Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Week 5 Thoughts

Some brief thoughts following Georgetown’s 50-22 loss to Princeton last Saturday:

1. Depth. When a team is losing games by a touchdown or less every week, blame the coach. When a team is losing by two touchdowns every week, blame the players on the field. When a team is losing by four touchdowns, blame the players off the field.


If a team is consistently getting clocked in games, it speaks to the fact that the best players on the team are likely on the field, and they aren’t doing well enough to win. There’s no bench (injured or otherwise) to make a substantive difference in games. For a variety of reasons, scholarships being one piece (but not the entire puzzle), Georgetown has not been able to recruit effectively for depth in key positions and the results on the field are evident. Consecutive routs by Marist, Brown, and Princeton speak to a team where any significant injury cannot be easily replaced.

Take Marist out of the equation for now…please. Brown and Princeton are likely middle tier Ivy teams in 2013. How would this Georgetown defense fare against Penn or Harvard? Or how about a undefeated full scholarship team or an undefeated Patriot team? As to the latter two, this is what faces the Hoyas after the break. Fordham is a bad matchup for Georgetown and Lehigh has always been a bad matchup. There’s plenty of football left to be played, but a potential 1-6 record after these next two weeks may have the staff refocusing to 2014.

2. Home Means Blue: I’m not sure why the road jerseys came out for this game, but they need to stay in the locker room. Home teams wear home colors, esp. at Home-coming. Has anyone said where are the new Nike home jerseys with the piping seen on the road unis?

3. The Hoyas’ Number. So, Georgetown lost to Princeton. Not much surprise, given the ongoing lack of competitiveness the Hoyas have shown against Ivy foes. Georgetown has one win in its last 12 against Ivy teams. Is it as simple a case that the Ivies simply outrecruit the Hoyas at every turn, or is there something else involved?

4. Quarterback Injury. Coach Kelly’s comments in Tuesday’s HOYA on Isaiah Kempf’s apparent injury in the third quarter versus Princeton can’t be good news. Georgetown has lots of quarterbacks in waiting, but Kempf has been a stalwart in the backfield and the 2013 offense is built with him in mind. At some point this fall, the staff has to start looking at Kyle Nolan and Cameron MacPherson as potential starters, but as long as the Hoyas can compete in the PL race, Kempf figures to be front and center.

5. Around The Patriot League: A tale of two races: Fordham and Lehigh are a combined 9-0, the rest of the league 3-16. The Rams and Engineers meet this week and while the league title isn’t up for grabs due to Fordham’s penalty for getting to the front of the scholarship line, it could play a factor if the PL hopes to have a second playoff entrant. But one can’t help but wonder if Georgetown can get healthy and otherwise ready for these teams over the next three weeks.

As noted before, Fordham is a bad matchup—Georgetown is 2-14 in its last 16 games with Fordham, both wins at the MSF, so the Hoyas have that going for them. Not so with Lehigh, where the Engineers are 12-0 versus Georgetown, and dominate the head to head meetings at Goodman Stadium.  Georgetown has been outscored 221-26 at Lehigh since 2002. At least there’s a week's more time to plan…worry…or both.

6. The Larger Question: Yes, Georgetown’s been in this early October rut before, and it survived. But with all the changes going on in the Patriot League, and all the inertia the program faces in the usual suspects: facilities, recruiting, budget, and performance, are there storm clouds on the horizon? Of course there are. Is something being done to address this, or should we merely invest in umbrellas and rain boots? If Kelly's teams can't compete with opponents at 15 scholarships, what happens when they're playing teams with 60 every week?

Slowly, some of these questions are being asked in the Georgetown community. Later this week, some thoughts on a possible course of action.