Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Week 5 Thoughts

Some thoughts following Princeton's 50-30 win over Georgetown Saturday:

1. Credit Where It's Due: A great effort and performance by Princeton's Chad Kanoff in Saturday's game. To complete a run of 21 of 22 passes at any level is a great accomplishment, and a team effort-- the receivers got open, and the play calling was first rate. And don't underestimate line play--Kanoff had time to find his receivers. Over his four years at Princeton, Kanoff averages a little more than one sack per game and that's a number that allows pro-style passers to flourish, especially when the Georgetown front line hasn't been as imposing as in years past.

The Hoyas have given up 35, 41, and now 50 points in its last thee games.

2. Changing Of The Guard? After two turnover-filled games by Clay Norris, the move to Gunther Johnson was appropriate and encouraging, but it's no solution yet. The quarterback position in the Patriot League era has been replete with changes that didn't move the needle--from Nick Cangelosi and Keith Allan right up through Aaron Aiken and Stephen Skon. Johnson will face many of the same challenges Norris did offensively, but it should be his to met that expectation.

While the staff would certainly like to bring Tim Barnes back to start, a fifth year senior isn't the answer for building up talent next year and while coaches are loath to wave the white flag and start playing for 2018, there will be a need at some point, especially if the loses begin to mount and Johnson struggles much like his many predecessors did.

For now, let's see what he can do. Lehigh's defense this year is not up to their high standards of recent years so it will be an interesting test.

3. Is This The Year? Lehigh's 16 straight wins over Georgetown is the second longest streak in the FCS/I-AA subdivision, trailing only Penn's mastery of Columbia, now at 20 consecutive years.

Watch out for the Lions, however, as Georgetown found out three weeks ago. Al Bagnoli has the Light Blue at 4-0 for the first time in 21 years, and won its first game at Princeton in two decades two weeks ago. The two teams meet at Baker Field this weekend, and while Penn is favored, it's not a foregone conclusion.

A similar conclusion may seem the case for Lehigh, but there 's a larger problem, below.

4. Needed: Offense. I posted this over at the Any Given Saturday board late last night and wanted to raise it for readers to this blog.

In 17 PL seasons, Georgetown has had six different offensive coordinators (Tim Breslin, Elliot Uzelac, Jim Miceli, Dave Patenaude, Vinny Marino, Mike Neuberger), each with different approaches and each with varying levels of experience--Breslin was a career assistant at GU, Uzelac was a former head coach at Navy and Western Michigan, Miceli was a former head coach at Bryant, Patenaude and Marino were both Ivy OC's, while Neuberger was an assistant at Dayton where they were fifth in the nation in passing in sixth in scoring (38.8 points per game). None succeeded. And with the exception of Patenaude's two seasons, no Georgetown OC in this era has averaged 20 points per game, and that's including some wins over Davidson in that stretch.

All Games:
Breslin: 16.6
Uzelac: 16.3
Miceli: 12.3
Patenaude: 23.0
Marino: 19.9
Neuberger: 16.0

PL Games Only:
Breslin: 13.6
Uzelac: 14.7
Miceli: 10.9 
Patenaude: 19.8
Marino: 18.5
Neuberger: 15.3

(For readers wondering "Whatever happened to Dave Patenaude?", he left Georgetown in 2011 for Coastal Carolina and was named offensive coordinator at Temple this fall.)

After five games in 2017, Georgetown averages 14.5 points per game. Its opponents average 20.2 halftime. Averaging 14 points a game isn't going to win games in today's college football. Georgetown must solve this systemic issue because it is weighting down the entire program.