Monday, November 15, 2010

Week 10 Thoughts

Some brief thoughts from Saturday's loss to Lehigh (or scattershooting as to whatever happened to John Sims...)

Limping Home: Maybe it's not fair, but it just seems that this season is limping to the finish line. very little in the way of interest or enthusiasm remains after a sixth straight loss, which is why marking down a "W" next to Marist is no sure thing.

Georgetown continues to suffer from the quarterback carousel that produces no consistency and the special teams miscues that haven't gone away. (More on the quarterback situation below.) Maybe Brett Weiss' field goal wouldn't have won the game, but 10-6 Georgetown gives the Hoyas momentum, ever so brief, in a 3rd quarter where it owned time of possession. Instead, Lehigh marches down the field and takes over the clock for the remainder of the game. And fumbling a kickoff return? Maybe in week one or two, but this is mid-November.

This is just not a good way for a season to end, particularly for the coaching staff. Even the Gridiron Club seems to have faded from view--its last post on its Facebook page was September 27. But with any degree of preparation, focus, and/or good luck (take your pick), this could have been a six or seven win team hading into marist--and what would people be saying then about Coach Kelly and such a turnaround?

Not Worth Quoting: I'm still a bit surprised at Coach Kelly's comment last week to the Georgetown Voice that: "We started out strong, but still we're three games ahead of where we were last year and so it's all about how you look at it. Is the glass half full or half empty? Right now it's half full.”

No, it's not. That's the equivalent of saying the 2010 Hoyas are 300% better because won three more games.

Statistically speaking, Georgetown got off to a good start, may have caught a couple teams napping, early but ultimately failed to step up when the season hit its stride. I don't think the team ever recovered from losing on the last play to Yale, was fortunate that Holy Cross meandered through the Sep. 26 game, and it's been one week of shortfalls ever since. The defense still carries smore than its share of the load, the running game is still an easy target for a bigger defense, and the darby/Kempf rotation is as effective as when GU was swapping through the likes of Cangelosi, Allen, and Hostetler. Starting QB's are not baseball pitchers--teams don't respond long term to middle relievers.

Georgetown has one win this season over a team who was not playing in their season opener against the
Hoyas. That ought to say something about how this team has not progressed over the course of the 2010 season...or maybe that other teams have.

A Letter from The Coach: Finally, I found the following letter posted last season from Kevin Kelly's former boss at Navy, Paul Johnson, now at Georgia Tech:

Dear Georgia Tech Family:

I can’t thank you all enough for the great support you have shown our football team this season. The student-athletes, our coaches and staff are working extremely hard to make this a special season for all of us. We can’t complete that task without you.

That is why I am reaching out to you to today. It is important in the coming weeks that you get behind us like never before. Our stadium needs to be packed with supportive Tech fans when we take on Georgia on Saturday night and then we’ll need you all to plan to travel with us as we play for the ACC Championship in Tampa on December 5th.

"But during these critical game days for our football team, I am personally asking that we exhibit the utmost in sportsmanship. Please treat our opponents with respect and dignity. Make sure your actions reflect positively on yourself and on our football program. Your positive actions will continue to raise the profile of this great Institute and of Georgia Tech football across this nation.

Thank you and go Jackets!

Paul Johnson
Head Football Coach
Georgia Tech

Georgetown's coaches don't do enough of this. For fans that only see the box scores and don't know much else about the football program, Coach Kelly should (and should have) been more proactive with such communications. The more people can feel in touch with the program, the more support it will bring.

As Georgetown enters a long off-season in 2011, everyone needs to take positive steps forward: coaches, players, benefactors, fans. If the last decade has taught anything, it is that there is much work to be done, and it doesn't get done by itself. Everyone is needed to get it done.

Hail and Farewell: Six wins in four years is a disappointment by any definition for the class of 2011, but their departures will leave some big shoes to fill for the 2011 Hoyas. Here are three:
  • Running Back. Senior RB's at Georgetown do not have a great history of late, and Philip Oladeji's numbers reflect it: just 329 yards on the season. With Oladeji and slotback Keerome Lawrence graduating, the three returning RB's (Chance Logan, Dalen Claytor, Brandon Durham) combined for just 284 yards this season. Each are smaller backs, and GU still needs a bigger presence in the backfield to give these runners better opportunities.
  • Offensive Line: Dan Semler, Erik Antico, and Rob Bates did the heavy lifting--literally--but the GU line is still too small and a little too slow for its competition. Offensive linemen are one of those positions where recruiting can make a big imapct, and with GU's inability to match other offers, it's one they lose more than they win. If Georgetown is to improve in 2011, it will start with the line.
  • Linebackers: Nick Parrish's numbers speak for themselves, but Patrick O'Donnell and Paul Sant'Ambrogio had a big impact as well this season. Were it not for the defense, a lot of games could have got out of hand quickly, such as last week's Lehigh game. Nate Zimmel is the only returning inside LB on the two-deep, so this should be a point of emphasis in the off-season.
If you can make it to unnamed Multi-Sport Field Saturday, give these seniors (and their parents) a show of support. They have truly earned it.