The clash on MultiSport Facility this Saturday features two teams that will be looking to turn the tide in their respective seasons.
Fortunately for the Hoyas, the Bison are on a winless skid reminiscent of the Blue and Gray’s fruitless season last year, as they have yet to win a game in five attempts. The Hoyas’ current slide is miniscule in comparison, as its streak of futility spans only two games.
Head Coach Kevin Kelly said he believes that there is no reason to panic.
“We have flashes of doing well, but we are just not executing at full throttle at this point in time. We were six points away from winning the game last Saturday,” he said. “We just have to keep on plugging away and we will be fine.”
Aspects of Georgetown’s game have certainly been lagging recently, however. One of those is the Hoyas’ offensive production. In each of Georgetown’s first three games, the offense scored at least 20 points, but the Hoyas have not reached that mark in their last three contests.
One reason for these offensive difficulties is the team’s recent lack of success in the passing game, as the Hoyas have totaled 52 and 68 yards through the air in the past two weeks, respectively. Making matters worse, junior quarterback Scott Darby has not thrown a touchdown in the past two games, and he threw two interceptions last week after throwing only one in the first five games combined.
“A couple of those interceptions were pressure related,” Kelly said. “It’s not only the quarterback’s fault. He got hit, and the ball went up in the air.”
A bright spot from last week’s tough loss is the play of Georgetown’s defense, which picked off four passes, two of which were corralled by junior cornerback Jayah Kaisamba.
Kaisamba also recorded seven tackles and was named defensive back of the week honorable mention. The cornerback is currently first in the Patriot League and is tied for 11th in the FCS division with four interceptions on the season.
“Jayah is an excellent football player,” Kelly said. “He is coming into his own. Jayah is a big playmaker for us.”
Kaisamba has a great opportunity to add to his interception total tomorrow as the Blue and Gray face a relatively inexperienced quarterback, freshman Brandon Wesley, who has thrown two touchdowns and three interceptions so far this season.
Bucknell’s major threat, though, is its sophomore running back, Tyler Smith, who also leads the Bison with 18 receptions.
“We have to stop the run. We have to play our base defense and force a lot of third and longs,” Kelly said. “We have got to rush the passer since they have a freshman quarterback.”
If the Blue and Gray offense bounces back and the defense can contain the Bison offense, the Hoyas will be able to accomplish what Kelly calls “a big milestone” – winning three games in the Patriot League.
Saturday’s matchup will also carry significance for the Bison as it represents their first Patriot League game of the season.
“I told the guys that they [Bucknell] have the same goals that you guys have,” Kelly said. “Right now they probably are thinking that this is a new season for them. Traditionally, they have given us a hard time.”