The Hoyas will finally be able to eat at Leo’s this weekend.
Well, at least it’s an option.
Following a tough three-game stretch on the road to open its season, Georgetown (1-2, 0-1 Patriot League) will don its home-blue jerseys for the first time in 2008 when Holy Cross visits the nation’s capital tomorrow afternoon.
The Crusaders (0-2, 0-0) will open their Patriot League schedule coming off of two losses that were eerily similar to the setbacks suffered by the San Diego Chargers in weeks one and two of the current NFL season.
The University of Massachusetts used a 42-yard field goal as time expired to take out Holy Cross 45-42 in its season opener. The following week, Harvard outscored them 19-7 in the fourth quarter and came away with a late 25-24 victory. The Crusaders will clearly be hungry for their first win.
“Being balanced is the key, and that’s what we’re looking to do,” Georgetown Head Coach Kevin Kelly said. “We need to sustain drives and move the chains. Holy Cross is coming off two tough non-conference losses. They’re an excellent football team.”
Unlike the Hoyas’ last two opponents, Holy Cross does not focus its offensive effort on the ground. Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph has thrown for 488 yards and four touchdowns through his first two games, and for his career, he has racked up over 6,300 yards and 53 touchdowns. So far this season, the Crusaders have thrown the ball nearly two-thirds of the time.
This formidable passing game does not bode well for Georgetown, as Yale, a team that boasts an all-American running back, torched the Hoya secondary for 361 yards and four aerial scores. So what can a team that actually builds its offense around the pass accomplish? The answer will go a long way toward deciding the game.
After two solid efforts, the Georgetown defense was finally exposed at the Yale Bowl. While the Hoyas continued to be stout against the run, limiting star senior running back Mike McLeod to just 78 yards on 22 carries, the secondary was porous and the front seven was able to register just one sack that came in the fourth quarter with the outcome no longer in doubt.
For the Blue and Gray, the offensive struggles continue – through three games, they are averaging 8.3 points per game. Although senior wide receiver Kenny Mitchell (four catches, 50 yards and a TD) had another nice day last week, Georgetown was not effective enough through the air, especially without the help of a consistent ground game.
Hoya quarterbacks have averaged only 5.3 yards per pass, while the rushing attack is producing just 2.2 yards per carry. The offense is very young, and the passing game has shown some promise early in the year – the combination of freshman passer James Brady and sophomore athlete Keerome Lawrence has shown glimpses of potential as a lethal quarterback tandem. But nothing of note has come out of the backfield so far.
“We just need better execution,” Kelly said. “On the perimeter, we’ve been poor when we’ve been running the option. We’ll need to find different ways to move the football.”
Yet the Holy Cross defense may present a good matchup for the Hoyas. Through two games, the Crusaders have allowed an astronomical 765 yards through the air, but they have done a nice job limiting the run – an offensive aspect in which Georgetown is not very effective at the moment. With two struggling pass defenses taking the field tomorrow, the Blue and Gray faithful may be in for a shoot-out, which could include Brady’s official coming-out party.
Regardless of the game plan or the opponent, it will be a relief for the Hoyas to finally stay on campus for tomorrow’s game.
“It’s definitely nice to have a normal week with no travel,” Kelly said. “The buses are nice, but after a long football game, and our guys having to sit on a long bus ride late at night, [they aren’t] very fun. We’ll get to sleep in our own beds and eat something other than submarine sandwiches, and all the parents will be here, so it’s a good thing.”
Home cooking may be just what Georgetown needs.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at the Multi-Sport Facility.