It may not feel like it being that summer is in full swing, but the Rhode Island Rams football season begins next month. Well, technically it’s more like two months away (August 29), but excitement is building for what hopes to be a turnaround season. So let’s start breaking down the schedule game-by-game. First up: The Fordham Rams.
2012 Record: 6-5 (3-3 in the Patriot League)
Key Losses: QB Ryan Higgins, WR Greg Wilson, S Brendan Melanophy
Key Returners: RB Carlton Koonce, WR Brian Wetzel, CB Ian Williams
Player to Watch: WR Brian Wetzel
The First Team All-Patriot League wide receiver is one of the more explosive players Rhody will face all season. In 11 games last year, Wetzel tallied 72 catches for 1,042 yards and seven touchdowns, leading the team in virtually every receiving category. Oh, and he posted 100-yard receiving games in his 11 starts. But if that wasn’t enough, Wetzel is also an explosive kick-returner. He returned 31 kicks for a 23 yards per return average. So needless to say, URI’s defensive backs and kick-coverage teams will have their hands full.
Prediction: Fordham 27 – Rhode Island 17
Yes, Fordham will be starting a new quarterback following the graduation of Ryan Higgins. That will certainly be a boon to a struggling Rhody defense, but we don’t think it will be enough. Fordham has too many excellent players at other skill positions to give the hometown Rams trouble all game.