Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Week 7 Thoughts

Well, it wasn't exactly "the dog ate my blog post", but this is the third attempt at posting thoughts following Colgate's 31-14 win Saturday...that hasn't been eaten by the software. Let's see how it goes.

1. Second Half Adjustments: There are a lot of symptoms here but Georgetown's second half play seems to catch a cold every week. Some of this is opponent-driven adjustments, some of it time of possession (opponents have averaged just under four extra minutes in possession in the second half over the last three games), and some is defensive attrition when the time of possession clock wears them down. Whatever the cause, it has to be more of a priority. No team can average 1.6 points in the second half of games and expect to win, period.

It's too bad Georgetown hasn't adoped the gimmick offense known as the Wildcat. Granted, it's not going to take over college football, but between Isiah Kempf, Keerome Lawrence, and Robert Lane, there's enough running and passing talent in these three to shake up some defensive sets now and then. Instead, line-of-scrimmage passing dominates, and opponents know it. It didn't work for Matt Bassuener's teams,and it's not working now. With four games left in 2009, the offense could use some opening up.

2. What is the Georgetown Offense? Say what you will about Colgate--they ran the ball five years ago, they ran it last week, and as long as Dick Biddle is in Hamilton, they'll run it some more. One of the real questions for the 2009 off-season is whether the coaches can adopt an offense the Hoyas can actually stick with, and, no less importantly,  that recruits will embrace. The use of running backs that were common in 2007 and 2008 has faded as Kempf has channeled Matt Bassuener's old playbook--the "short pass and hope for the best" strategy. Yes, Charlie Houghton should have more than 30 carries his senior season, but the formations aren't there anymore. Is Georgetown really moving in the direction of a pass-intensive operation, or is this another stopgap until the line can protect the backfield?

3. Beware The Monarchs. As Shakespeare might have put it, "Uneasy lies the opponent of the team that  wears a crown." What was once seen as as winnable game for Georgetown is a major surprise in its first Division I season. Old Dominion is 5-2, came back from a halftime deficit to score three straight TD's in its win over Campbell on Saturday, and has leveraged its fans to create a unique home atmosphere.

"Monarch Nation was Loud and Proud once again and made a huge difference in this game for our players," wrote ODU coach Bobby Wilder after the 28-17 win over Campbell. "Not only did you [cause] eight penalties but you also forced Campbell to use four timeouts. The noise level when our opponents have the ball is deafening! Their offensive lineman could not hear the call from the quarterback and their head coach was forced to call the timeouts to avoid a delay of game penalty!"

ODU, with 43 players on scholarship, is getting better every week. While it's still a winnable game for Georgetown, it's no guarantee game, and losing to a first year team would be a bitter pill to swallow for any Patriot League team, including Georgetown. Fordham held off ODU 34-29 in the Bronx, but as five opponents have learned already, ODU is not a team to overlook at their home field.

Were that the same could someday be said at Multi-Sport Field...

A shorter column this time, but stay tuned for a discussion of returning a winning culture to football at Georgetown. Now more than ever, it's time to stand up for the Hoyas, and for fans to follow suit.