Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Conference, Local Rivals Highlight Hoya Schedule

At Holy Cross, Sept. 5

Georgetown jumps right into Patriot League action with a challenging first game, opening the season with a trip to Worcester, Mass., to face Holy Cross. Tabbed as the preseason conference favorites after last year’s second-place finish, the Crusaders will likely provide the Hoyas with a tough, early test.

Last season, the Hoyas struggled mightily against the Crusaders, falling 38-14 at MultiSport Facility. Junior linebacker Nick Parrish scored both of Georgetown’s touchdowns on a pair of interception returns.

Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph, who holds the Patriot League career records for completions and passing touchdowns, leads a high-scoring Holy Cross offense that averaged 34.4 points per game last year.

“He understands the game well, he finds the open receiver, he’s a good passer,” Head Coach Kevin Kelly said. “He does all the things that good quarterbacks do.”

Randolph was named preseason offensive player of the year, but the Hoyas boast one of the top passing defenses in the league, allowing just 186.8 yards per game. If the Hoyas are to pull off the upset, they need to slow Randolph down.

Vs. Lafayette, Sept. 12

When the Hoyas return to Multi-Sport Facility for their home opener, they will do so against one of the stingiest defenses in the Patriot League. The Leopards allowed only 92.2 rushing yards and 17.5 points per game last year, both best in the conference, and held the Hoyas to a lone touchdown in a 24-6 victory.

Lafayette returns 14 starters from last season’s squad that finished 7-4, including senior linebacker Mark Leggiero, the preseason defensive player of the year. Leggiero recorded 93 tackles last season, including 12.5 tackles for loss. With five other returning starters, the Leopards’ strong defense should pose some problems for the Hoya offense.

Following the opener at Holy Cross, the Lafayette game means Georgetown will face two tough conference opponents in the first two weeks of the season, which Coach Kelly met with enthusiastic optimism.

“[Holy Cross and Lafayette] are two of the strongest teams in our league, so if we can knock one of them off it would be a huge confidence boost.”

Vs. Howard, Sept. 26

Having defeated the Bison 12-7 last season, in the first meeting of the local rivals, Georgetown will look to defend its half of the district when Howard visits for one of the Hoyas’ biggest games of the year. The Bison limped to a 1-10 record in a season that began with the loss to the Hoyas and ended with a seven-game skid.

At stake is the D.C. Challenge Cup, which Georgetown is keen to retain, along with the local bragging rights that a victory would bring.

“We got the trophy last year, it’s right here on campus,” Kelly said. “We want to keep it here. You always want to beat your rival.”

Howard averaged only 80.8 yards per game on the ground last year, and with the departure of Karlos Whittaker, who led the Bison with 481 rushing yards on the season, Howard’s offense could once again struggle to consistently gain yardage.

Vs. Colgate, Oct. 17

Georgetown’s visit to Colgate was cancelled last year due to the norovirus outbreak, costing the Hoyas an opportunity to knock off the eventual conference champion. Colgate remains one of the Patriot League favorites, despite losing 11 starters from last season. Junior quarterback Greg Sullivan, sophomore running back Nate Eachus and senior wide receiver Pat Simonds give Colgate all-Patriot League-caliber players at the three most important skill positions, and Colgate has plenty of talent on defense, where they return seven starters.

After the cancellation of last year’s matchup, Kelly’s team relishes the chance to play the defending champs. This should be one of the toughest games on the Hoyas’ schedule, but Kelly spoke with great enthusiasm about wanting to play Colgate.

“That’s one less game these kids, especially with the seniors, didn’t get to play,” Kelly said. “You never want to miss any football games, and you want to play the champions. That’s how you measure yourself. You want to play against the best.”

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