Sunday, September 20, 2009

Week 3 Thoughts

Some post-game thoughts after Yale's 31-10 win over Georgetown Saturday afternoon:

Enter Isaiah Kempf. In the last four decades of Georgetown football, no freshman had the debut that Isaiah Kempf did: a 332 yard passing effort that, in any other scenario, should have been enough for an upset win. Yale had no real game film of Kempf outside the last series with Lafayette, but his inexperience in goal line series (a combined 3-12 for 19 yards inside the red zone) was evident as well. It's too early to tell if Kempf will start from this point onward, or is simply added into the soup mix of Brady, Darby, and Lawrence under center, but Georgetown fans have legitimate reason to be hopeful heading into this week's game.

Injuries. Every team gets them, but early season losses the Hoyas have faced to date will be a challenge. Chief among them: a leg injury suffered in the Yale game by Georgetown center Dan Matheny. However maligned the offensive line has been in recent years, the group has actually done a better job than many think given the size disparity it faces. Matheny, a four year starter dating back to when he was a 240 lb. freshman, will be greatly missed if his injury remains significant.

Running On Empty: If Georgetown doesn't revive the running game soon, it's going to really hurt them entering the middle of the season. With the team averaging just 26 yards a game on the ground, it not only minimizes the impact Charlie Houghton can have on the offense, but it allows opponents to dare Georgetown to win solely with the pass, which, unless you're Texas Tech or Hawaii, is not a way to win a lot of games. Injuries to the offensive line won't help things, but some level of rush against Howard is a must--the Bison are 107th in I-AA in rush defense, allowing 224 yards per game.

Good Fan Support: OK, a college crowd of 2,941 was among the bottom ten attendance figures last week, but when you've got 2,400 seats to go around, that's still a good number. A sellout Saturday would mark the first time the MSF has been full three straight games and given the local opponent, that 's probably likely. (Anyone know where the Howard band is going to be seated?)

It's an ongoing source of frustration to me that a lot of Georgetown, make that almost every Georgetown student, doesn't understand what a big football game would mean to campus life. However fun a basketball game at Verizon Center is, it doesn't compare to playing on campus, and similarly, a big football game beats a lot of average basketball games. A vibrant football culture would be a great addition to Georgetown life that wouldn't diminish the onset of basketball season, but actually enhance it.

Georgetown does not have to be Notre Dame to embrace a football tradition--I don't think people understand this. By point of contrast, take a look at this video--this was the opening game at Old Dominion three weeks ago, a school which hadn't even played football in 68 years before this season. They get it.

But sadly, no one under the age of 30 remembers when Georgetown was a consistent winner at home. Here's a review of home records in the last 20 years:

1989 through 1992: (Division III, Coach Scott Glacken): 10-15 (.400)
1994 through 2000: (MAAC, Coach Bob Benson): 28-9 (.757)
2000 through 2005: (Patriot League, Coach Bob Benson) 11-18 (.379)
2006 through 2009: (Patriot League, Coach Kevin Kelly): 3-14 (.176)

If the Hoyas can remind their fellow students and alumni what a big home game means now and for the future, perhaps they'll be back in three weeks for Colgate and even for Richmond on Nov. 14, with the basketball Hoyas on the road that weekend. Bottom line is that Geogetown has only one home game over the next six weeks, and this is absolutely the time to make a stand--a home stand-- that 2009 is not lost.