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

GU’s Field Position Will Decide Lafayette Game

Football is a game of inches. The team that fights for the extra yard is usually going to be the team that wins the ballgame.

Indeed, the field position battle will be critical this Saturday as the Lafayette Leopards (3-1, 1-0 Patriot) come to the ulti-Sport Facility to oppose the Hoyas (2-2, 1-1).

“We drove the ball 50 or 60 yards [against Stony Brook] but then we didn’t score,” Head Coach Bob Benson said of last weekend’s game. “We’ve got to give the offense better field position.”

Though the offense only managed 10 points, it was just enough to defeat Stony Brook. The Hoyas managed 257 total yards – 15 shy of their season average – and put the ball in the end zone only once. And though there were two fumbles and an interception, the Hoyas recovered both fumbles, and the interception came on their first possession of the game and did not lead to a Stony Brook score.

Field position, as Benson mentioned, will be critical to increasing the offensive output. In the first half against Stony Brook, Georgetown did not score, and its best starting field position was on its own 33-yard line.

Though the defense allowed only 228 yards and seven points, Stony Brook was consistently driving the ball into Georgetown territory before punting, putting the Hoyas in a difficult starting position.

In the second half, Georgetown’s starting field position improved and, not coincidentally, the Hoyas were able to put 10 points on the board. Time of possession in last Saturday’s contest was a dead heat, and for Georgetown to have more success it needs to control the football for more of the game.

Still, winning the Stony Brook game, despite an offense that was stagnant for most of the afternoon, should give Benson’s squad some confidence. They will need it against a Lafayette defense that has allowed just 52 points and is considered one of the best in the league.

“They are very balanced,” Benson said. “Their defense is excellent. They are well coached. Their defense is similar to ours.”

The Lafayette defense is anchored by three senior linebackers: aurice Bennett, Blake Costanzo and Dion Witherspoon. Each has led the squad in tackles in one of the Leopards’ first four games.

“Lafayette is winning, they believe they can win and they’re very well coached,” Benson continued. Lafayette’s one loss this season was to Princeton on the same day that Georgetown fell to Brown.

Both the defense and the special teams were pointed to as reasons for Georgetown’s last two losses, and both made nice turnarounds against Stony Brook. Senior kicker Brad Scoffern earned a field goal, and special teams held the Seawolves to negative yardage on punt returns. Of his special teams, Benson said, “We’ve got to be a complete team, win the field position, and give our defense an advantage.”

The defense also made a nice improvement. After allowing 48 and 34 points in losses to Holy Cross and Brown, Georgetown turned things around and allowed just the one touchdown. To keep stifling its opponents, according to Benson, the defense must, “Stay together, play together and be physical.”

Though the schedule to date has been exceptionally difficult – an offensive juggernaut in Holy Cross, one of the Ivy’s finest in Brown, and now the Patriot League defending champions – it only gets tougher. After Lafayette, Georgetown is set to oppose Duquesne, Cornell and Fordham. Along with this Saturday’s game, the contests against Duquesne and Fordham will be at home.

Benson is hoping for a high fan turnout. After drawing over 1,000 students for the home opener, the Hoyas are hoping for an equally responsive student body this Saturday. Still, Benson put some of the onus on his team to draw a crowd.

“Students appreciate good products, so we have to win, and we have to win against Patriot League opponents,” Benson said. “We’re looking forward to coming home. . It’s a great place to play, and we’re hoping the students will come out.”

As Georgetown football hopes to draw bigger crowds, creating strong rivalries with Patriot League opponents is a necessary first step. And after a number of close games over the past few seasons, Lafayette has become a rival for Georgetown, according to Benson. Lafayette won last year’s contest, 17-6.

A Hoya win on Saturday would certainly contribute to that rivalry. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. at the Multi-Sport Facility.

Donate to The Hoya

Your donation will support the student journalists of Georgetown University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hoya