Monday, November 23, 2009

Week 11 Recap

Some thoughts following Fordham's 41-14 win to end the 2009 season:

No Quit: Congratulations to the team for not giving up on what has been, by any objective view, an awful season. The ability of the team to keep working hard amidst injuries and talent gaps between Georgetown and its opponents is no less easy when you're winning, but doubly difficult as the losses mount. One can be discouraged in the record and at the same time proud of those that fought the fight.

Thanks Fans: Georgetown's average attendance of 2,527 doesn't sound impressive, but it was the best average in over 10 years and reinforces that well-worn phrase: if you build it, they will come. (And if you actually finish it, even more will.) Give Georgetown fans a winning program and the MSF will be a great place to be in coming years.

Late Season Blues: Georgetown has won one season finale this decade and there's one reason which goes a little unnoticed: familarity.  As teams go, Georgetown does not change its tactics much from game to game--primarily the result of a lack of healthy talent, partly a result of some limited offensive play calling, but most often the lack of options to adapt to players. It is why you see the Hoyas do reaonably well the first game of each year and to start to struggle from there on out--teams are digesting game film and are picking up GU's predicatable game plans as they go along. You saw it in Isaiah kempf's declining numbers since the Yale game--teams figured his style of play out and keyed on it. To build momentum in October, a team must be better than its opponetns or more innovative, and Georgetown didn't have much of either this season.

4th and 22: Did anyone see the play on ESPN where Yale, leading late in the fourth quarter, ran a fake punt on a 4th and 22, but failed and gave Harvard the field position to win the game? Yes, people can criticize it but it shows the kind of faith in a team that Tom Williams has in his young Bulldogs, and that faith is going to pay dividends down the road. had it worked, they'd be calling Williams a genius; this time, he's a goat. But he's a really good coach and better days await Yale.

Georgetown wasn't into much trickery this year; again, the depth of talent wasn't there. I think this is one of the three big issues hading into next season: depth--how can Georgetown get wins when it cannot build depth?

Stat Of The Season, #1: Georgetown was outscored 99-27 in the first quarter of games. Last season it was 72-27, over four seasons, 376-78. The Georgetown offensive sets are not designed for comebacks, so something needs fixing here.

Stat of The Season, #2: Georgetown's offensive line was 25th in the nation during 2008 in fewest sacks allowed. In 2009? 112th.

Some Unofficial Awards: The team awards will be announced in January...or February, or even April, depending on when the awards banquet is held. Here are some very unofficial candidates for such awards:
  • Al Blozis Award (MVP): Hard to focus on an offensive MVP in a winless season, but since it's gone to the defense three straight years, here are three from the D worth a chance to be honored: LB Nick Parrish, DB Travis Mack, and DT Andrew Schaetzke.
  • Jack Hagerty Award (backs): Only one running back has won this in the last decade, as linebackers and secondary have taken over. Parrish, Mack, and sophomore DB David Quintero are all worthy candidates.
  • George Murtagh Award (linemen): If there's a way to honor the efforts of center Dan Matheny, this might be it. DE Chudi Obianwu and OL Rich Hussey deserve a look as well. 
  • Jermiah Minihan Award (coaches award): A hard one to judge, but maybe there is a place to honor the senior special teams. Jose Pablo-Buerba and Brian Josephs weren't even on the radar screen for special teams two years ago and both acquitted themselves well this season.
  • John Burke Award (courage and spirit): Jon Cassidy.
There are a couple of awards the team doesn't give out but probably should. I'll give them a couple of names just for the heck of it:
  • "Lou Little Award" (top freshman): One had to be impressed by how QB Isaiah Kempf stepped up when James Brady walked away. 
  • "Scott Glacken Award" (outstanding senior contribution): Robert Lane did everything that was asked of him throughout four years. He will be missed.
I didn't offer a recommendation on the Maurice Dubofsky Award (outstanding student-athlete) or the Eacobacci Memorial winner, because those are unique awards. But for all the Hoyas' troubles on the field, there are more than a few deserving candidates whose on and off the field leadership make them worthy candidates of such honors.

And so to the entire 2009 Hoyas, this quote from U.S. Supreme Court associate justice Benjamin Cardozo: "In the end the great truth will have been learned, that the quest is greater than what is sought, the effort finer than the prize, or rather that the effort is the prize, the victory cheap and hollow were it not for the rigor of the game."

Your work on the field is done, but for the seniors, we'll need you back as alumni. There's more work to be done. A lot more.