Ohio returns home this week to finish out its nonconference schedule against Football Championship Subdivision opponent Fordham.
The Bobcats are coming off a pair of tough nonconference road games against Power 5 opposition and could really use a win to get back on track heading into Mid-American Conference play.
Here is everything you need to know about Fordham before Saturday’s game:
Joe Conlin is in his fifth season as Fordham’s head coach coming off a 6-5 season a year ago. He played at Pitt and has spent substantial time as a position coach at multiple FCS schools.
The Rams have not made the playoffs under Conlin, but they have consistently had one of the best offenses in the FCS. Last season, they were in the top 20 in total offense, passing offense and scoring. They currently sit at second in the FCS in points per game and first in yards per game with a whopping 619.7.
Fordham has gotten off to a strong start this season, with wins over Wagner, Monmouth and Albany on the way to a 3-0 record. Fordham is currently ranked No. 18 in the FCS Coaches Poll.
Senior Tim DeMorat is the star of this Fordham team and the two-time reigning Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year . The three-time All-Patriot League First Team selection has been on an absolute tear to start the 2022 season.
Through three games, he has completed just over 65% of his passes for 1302 yards, 16 touchdowns and three interceptions. He is averaging an absurd 434 passing yards per game, and currently leads the FCS in that stat, as well as yards and touchdowns.
DeMorat has done an excellent job of spreading the wealth this year, as Fordham has three receivers with at least 200 yards receiving already, and another not far behind. There are also three receivers with at least three touchdowns.
The Rams’ best receiver this season has been Fotis Kokosioulis, who has written his name all over their record books since transferring from Northern Illinois in 2019. He is currently third in the FCS in receiving yards with 363 and is a dangerous kick returner as well.
Fordham’s rushing attack has been strong this season as well, averaging around 194 yards per game. Carries have been split between sophomore Julius Loughridge and graduate student Trey Sneed.
Loughridge has carried the ball 52 times for 277 yards and a touchdown, and Sneed has carried it 48 times for 235 yards and two touchdowns, so Ohio will have to be prepared for both of them in the running game. Neither is much of a threat in the passing game, with just seven receptions between them this season.
As has consistently been the case under Conlin, Fordham’s defense has struggled this season. It has allowed at least 30 points in all three games and at least 45 in two of them.
In stark contrast to their offense, the Rams’ defense is currently tied for 107th in points allowed per game and 114th in yards allowed per game.
Notes on Ohio:
Many Football Bowl Subdivision teams schedule FCS opponents for an easy win, but that was not the case for Ohio last season. Its loss to Duquesne was possibly the lowest point of the 2021 season, so this game is far from a guarantee.
This game is a golden opportunity for Ohio on both sides of the ball, as the defense will be able to test itself against one of the best offenses in the FCS, and the offense will have the chance to figure some things out against a struggling defense.