Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Week 3 Thoughts

Some thoughts following Columbia's 35-14 win over Georgetown Saturday:

1. Uh-Oh, Not Again: It was fifty-one weeks ago that a late hit on the Georgetown sidelines spelled the end of Tim Barnes' season, and the beginning of the end for the Hoyas. fast forward to last weekend, and another injury to Barnes took the air out of the Hoyas' sails.

Georgetown didn't win another game after Barnes' injury in 2016, and only one since. Is another extended losing streak on the horizon?

That depends, of course, if Barnes can play, and if GU has said something, you didn't read it in the local press. Much like last season, Clay Norris didn't show much, but that may be more a knock at the Hoyas' tentative offensive game plan from OC Mike Neuberger than anything else.  Neuberger's calls in the Marist game channeled the days of Jim Miceli, who famously had first and goal at the Howard two yard line in 2009 and ran the ball four times up the middle for, you guessed it, no yards in four attempts. In this most recent game, Neuberger's plays merited two yards in 22 carries. Such is not the calculus to defeat Harvard, the Crimson having outscored the Hoyas 110-20 in its last three meetings.

More to the point, Georgetown has scored just three points by halftime in three games this season, to arguably three of the weaker I-AA teams nationwide.  This isn't three points to Cal Poly, Richmond and Buffalo (the first three opponents for Colgate), or three points against Army, Central Connecticut and Eastern Washington (the first three opponents for Fordham), or even Connecticut, New Hampshire and Dartmouth (the first three non-conference opponents for Holy Cross. No, this was Campbell, Marist and Columbia.

So, the stats by team as to points scored this year after two quarters:

Lehigh, 82
Holy Cross, 63
Bucknell, 61
Fordham, 54
Colgate, 34
Lafayette, 20
Georgetown, 3

That's beyond unacceptable--if that's the best this offense can do, find 11 more kids down the roster and give them a shot.

2. As The Offense Goes, So Go The Hoyas. Two sobering statistics:

1. In its last 10 games, Georgetown has averaged 11 points per game and has lost nine of ten.

2. When giving up more than 14 points in a game, not an unreasonable number, Georgetown has lost nine straight, 13 of its last 14, and 39 of its last 44 over the last five years.

Georgetown may not beat Harvard, but it certainly can't beat Harvard with the offensive approach has been putting on the field of late.

3. Whither the Patriot League? Georgetown's not the only PL club with some questions. The league as a whole is a combined 6-19 in non-conference play, with no team over .500 and perennial titleists Lehigh and Colgate sporting a combined record of 1-7.

What's going on?

As noted above, the PL schools are generally playing tougher opponents as scholarships make them more attractive--outside of Georgetown and Bucknell, schools like Marist aren't on PL schedules anymore. Granted, there are outliers--Lehigh has already allowed 205 points this season compared to just 323 all last season, but the PL teams will be well prepared for conference play, a further call to action to get its offense in gear over the next two weeks.

4. In Case You Missed It: ESPN College Gameday had the Hoyas front and center last week, a first for this team. Check it out beginning at the 5:54 mark of the video: