Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Week 10 Thoughts

Some thoughts following Georgetown's 10-3 win over Bucknell Saturday:

1. Command Performance. In the words of Kevin Kelly, "Our defense turned in as good a performance as I have seen in my 28 years coaching." That's not an insigificant comment when you look back at the numerous bowl teams Kelly has been a part of, not to mention the I-AA national title teams at Marshall.And while this wasn't one of those -30 yard rushing efforts that skew the the stats, either. Consider these numbers for Bucknell:

Bucknell vs. 45-scholarship Fordham a week earlier: 7-15 third down conversion
Bucknell vs. Georgetown: 0-11 third down conversion

Bucknell vs. Fordham: 42 rushes, 217 total yards
Bucknell vs. Georgetown: 33 rushes, 73 total yards

Bucknell vs. Fordham: Average gain per rush: 5.2 yards
Bucknell vs. Georgetown: Average gain per rush: 2.2 yards

Bucknell vs. Fordham: 64 plays, 317 total yards
Bucknell vs. Georgetown: 47 plays, 168 total yards

The defense has had its share of ups and downs this season but came through big in this one--not with a title on the line, but for pride and dedication. They were challenged to step it up, and delivered. Well done!

2. Injuries. The season is coming to a clsoe at probably the right time for the Hoyas, given the number of injuries suffered this season, and not just at quarterback, where freshman Kyle Nolan became the fourth Georgetown QB sidelined this fall. Running backs, offensive and defensive linemen, receivers, and secondary performers have all been impacted this season.

The Hoyas lost two senior stalwarts (Fino Caliguire, Jeff Burke) before the beginning of the season, though burke has returned to brief action late in the season. Isaiah Kempf's injury was well disucssed, but a number of other players have fought through this as well. Depth--a word not nomally associated with Georgetown football teams of recent memory--helped the Hoyas get to a point this upcoming week when they can play for a winning record.

3. MSF Jinx? Matt MacZura's two missed field goals in the Bucknell game rasied this question--do the Hoyas kick better at home or on the road?

2009: Home 4-7, road 3-5
2010: Home 4-6, road 3-4
2011: Home 7-9, road 9-14
2012: Home  4-11, road 6-6
Total: Home 19-33 (.575), road 21-29 (.724)

None of those numbers suggest an inherent bias, unless you suggest that the wind patterns at one side or another on MSF are ill-suited to kicking for either team, and I don't have the numbers on which kicks came at which end of the place. But in the last four years at the MSF, the field goal numbers are as follows:

2009: Georgetown 4-7, oppponents 1-9
2010: Georgetown 4-6, opponents 7-10
2011: Georgetown 7-9, opponents 6-9
2012: Georgetown 4-11, opponents 6-8
Total: Georgetown 19-33 (.575), opponents 20-36 (.555)

Maybe it's all in the head of the kicker, or maybe the building configurations, crosswind, or shadows make the MSF a bit more challenging to kick out of. Either way, a home field goal is no sure thing and those buildings aren't going anywhere for a few decades, if ever.

4. All-Access. It's the end of the season, so I do not expect anything substantive to be done this late, but a comment about the quality of video coverage provided through GUHoyas.com: it needs improvement. Chuck Timanus does an outstanding job with what little he has to work with, but the single camera video coverage is wholly inadequate and isn't always worth the $9.95 charged to see the games. Last week's broadcast was stuck in a data cache where the feed was, at times, 20 minutes behind the game broadcast, and basic amenities the sports fan has grown to expect (time and score, for instance) cannot be shown because, well, it's only one camera. Instant replay? Forget it.

Yes, Georgetown doesn't have a radio/TV major, so physical resources are limited, and Verizon FiOS did not renew its prior agreement to host games (though it was never part of the All-Access broadcasts and according to some PL fans, never showed some games at all). Still, the best way to support a team to be able to see them, and there should be some effort sought to provide a more professional level of video coverage worth the investment that fans make.

5. Senior Day. I'll talk more about it on the web site this week, but some thanks are owed to this senior class, the ones which stuck through the winless 0-11 season and will leave the MSF Saturday with at least a winning record over their next three seasons (17-15) and (hopefully) a winning record in 2012.

It's likely the final competitive football game for 12 or 13 of these men, which for those that have been playing football every fall since they were old enough to grab a helmet and play pee-wee football, Saturday's game is a turning point in their young lives, and for those parents who have traveled to grade school, junior high, and high school games, and college games from Worcester to Norfolk over the last four years for their sons and for the team--and not all live within driving distance, either.

To the students and their families, thank you for a job well done.