Sunday, September 9, 2018

Week 2 Thoughts

Some thoughts following Campbell's 13-8 win over Georgetown Saturday:

1. His Name Was Rocky Reid: This loss wasn't about the rain, wasn't about missed field goals, wasn't even about the all too predictable fourth quarter turnovers that bite Georgetown as much as anyone.  This loss was about Campbell running back Rocky Reid; namely, they have a player like Reid and Georgetown does not.

Most, OK, all Georgetown fans did not have a clue who Rocky Reid was and most still don't... unless he was some 6-7 forward from a fly-by-night prep school with his own YouTube Channel.  Rocky Reid is a 6-0 230 lb. running back from Concord, NC who tore apart his school's rushing records with 7,700 rushing yards and 90 touchdowns, but was still rated no more than a three star recruit.  per the Campbell media notes, "carried the ball 300 times for 2,734 yards and 38 touchdowns as a senior." If you're doing the match , that's a 9.1 yard average.  Attracting some initial interest from Louisville and West Virginia, he committed closer to home at Wake Forest in 2014, and therein began a pattern all to familiar to major college football.

Reid could have played as a freshman, but an ankle injury led to a redshirt for the 2015 season.  In 2017, he rushed  16 times for 47 yards against Delaware in week three of the season but only six carries for seven yards the remainder of the season.

Rocky saw the writing on the wall. Wrote a columnist at SB Nation:

"Reid could not break out in 2016, as Wake’s duo of Cade Carney and Matt Colburn carried the load, and both were underclassmen. The staff is also very high on Arkeem Byrd, who redshirted this year and should make a strong impact in 2017, which makes it difficult to see Reid getting significant playing time in 2017."

Staying close to home, he signed up for Campbell, which was giving out scholarships for the first time in 2017, but it came with a catch: because the  Camels were still in the Pioneer in 2017, it had to redshirt all its scholarship adds, so Reid sat a second time and effectively lost a year of eligibility.

Reid made his debut in the Camel's walkover with Chowan, rushing 14 times for 59 yards. But with the Camels' offense in first gear following a 6-3 halftime score, coach Mike Minter let Reid loose and he simply wore down the Georgetown defense in the second.

Reid carried 29 times for 115 yards, much of it in the second half. (By contrast, no Georgetown player has rushed as many times in a game the last 13 seasons.) Here's the play by on Campbell's last scoring drive.

Campbell took over at 10-6 with 13:42 to play.
1st and 10: Reid for three.
2nd and 7: Reid for seven, first down.
1st and 10: Reid for three.
2nd and 7: QB Daniel Smith for 11, first down.
1st and 10: Reid for five.
2nd and 5: Reid for two.
3rd and 3: Reid for six, first down.
1st and 10: Reid for five.
2nd and 5: Reid for three.
3rd and 3: Reid, no gain.
4th and 2: Field goal at 7:06.

Nine of ten carries by Reid ground out 36 yards but more importantly, 6:36 off the clock. It's what running backs do, except at Georgetown.

Since the start of the 2016 season, Georgetown as a team has rushed for 100 or more yards just four times: 148 yards versus Davidson in the 2016 opener (won), 150 yards against Marist the next week (won), 118 versus Harvard in 2016 (lost), and 135 yards against Bucknell in 2017 (loss).  

Two and two? Not bad.  And in games where Georgetown has rushed for 100 or fewer yards since the 2016 season, the record is 3-17. One would presume, therefore, that a power running back would have been a priority for the Hoyas in 2018 given the absence of  Alex Valles and Isaac Ellsworth to graduation, and Christian Bermudez's pass on his senior season.

Georgetown only recruited one RB in a class of nearly 30:  Herman Moultrie III, who, at 185 lbs. (45 lbs. lighter than Reid) rushed two carries for one yard Saturday.  And while he's three years younger than Rocky Reid, Moultrie fits the pattern of the undersized, underutilized running back approach that has  led Georgetown to the bottom of the rushing statistics for years.  With Carl Thomas' injury, GU is down to essentially three RB's--by contrast, Campbell, by no means a dominant team, carries seven. And Dartmouth, who awaits the Hoyas next week, carries nine.

I have no idea if Georgetown ever recruited Rocky Reid  - we do not know his grades, his interest in leaving the state, or just that transfers rarely make an impact at Georgetown, assuming they get on the team (e.g., Jon Coppens). In any case, Campbell's game was yet another example, that depth and recruiting weighs heavily on this program, one where the defense keeps the team close, the special teams gives them hope, but the offense does neither. Georgetown must rely on outcomes where Gunther Johnson can get a break, as was the case with Marist.

But there are no more Marists on the schedule, and Dartmouth knows that there are no Rocky Reids in the Georgetown backfield.

2. Around the Patriot League: Well, it wasn't fun.

Holy Cross visited Boston College for the first time in 32 years en route to a 62-14 walkover, one so convincing that the Boston Globe called  the Crusaders "a combination punching bag and sparring partner" for the homestanding Eagles. BC running back A.J. Dillon gained 149 yards on his first six carries and sat the remainder of the game. BC led 28-0 and brought in reserves as early as the second quarter.

Fordham was clocked at Richmond, 52-7, rushing for a net -3 yards and being outgained 585-188.

William & Mary defeated Bucknell, 14-7. Per the post-game notes, the Tribe is 6-0 all-time vs. Bucknell and 25-9 against the PL as a whole.

Lafayette was no match for Delaware, 37-0, as the Blue Hens held the Leopards to -11 yards rushing en route to a 414-118 edge in total yards.

It wasn't any better down the road, where Lehigh dropped to 0-2 in a 31-9 loss to Villanova before just 5,100 at Murray Goodman Stadium. Of immediate concern: RB Dom Bragalone was knocked out of the game. Assuming he is cleared for next week, the Engineers now travel to Navy.

The lone PL win was Colgate over New Hampshire, 10-3. The Red Raiders traditionally start slow, so its start has to be a good sign for Colgate this fall amidst a resolutely poor week for the league.

What hath scholarships wrought? Better opponents, but not better results.

3. Around The Ivy League: It's week three for the rest of college football but week one for the Ivies, with Dartmouth hosting Georgetown in the final game of a two game series. Georgetown is not on any future schedules for the Indians through at least 2023. Dartmouth was picked sixth in the eight team pre-season poll but Ivy teams don't ever seem to be concerned over Georgetown anymore. Since 2005, Georgetown is a combined 4-24 versus the Ancient Eight.

4. Announced Attendance: Saturday's attendance at Cooper Field, less any seating whatsoever on the west side, was announced at 1,837.

No further comment required.