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

Hoyas Take on Leopards in Patriot Opener

Aaron Terrazas/The Hoya Junior tailback Kim Sarin breaks away for one of his 21 rushes during last Saturday’s game against St. Francis. Sarin ran for 154 yards and the Hoyas are counting on another strong performance.

The Hoyas silenced preseason critics on Saturday with a dominating 36-7 win over the St. Francis (Pa.) Red Flash.

In what was a special-teams showcase, junior placekicker Michael Gillman set a new school record and tied a Patriot League record with five field goals in a game. Georgetown also blocked a punt, returned a fumble for a touchdown and committed no turnovers in the virtually flawless onslaught of St. Francis.

Head Coach Bob Benson said that the Hoyas must play the same opportunistic football to win their first Patriot League game of the season versus the Lafayette Leopards tomorrow on Harbin Field at 1 p.m.

Georgetown (1-0) holds an all-time 3-4 record against Lafayette (1-0). The two teams have played each other in each of the past three seasons, with the Leopards holding a 2-1 edge. Last year, the Hoyas stole a win from the teeth of the Leopards, winning at Lafayette 17-10 in a game capped by a fourth quarter go-ahead touchdown by Georgetown.

Benson said he realizes that this year Lafayette will look to avenge its heart-breaking home defeat with a Patriot League road win. He emphasized the importance of this game to Georgetown’s football program to his players and, for this reason, Benson circled the game-date with Lafayette in red marker.

“It is one of the biggest games we will play in my 12 years with this program,” Benson said.

One of the largest factors in the Hoyas’ racking up 347 yards of total offense against the Red Flash last weekend was the work of junior tailback Kim Sarin. Sarin, named a starter during summer workouts, carried the ball 21 times for 154 yards. This performance earned him Patriot League offensive player of the week honors. Sarin and the Georgetown backs will face a formidable task when they face a Lafayette defense that allowed just 137 total yards against Marist.

“[Lafayette is] very active on defense,” Benson said. “They put on a lot of pressure and they are well-coached. We plan on giving them a bunch of different looks on offense.”

After senior quarterback Drew Crawford’s respectable 11-for-20, 100-yard passing performance on Saturday, the quarterback controversy between Crawford and sophomore quarterback Keith Allan is still without a clear-cut winner. Crawford, who started 11 of the Hoyas’ 12 games last season, will get the start, but Benson said that if Allan is healthy enough to play, he may also see some action.

The largest concern last Saturday had to do with Georgetown’s dismal red zone efficiency. The Hoyas took their offense into the red zone on seven drives, but stifled inside, scoring a touchdown on only two occasions.

Benson attributed Georgetown’s inefficiency to St. Francis’ blitz. In practice this week the Hoyas worked on handling red zone blitzes. Handling the pressure, Benson said, is something he hopes will come with time.

On defense the Hoyas will have to deal with the multi-facetted Lafayette attack led by sophomore quarterback Brad Maurer. Last week against Marist, Maurer used his arm to pass an efficient 4-of-6, but his legs proved the more potent, racking up 67 yards rushing on eight carries. Benson said that this week’s defensive drills focused on filling running gaps and clogging up passing lanes to contain the mobile Leopard quarterback.

Lafayette’s true offensive success rests almost squarely on the legs of senior tailback Joe McCourt. The All-League back has compiled two consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and his 3,367 career rushing yards are seventh all-time in the Patriot League. McCourt will look to build on his two-touchdown performance against Marist and carry the workload for the Leopards.

Benson identified his biggest priority on defense as stopping cCourt. The Georgetown defense certainly stopped the St. Francis rushing game last week, allowing a mere 13 yards on 28 rushes. The Hoyas will look to hold the Leopards’ offense to under 21 points, a magic number beneath which they are 60-13 under Benson.

The Georgetown game plan is simple. Benson began setting out his keys to winning by reiterating that Georgetown must stop McCourt to win. They must also “take care of Georgetown” and “avoid mental mistakes.”

Most importantly, Benson added, “We can’t allow big plays . We need to be 1-0 in [the Patriot] League.”

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