Oct. 13, 2002
Bronx, New York - Brown's nation-leading passing attack was held in check by steady rain and gusty wind as the Bears dropped a 24-17 decision to the Fordham Rams in the Bronx, New York.
After stalling on their opening drive, the Bears took possession at the Fordham 27 yard line when junior Jesse Hawkins recovered a fumbled Fordham punt. Freshman Tristan Murray carried five consecutive times to drive down to the Rams' three yard line, setting up a three yard quarterback sneak by junior Kyle Slager.
Fordham came back on its next possession to tie the game with an 8 play, 74 yard scoring drive.
The two teams exchanged field goals in the third quarter, Fordham connecting on a 32 yard boot, and Brown freshman placekicker Paul Christian connecting on his first field goal of the season from 21 yards out to knot the score at 10-10.
Fordham took over at the beginning of the fourth quarter, capitalizing on an intercepted pass that gave the Rams possession at the Bears' 28 yard line. Five plays later, Fordham took the lead for good, 17-10.
The Rams added another touchdown, this time driving 31 yards in four plays to grab a 24-10 lead.
Following a 57 yard punt return by junior Matt O'Malley, the quarterback duo of Slager and junior Nate Poole drove the Bears 33 yards for a touchdown, with Slager connecting with senior Ian Malapeai on a 15 yard scoring strike to pull the Bears to within a touchdown, 24-17, with 1:32 remaining to play.
Tynan Wyatt attempted an onside kick that was recovered by Fordham, who ran out the clock in three plays.
Part of Brown's difficulty passing the ball can be traced to an injury suffered by senior All-American Chas Gessner during warm-ups. Gessner, who played the entire game, dislocated his pinkie prior to the game, and played with his pinkie and index finger heavily taped together. Gessner, the nation's top receiver, was held to two catches for 12 yards.
Slager, who is now second in the nation in total offense, finished the day by completing 8 of 16 passes for 102 yards. Poole completed 3 of 10 passes for 33 yards.
Senior outside linebacker Bobby Parisien sparkled for the Brown defense, registering a game high 13 tackles, including 11 solo hits. Parisien also had two tackles for a loss of 12 yards, and Brown's only quarterback sack for a loss of eight yards.