Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week 1 Thoughts

Some thoughts following Saturday’s 35-14 win over Davidson:

1.  Georgetown's Nightmare. Losing a starting quarterback is never easy. Losing one five plays into the first drive of the season, ever more so.

It's still early to speculate on the short and longer-term implications of Isaiah Kempf's collison will be. Obviously, as a senior, there are precious few weeks left of his football career, but such time must be tempered with the long term considerations to protect student-athletes from lingering effects and potentially more damage. Football has progressed from calling a concussion "having your bell rung" and simply shuttling a player back into the game to something much more preventive and attentive. 

At such time Kempf is cleared to play, it will be done with long-term, not short-term, interests at the forefront, which is what it's all about. Give credit--and give patience--to junior Aaron Aiken, who must assume the mantle and the inevitable adjustments opponents will bring--beginning with Wagner, as game films help define who he is and what he does. Wherher Kempf returns in week 3, 6, 9 , or not at all, Aiken figures to play a significant role this season and one where the practices over these last three years will pay dividends. 

2. Davidson's Nightmare.  Davidson had three goals in Saturday's game: a balanced offense, a tighter run defense, and avoid penalties. They missed on all three. 

You can't win games with a -18 yards on the ground. Period. The Wildcats have a talented quarterback and some fine receivers, but they are put at a disadvantage with such a one sided offensive array Yes, the GU defense was up to the task, but the Wildcats need running backs.

Maybe its real nightmare was defending Nick Campanella. After three touchdowns in the 2011 opener, he topped it with four in this one, both from short and long range. While Davidson is a career highlight, Campanella knows he must continue to gain ground during he season, where he had mixed results in 2011 after week one.

Penalties? Davidson went from 78 yards in 2011 to 117 in 2012. Teams that earn 100 yards in penalties can struggle, and Davidson learned this the hard way.

3. Defense! Lots of recognition is due the GU defense for a solid outing Saturday--the two davidson scores came froma  very short field following Aiken's interception and a late score with the outcome already in hand. Granted, Davidson is not Brown, much less Lehigh, but it's a meaningful first step in the post-Schaetzke era. 

4. Special Teams: For all the talk about tryouts for kicker, early results show that Matt MacZura is up to the challenge, having moved (at least in week one) ahead of Devon Papendrew on the depth chart. Georgetown will still need two kickers this year, because the kicking game will prove crucial down the line.

Missing from special teams this week was all-PL candidate Jeremy Moore. Without comment, he was not in the two deep in special teams nor in the secondary. It's not worth speculating for why and for when, but we look forward to his return to the lineup.

5. How 'Bout Those Seahawks? Wagner enters Saturday's game having been picked seventh in the nine team NEC, but opening some eyes in a defensive-minded 7-3 loss to Division I-A Florida Atlantic on Saturday. And FAU needed to score in the fourth to do it!

This raises the question whether Wagner was seriously underrated in NEC circles, or, well, is FAU that abd. Probably a little of both. The Owls are picked near the bottom of the Sun Belt and expectations are fairly low, even as school officials were telling the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel that the Wagner win counted for bowl eligibility.

"The Owls would need more than six wins to make a bowl game, in reality, as no bowl would take a .500 FAU team and a 5-3, or 4-4 record in the Sun Belt would likely not be enough to secure a bowl tie-in," writes the Sun Sentinel's Dieter Kurtenbach. "So while it's unlikely that we'll ever have to revisit the subject, let it be established, the Owls are one step closer to bowl eligibility. Seriously, stop laughing."

Still, how can a NEC team with 40 or fewer scholarships be a bowl eligible opponent? The devil is in the details, I guess.

Either way, Wagner held Florida Atlantic to 86 yards for the first half. That ought to be a warning that the Seahawks mean business in trying to stop the Hoyas at home this Saturday.