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 Search for QB to Complement Talented Offense

In terms of personnel, there is not much uncertainty surrounding the Georgetown offense this year. With a glut of returning players at running back and wide receiver and an experienced line, most of the pieces are falling into place for Head Coach Kevin Kelly.

The problem is, the one question mark is a big bold query in the middle of the field: who will take the reins as the regular quarterback?

Likely to be under center is sophomore Keerome Lawrence – for now at least. Even though Lawrence will start next Saturday at Howard, there are three freshmen in the mix that could see time at quarterback. According to Kelly, James Brady, Scott Darby and Tucker Stafford have all shown strengths that he would like to use on the field.

If Lawrence sees most of the snaps this seasons, he will have big shoes to fill after the graduation of two-year starter Matt Bassuener (SFS ’08), who completed 66.8 percent of his passes last year for over 1,800 yards. Bassuener was also second on the team in rushing with 308 yards on the ground and compiled 12 total touchdowns.

Even without last year’s leading receiver, fullback Kyle Van Fleet (MSB ’08) or wide receiver Brent Craft (MSB ’08), the Hoyas have a lot of returning talent at running back and wide receiver.

“We’re still young, but we have experience,” Kelly said. “The only position without much of any experience is quarterback.”

Expect Lawrence, who will be lined up in the shotgun formation more often than he is under center, to be pitching the ball, running it himself or throwing quick slant routes. The fleet-footed quarterback from New Haven, Conn., will have plenty of playmakers around him to receive his pitches and quick hits. Junior Charlie Houghton, who suffered a minor foot injury in the preseason, will likely be the featured running back.

Two years ago, Houghton scampered for over 400 yards and was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year. The Canadian running back led the team in rushing and came in second in receiving last year.

“To me, he’s the best back in the Patriot League,” Kelly said. “We’ve got to find a lot of ways to get him touches.”

The elusive sophomore slotback Mychal Harrison was used as both a running back and wide receiver last year. Against Yale, one of the Hoyas’ best games last season, Harrison caught 12 balls and found the end zone. Harrison accounted for 74 yards of total offense as Georgetown racked up 372 yards on the game, the second highest total the 9-1 Bulldogs allowed all season. Harrison will also see time as a kick returner.

“Mychal is a slot,” Kelly explains. “Our slot is a hybrid – part running back, part wide receiver. He catches the ball very well . and he’s had a very good preseason.”

Senior Sidney Baker and junior Robert Lane should be on the receiving end of many of Lawrence’s slants and longer passes. Baker caught 28 balls for 255 yards last year, averaging just over nine yards per catch.

Lane did a little bit of everything last season, rushing for 155 yards, hauling in 20 passes for 178 yards and throwing for 22 yards. Though he spent most of the second half of the season backing up Bassuener, Lane scored three touchdowns – one rushing, receiving and passing. Back in the slot this year, Lane should have more touches on the ball.

“Lane is a true football player. He can play a lot of positions for us,” Kelly said. “He gives us a little bit of a physical presence. You know when he’s out there – he loves to play football.”

Kelly added that Lane is talented enough to be a starter on defense as well.

According to the head coach, freshman Dishon Hughes has a chance to start at wide receiver and will see plenty of time there this season. Kelly also tabbed freshmen Chance Logan and Jeremiah Kayal as other new faces likely to contribute on offense.

Senior Kenny Mitchell, a return specialist, and junior Rick Cosgrove, a big target when he is not sidelined with injuries, could also see time at wide receiver.

Anchoring the offensive line will be junior co-captain Dan Matheny. Joining him will be a troop of familiar faces. Juniors Kelvin Moses, George Mosle and Jon Medina and sophomore Rob Bates have all played with Matheny for a year.

“A lot of [the offensive line] played as freshmen, and now they’re bigger, faster, stronger,” Kelly said. “They’ve been together, most of them, for two, three years now, and they’re starting to gel.”

The continuity up front and variety of playmakers at the skill positions will be needed for the spread offense the Hoyas run.

“We do a lot of things. We have several formations, motions, shifts,” Kelly said. “It’s a wide open type of offense. We use a lot of skill position guys and a lot of speed, and what we try to do is get some one-on-one situations.”

So while the Hoyas may not be competing with the top offenses in college ball, they will look to take down Patriot League defenses with their slew of talented skill players.

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