Some brief thoughts following Yale's 40-35 win over Georgetown Saturday.
"A" For Effort: What more can you say about this game? I can only lament that it wasn't televised, because a lot of fans would have seen one of the more exciting 60 minutes of football for a Georgetown team in a decade. From the opening drive (a blocked FG by the Georgetown special teams) to the clutch decision by Yale coach Tom Williams to plow ahead for the winning score, both teams deserve credit for giving it all on the field.
Williams' call was not without risk (some Yale fans have not forgiven him for a fake punt in the 2009 Harvard game that proved to be a turnng point) but it was more than just a reluctance to win the game with a kicking ame that was suspect all day. Yale simply had a bigger offensive line and the ability to push one yard against a smaller Georgetown defensive line was a considerably better decision than kicking in the shadow of the goalposts. While the odds would suggest the 18 yard kick was a cinch, that's what Yale fans thought about the opening drive, too.
If a team is at home, you drive it in. On the road, kick. A tough ending for Georgetown fans, but this was a game where the last team with a good scoring opportunity would win, and, much like the end of the first half, the Hoyas gave it back with enough time for the Elis to mount the drive.
Pass Rush: While much can be amade about the amount of yardage the defense has allowed the past two weeks, the inability of the front line to provide pressure on the quarterback must not be overlooked either. Yale QB Patrick Witt was not sacked according to the statistics (Andrew Schaetzke might disagree on one or two plays) but he had far too much time to find open receivers. The Hoya line has just four sacks over three games and one key to tightening up the numbers is to put more pressure on the QB, and that effort starts Saturday with Holy Cross.
Play of The Game: Yes, Witt's last drive was the decider and Scott Darby's INT didn't help, but the second half kickoff return by Jeremy Moore turned the game around from what looked to be the prelude to another Yale rout to a third quarter like few others in Hoya Football. Moore turned in one of the better individual performances you'll see anywhere (I'm still impressed by that leaping block of a long Yale pass in the second quarter), and fellow New Haven-er Keerome Lawrence gave it his all.
Amazing that it has been six years without a kickoff return of any kind. Let's not wait so long again.
The View From Across The Field: In case you haven't seen it, a summary of the game through the home team's perspective:
Fan Support: A good turnout from Georgetown fans across the field at the Yale Bowl, but there are too many NYC and Connecticut alumni that simply didn't know about it and ...and to the point, were not encouraged to attend. Attending Georgetown athletic events outside DC should not be on a "need to know" basis, and all the traditional arguments that Georgetown doesn't have the resources to do so fall flat in my view. The Hoyas return two more years to New Haven in 2011 and 2012, and it is incumbent upon Georgetown to do a better job of promotion. If the University wants to get on Ivy League schedules, it needs to show that their fans want to see these games as well.
On to Homecoming.