Two members of the Fordham University football squad have been honored nationally as players of the week.
Senior quarterback John Skelton (El Paso, Tex./Burges) has been named College Sporting News’National Offensive Player of the Week. Junior defensive back Isa Abdul El-Quddus (Union, N.J./Union) has been named The Sports Network’s National Defensive Player of the Week.
Both players also received the same accolades from the Patriot League. It is the first national weekly honor for a Ram since James Crockett received the award in November, 2007. The Patriot League award is the second this year for Skelton and the fourth honor of his Fordham career. This is Abdul El-Quddus’ first award of the year; he was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week once in 2007.
Both players were responsible for school records in a 39-27 win over Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y., last Saturday. Skelton threw for a school-record 420 yards while Abdul El-Quddus intercepted three passes, tying a school mark. In the game, Skelton completed 20 of 27 passes for the 420 yards and five touchdowns, four of which covered at least 50 yards, while also rushing for another score. The 420 yards surpasses the former school record of 413 set by Joe Moorhead in 1995. The five touchdown passes fell one shy of Kevin Eakin’s school record of six, set in 2003.
Skelton also set a school record and tied a Patriot League mark with a 98-yard scoring strike to Asa Lucas in the second quarter. The quarterback hooked up nine times for 245 yards and four touchdowns with Jason Caldwell as Caldwell tied the school record for receiving touchdowns in a game, and fell one yard shy of tying the school mark for receiving yards in a game.
It was the second 400-yard game of the year for Skelton, who threw for 402 yards in a win over Old Dominion on Oct. 3. He is second in both the Patriot League and NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in passing yards/game (323.33) and total offense (347.67 yards/game). Skelton is also ranked third nationally in passing yards/game (334.2), fourth in points responsible for (19.00) and 14th in passing efficiency (152.26). He directs the top-rated offense in the NCAA FCS as the Rams are averaging 484.5 yards/game.
Skelton’s career stats are now 651 completions for 8,160 yards and 58 touchdowns, all school records and among the top seven all-time in the Patriot League.
Abdul El-Quddus intercepted three Cornell passes last Saturday, tying the school record of Tad Kornegay, who picked off three passes in a game twice in 2004. He totaled 81 return yards on the three interceptions, including a 37-yard run back on his final pick that set up Fordham’s last touchdown. Abdul El-Quddus also recorded six total tackles, five solo, broke up a pass and forced a fumble in the game.