After a seven-catch, 152-yard breakout performance against Holy Cross, there was surprise.
But after Saturday’s single-handed dismantling of No. 10 Northeastern’s secondary, there were simply shrugs and knowing smiles.
Only three games into junior wide receiver Brian Edwards’ first season as a starter, everyone expects him to post big numbers—and The Crimson’s Athlete of the Week has not let them down.
Edwards had seven catches for 180 yards on Saturday—an average of 25.7 yards per catch—and two touchdowns to lead the Crimson to a 28-20 upset over the Huskies.
“He seems to find the holes in the defense and be open all the time,” junior quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said after the game. “It makes my job easier to throw to such a great athlete.”
His athleticism was on full display Saturday, when he raised his receiving total to 134.7 yards per game—tops in Division I-AA.
On Harvard’s first play from scrimmage after a Northeastern field goal cut the Crimson lead to 7-3, Fitzpatrick hit Edwards as he was streaking across the middle of the field for a 43-yard pick up. Four plays later, Edwards made a diving 16-yard catch under Husky cornerback Charles Cameron to set up a Fitzpatrick TD run to give the Crimson a 14-3 lead.
But Edwards didn’t just set up scores for Fitzpatrick. With the Harvard offense struggling in the third quarter, Harvard coach Tim Murphy called a double reverse—the Crimson’s first reverse of the season—and Edwards took advantage, speeding around the left end for a 25-yard gain. Then, on the very next play, Fitzpatrick lofted the ball to a wide open Edwards in the endzone for a 34-yard TD.
“They weren’t expecting it,” Edwards said. “We hadn’t run a reverse all year, so I was able to get outside and down the sidelines.”
Edwards may just be being modest. Though the element of surprise probably worked to his advantage—just as it did when he was an anonymous face against Holy Cross—chances are they wouldn’t have been able to stop him anyway.
After all, Northeastern knew the ball was going to Edwards on Saturday. They just couldn’t stop it.