The 2012 Fordham University football squad closed out its fourth week of spring practice with a scrimmage on Friday morning on Murphy Field. The offense and defense both showed continued improvement as the Rams gear up for the 2012 Spring Game on Saturday, April 28th.
The offense scored a couple of touchdowns and converted all of its field goal attempts while the defense came up with some big stops, including s few sacks. The scrimmage featured officials who didn't throw many flags but who were quick to point out potential offenses to the players.
"It was a good scrimmage as both sides of the ball did good things today," said head coach Joe Moorhead. "The offense established a running game and put some points on the board. The defense came up with some stops when they needed them. But there are things we need to clean up on both sides of the ball and we will watch the film and get back to work next week."
Over the past two weeks we've taken a look at the Fordham offense and defense and this week we'll highlight the special teams unit, led by All-American punter Patrick Murray, who led the Patriot League in punting last year, along with placekicker Michael Marando.
Punting The Fordham punting game will be in the capable feet of Murray, who was honored by numerous All-America organizations, being named Third Team All-America by both the Associated Press and The Sports Network as well as being named the NCAA FCS Punt Performer of the Year by the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA). He also added another All-America honor to his resume, being named Second Team All-America by the Beyond Sports College Network. He became the first Fordham football All-American since Jason Caldwell in 2009.
On the year, Murray punted 49 times for 2,160 yards, an average of 44.1 yards/punt, tops in the Patriot League and third best in the NCAA FCS. He landed 21 of his kicks inside the opponent's 20 this fall and had 16 of his 49 punts travel more than 50 yards, including a season-long 73-yarder. The 73 yard punt, which came at Rhode Island, tied his career-high and was the second longest punt in school history (the Fordham record is 85 yards by Len Eshmont in 1939). Murray also booted a 73-yard punt at Colgate in 2009.
Murray's 44.1 punting average is the fourth best single season average in Fordham history while his 41.4 career punting average is second on the school's all-time list and his 5,585 career punting yards in sixth.
Prior to the season, Murray was named to the 2011 College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Punter Award Watch List and during the year he was recognized as the Punter Performer of the Week by the CFPA three times.
Murray was also responsible for the kickoffs in 2011, averaging 65.2yard/kick.
Placekicking Michael Marando, who handled most of the placekicking duties as a freshman last year, connected on seven of his 15 field goal attempts last fall as well as converting all 15 of his extra points. He connected on two field goals in a game twice, booting a 34 and 36-yarder at Penn and a 34 and a season-long 41-yarder at Georgetown.
Murray also did some placekicking last year, kicking a 28-yarder in the Connecticut game.
Punt/Kickoff Returns The Rams return numerous return men, led by Lourenzo Smith, who brought back 31 kickoffs for 565 yards (18.2 yards/return) last year while Ian Williams returned eight kickoffs for 114 yards 919.0 yards/return) and Greg Wilson returned eight punts for 57 yards (7.1 yards/return) and three kickoffs for 60 yards.