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Stan Becton | | October 27, 2022

Fordham and Holy Cross battle in Week 9's FCS game of the week

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Week 9 features four ranked vs. ranked FCS top-25 matchups, but a battle between two Patriot League foes takes center stage when No. 15 Fordham heads to Worcester, Mass. to take on No. 8 Holy Cross in the FCS game of the week.

Week 9 FCS game of the week

No. 15 Fordham at No. 8 Holy Cross | Saturday, Oct. 29 | 1 p.m. ET | ESPN+


Fordham's offense features quarterback Tim DeMorat, one of the front-runners for the Walter Payton Award. DeMorat leads the nation with 3,023 passing yards and has a trio of receivers that could all reach 1,000 receiving yards if things go right. Chief among them is Fotis Kokosioulis, who leads the FCS in receiving yards and receptions. Fordham's offense has continuously shown that even when behind, it can score points, averaging 49.1 per game. Expect fireworks when Fordham's offense takes the field.

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Fordham's defense starts in the middle with Ryan Greenhagen and James Conway, a pair of linebackers that often show off their tackling prowess. Greenhagen and Conway lead a defense that has been leaky at times during the year, ranking 109th in points allowed and 115th in yards allowed. However, the Rams make enough plays on defense to keep their offense in striking distance, and that's worked so far this season as Fordham remains undefeated against FCS opponents.

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Quarterback Matthew Sluka leads the Holy Cross offense, with the Crusaders averaging 38 points per game. Sluka and his top target Jalen Coker are one of the best duos in the FCS and are a big part of why Holy Cross is one of the few undefeated teams left in the FCS. Yet, Holy Cross has a balanced attack, rushing for just under 200 yards per game. The Crusader offense showed its resilience last week, coming back to beat Lafayette.

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On defense, Holy Cross is elite, rankings seventh in scoring defense. Led by All-American linebacker Jacob Dobbs, the Crusaders have held every FCS opponent to 21 points or fewer. Holy Cross defenders also make plays on special teams, with cornerback Devin Haskins blocking punts in four straight games.

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When Holy Cross and Fordham meet, it'll likely serve as the de facto Patriot League title game, with the winner moving on to secure the conference's automatic bid to the FCS playoffs. Performances in this game could also help players boost their cases for individual postseason awards. 

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