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 End Season on Disappointing Note, Fall to Fordham

If it existed, the back of a student section T-shirt for the Georgetown football team might read “Patriot League Doormat . since 2001.”

On Saturday afternoon at Jack Coffey Field in the Bronx, N.Y., the Hoyas closed out another unremarkable season with a 17-0 loss to the Fordham Rams. The setback dropped Georgetown to 2-8 overall and 0-5 in the Patriot League for the 2008 campaign, and marked the program’s eighth straight losing season since joining the Patriot League in 2001. The Hoyas have compiled a 6-44 record in the conference over this period, and a 24-64 overall mark.

In 2008, despite the departure of quarterback Matt Bassuener [SFS ’08], the school’s all-time leader in completion percentage and passing yardage, Head Coach Kevin Kelly’s third season commenced with a renewed sense of optimism after a productive offseason and the return of 15 other starters on offense and defense.

In the season opener, a ball-hawking defense forced four turnovers, and Georgetown beat Howard 12-7 in the inaugural D.C. Cup. A 1-0 start equaled the 2007 win total and provided high hopes for the rest of 2008. However, inexperience at quarterback, a multitude of injuries and the lack of a consistent backfield threat slowed Georgetown, and the Hoyas stumbled to seven straight losses.

The running and passing quarterback combo of freshman James Brady and sophomore Keerome Lawrence provided some notable highlights, but the two signal callers struggled to consistently move the Hoya offense and were often times very mistake-prone. The absence of 2006 Patriot League Rookie of the Year Charlie Houghton for the entire season slowed a running attack that desperately sought a power burst out of the backfield, and a veteran Hoya defense that was much improved from 2007 was forced to spend too much time on the field.

At the very least, the 2008 Hoya campaign could be characterized by inabilities to convert and a tendency toward costly turnovers. Last week’s victory over Marist provided a brief respite and a celebratory home send-off for the seniors, but against Fordham, the Blue and Gray failed to build on their new found momentum. The Rams, the Patriot League champions of 2007 and the preseason champions of 2008, had not met expectations and, at 0-4, had not won a league contest.

However, on Saturday, Georgetown never entered the red zone and tallied only 99 yards of total offense, 29 of which came on the ground. In contrast, the Rams held the ball for over 40 minutes and amassed nearly 400 yards of total offense.

“I thought defensively we played a good game, and offensively we struggled; we couldn’t move the ball. It was unfortunate because it was the last game for our seniors,” Head Coach Kevin Kelly said.

The contest featured the first significant action from freshman quarterback Scott Darby, who entered the game late in the first quarter. However, the freshman could only engineer three consecutive three-and-outs, which prompted Kelly to place Lawrence back at quarterback in the third quarter. The sophomore proceeded to toss his second interception of the contest, which gave Fordham the ball at the Georgetown 29-yard line and set up the second Ram touchdown. In the fourth quarter, Darby moved the Hoya offense to the Fordham 25-yard line, but on a third-and-10, he was sacked. On the ensuing fourth-and-17, the Massachusetts native completed a pass to sophomore slot receiver Mychal Harrison for only seven yards, and Georgetown turned the ball over on downs. The Hoyas did not threaten again.

Darby will compete next season with Lawrence and Brady for time at the helm of the Hoya offense. “We’re going to evaluate what we’ve done offensively this year before going into spring practice to decide on a QB,” Kelly said.

For the Hoyas, an offseason once again provides reason for renewed hope. “We’ve only got 14 seniors. I’m very excited about the group of young men we have returning,” Kelly said. Spring practice begins March 18, 2009.

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