Monday, September 13, 2010

Week 2 Thoughts

Some quick thoughts following Saturday's 28-24 win over Lafayette:

1. What's That Sound? That sound, ever slight, is a buzz, as in some people are beginning to talk about a 2-0 team that some may not have expected to win more than one game by November. (Suddenly that five win challenge on this blog doesn't look so bad, does it?)

Saturday's win over the Leopards wasn't some sort of fluke at the end of the game but a solid team effort, made possible by an effective third quarter that allowed Georgetown to play the stretch ahead of the scoreboard, not behind it. A lot of twists and turns, sure, but the Hoyas got a lead and they held it. That's a great learning experience for a team that frankly hasn't had many opportunities to do so of late...or anytime in the last decade.

And some deserved buzz about QB Scott Darby. Darby didn't throw for 340 yards, but he kept things moving and didn't make mistakes. Nothing wrong with that at all.

But, let's not dwell too much on the week past but talk about a Yale team that has something to prove. The Bulldogs have had their way with Georgetown in three previous meetings, not the least of which was a 47-7 drubbing in the Hoyas' only appearance at the Yale Bowl to date, but have higher expectations to make a serious run at the Ivy crown, something they have been a step or two short of late. Losing to Georgetown would still be considered a huge setback for the Elis.

Georgetown hasn't defeated an Ivy team since 2003, which is the last time they beat Lafayette, too. This was going to be the toughest non-conference game for GU with or without the Lafayette win, but it's nice to have people talking about what Georgetown can do, not simply if they can.

2. What You're Not Hearing: Has someone told the Washington Post Georgetown dropped to Division III or something? Georgetown's score in Sunday's Post was grouped alongside Division III Catholic University's win over the Apprentice School (that's not Donald Trump's new team, but a junior college/trade school for shipbuilders). Below the CUA score, Division III Gallaudet's win over a club team, the "Williamson Free Trade School".

Maybe it's asking too much to send Kathy Orton to Easton, PA for a game (she covered the Howard game with Hampton instead) but can't the Post call up The HOYA and drop $50 with a stringer (that's old journalism-speak for a free lance writer)? If someone from The HOYA won't be in New Haven, I'm sure the Yale Daily News answers calls, too.

The only way a newspaper can (and should) cover a local team is to get a writer's perspective, not a wire service account. Absent a full-time beat writer (a dinosaur career if there was one), use the resources that are already out there. (By contrast, the Lafayette media coverage of the game was top-notch. Georgetown could learn from it.)

You're also not hearing much from the Gridiron Club and Hoyas Unlimited. Any news from this game for those who weren't tied to a PC over the weekend?

Win or lose this Saturday, Georgetown will enter Homecoming Week with a winning record for the first time since the second Clinton administration (1999). Let's get an e-mail out, some quotes from the team and coaches, post some video on Facebook, and remind alumni in general (and football alumni in specifc) that this is a Homecoming Game worth seeing.

Here's an example of video highlights from Temple University--how could you not be excited to see a big win in a two minute span?

3. Areas For Improvement: Let's be frank--allowing 500 yards and winning a game is a sufficient rarity that Georgetown can't expect to win any more games like that in 2010. But when an opposing QB throws 20 straight completions, he's getting far too much time from the Hoyas' 4-3 defense.

Back in New Haven, Yale QB Patrick Witt was 7 for 9 in a 50-0 rout of Div. III Union in Yale's pre-season scrimmage, which was stopped after only three quarters. The Bulldogs can throw the ball--two years ago at the Yale Bowl, Yale QB's were 24-34 for 361 yards against GU, and were sacked just once. Pass defense is a legitimate area for concern in this upcoming game.

Offensively, the rushing game was contained by Lafayette, and Yale will attempt to do likewise: Georgetown has gained 69 yards combined in the last two games versus Yale. The offensive line is playing well of late, but more rushing yards makes Darby's job in the pocket much easier and it's a competitive necessity.

4. Time of possession: A complete anomaly versus Lafayette. Last season versus Yale: 24:21. This week needs a lot more than that.

5. Good Seats Available: If you've never been to the Yale Bowl, it's worth a trip. How about some New York alumni to make the 80 mile trip up I-95 or along the rail line? The team could use the extra support.

Around The Patriot League: north of Pennsylvania, at least, a grim week.

•Villanova 35, Lehigh 0: Three first half turnovers and Lehigh never recovers.
•Furman 45, Colgate 15: Paladins put up 536 yards on a otherwise solid Colgate defense.
•Massachusetts 31, Holy Cross 7: Another defensive mismatch: UMass drops 525 yards on the Crusaders.
•Fordham 31, Rhode Island 27: Rams had to rally late to avoid an 0-2 start.
•Marist 14, Bucknell 3: (Ugh.) Bison have not scored an offensive touchdown this season entering a three game stretch versus the Ivy League.