Graphic By Charles Nailen/The Hoya Head Coach Bob Benson and the Paulus brothers are all determined to reshape the face of Georgetown football.

After three one-sided losses to Patriot League opponents, the Hoyas return home this weekend to Kehoe Field to face off against a familiar foe, the Duquesne Dukes, a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the league Georgetown competed in until 1999.

Both teams are looking to recover from bad losses last weekend, while Georgetown is still looking to notch its first victory of the season in its annual Homecoming game.

In an emotionally charged game that featured a pre-game memorial to honor the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, the Hoyas were defeated soundly by the Fordham Rams, 48-13. The Hoya offense performed well, amassing 400 yards of offense, but could not capitalize on scoring opportunities. The Hoya defense had considerable difficulty containing the Ram offense, surrendering 500 yards of total offense and allowing Fordham to pass for more than 300 yards.

The Dukes, meanwhile, suffered their first loss of the season to the Dayton Fliers, 42-16, at their home field, lowering their record to 3-1.

Georgetown Head Coach Bob Benson said in no uncertain terms that this is an important game for the Hoyas.

“We need a win,” Benson said.

He also said the team needs to put its early season struggles behind them, but at the same time not forget the lessons learned in them.

“You’ve got to stay upbeat. You’ve got to stay positive. You’ve got to stay focused,” he said. “You’ve got to have a sense of urgency . we’ve got to do it now.”

Benson said he has been pleased with elements of each of the team’s performances, but that the team needs to “put it all together.”

“There’s a lot of good things going on here,” he said. “This team is so close to clicking.”

Duquesne and Georgetown last met Oct. 14, 2000, when the Dukes beat the Hoyas 44-20 by scoring 21 unanswered fourth quarter points to turn what had been a close game into a romp.

Duquesne running back Donte Small ran for a school-record 290 yards in the game, and then-Georgetown quarterback Dave Paulus threw for 300-plus yards for the second time in his career.

The Duquesne offense features a high-flying attack, including Small and wide receiver Jeremy Conley, who Benson called “probably the best receiver I’ve seen.”

Conley has already amassed 489 yards of receiving and scored eight touchdowns. He is averaging 122.2 yards per game of receiving yards.

Duquesne is averaging nearly 400 yards of offense and 30 points per game, and has beaten the Virginia Military Institute, Saint Peter’s and Butler.

Georgetown is averaging 225 yards of offense and 10.5 points per game, and has lost to Fordham, Holy Cross and I-AA nationally ranked Lehigh, but should fare better against an opponent from a league in which Georgetown won or shared conference titles in three of its last four years in the league.

Last year, Georgetown defeated Butler in a thrilling 57-56 overtime victory in its homecoming game. The Hoyas posted nearly 600 yards of total offense, with then-senior Gharun Hester compiling a five-touchdown, 271-yard performance.

Benson said the team is in good spirits despite their recent losses. “Practices were excellent [Tuesday],” he said.

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