It was a case of new season, same results for the University of Rhode Island football team in its season opener at Fordham University Thursday.
The Rhody Rams managed just two field goals in the first half as Fordham struck early and often en route to 51-26 victory.
The game started well enough for URI Thursday as it forced a punt on Fordham’s first possession and got excellent field position on its own 41-yard line.
The Rhody Rams proceeded to pick up a first down and march into Fordham terriroty before the drive stalled at the Fordham Rams’ 43-yard line.
URI didn’t seize the opportunity to pin Fordham deep in its own end as Connor McHugh’s punt went just eight yards, giving the ball back to the Bronx Rams at their own 35 with 11:02 remaining in the opening quarter.
The eight-yard punt symbolized the beginning of the end for Rhody as Fordham scored a touchdown just 54 seconds later thanks to completions of 40 and 29 yards from from quarterback Michael Nebrich to Dan Light and Sam Ajala, respectively.
The ensuing URI drive ended in a Bob Bentsen interception at its own 32-yard line and one play later Nebrich rushed for a touchdown to put Rhody down 14-0 before the midpoint of the opening quarter.
Dylan Smith answered with a 42-yard field goal on URI’s next possession but the Bronx Rams didn’t quit, tacking on another touchdown and a field goal to take a commanding 24-6 lead into intermission.
For the game Nebrich carved up the Rams for 267 yards passing and five touchdowns - one rushing - while completing 17 of 25 attempts.
Bentsen, meanwhile, finished 18-for-31 for 156 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
If there was one bright spot for Rhody Thursday it was the way it ran the ball as the team chewed up 277 yards on the ground on 50 attempts.
Robbie Delgado paced the pack with 113 yards on 21 attempts, while Jordan Sebastian had 15 carries for 91 yards.
Next up for Rhode Island will be the team’s home opener against Stony Brook Saturday at 1 p.m.