CHRIS BIEN/THE HOYA Sophomore running back Nick Campanella rushed for two touchdowns in the Hoyas’ season opener.
CHRIS BIEN/THE HOYA
Sophomore running back Nick Campanella rushed for two touchdowns in the Hoyas’ season opener.

Following wins against Davidson and Lafayette to open the season for the second straight year, Georgetown heads north to New Haven, Conn. this weekend to challenge Yale in the Ivy League squad’s season opener.

The Bulldogs handed the Blue and Gray their first loss of the 2010 campaign, which also happened to be Yale’s opener.

To walk away with a win and run their record to 3-0, theHoyas are aware that they must put together a better performance than they produced last Saturday.

“On defense we gave up a couple big plays and on offense we have to be more consistent moving the football,” Head Coach Kevin Kelly said. “We have to score more points. Fourteen points in our league is not going to get it done.”

Coming off a season in which they went 7-3, the Bulldogs were chosen to finish third in the Ivy League preseason poll.

But after a hard-fought, emotional win at MultiSport Facility on Saturday night against Patriot League rival Lafayette, the Hoyas are sure to be prepared going into their contest with Yale.

“We prepared really hard all week,” senior defensive end Andrew Schaetzke said. “We are going into the game ready to play.”

In last Saturday night’s low-scoring affair, punts and field position were the name of the game. Sophomore punter Matt MacZura, who was named Patriot League Special Teams player of the week, played a big part in keeping the Leopards far from the end zone. He racked up an average of 35.8 yards on nine punts, two of which landed inside the 20 yard line.

“Special teams was huge and our field position was big,” MacZura said. “Our coverage team and snapper did a great job getting the ball back and covering deep and it had a huge impact on the game.”

The defense was also all over the field, lead by Schaetzke and defensive backs Wayne Heimuli and Jeremy Moore, and hopes to continue its impressive performance, albeit with some improvements.

“The defense came together in the second half, especially, and made some big plays at some opportune times,” Schaetzke said. “But we can improve on penalties, especially, and stopping the big pass. There is always room for improvement”.

Adding to the Blue and Gray’s thirst to start the season 3-0 is the memory of last season’s loss against Yale. The Bulldogs drove down the field in the final 1:37, down two points, to win the game on the final play of the game when quarterback Patrick Witt ran the ball into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown.

Witt returns this season for his senior season as perhaps the best quarterback in the Ivy League and a dangerous presence against any defense. Last season he recorded 2,216 yards and 12 touchdowns through the air.

“They have an excellent quarterback; last year they rolled a bunch of yards against us,” Kelly said. “We have to slow them down so we can get more opportunities for our offense.”

Catching passes from Witt are Chris Smith, who snagged 46 catches last season, and Gio Christodoulu, a big play threat who averaged over 14 yards per reception and finished the season with 563 yards.

Smith and Christodoulu are also both dangerous on special teams, as the kick and punt returners, respectively, and have been a focus during this week’s preparation.

“We have to do a great job on our coverage units. We are well aware of [them],” Kelly said. “They have an excellent punt and kickoff return game and we are working especially hard on our coverage units this week.”

The Yale offense is also aided by running back Alex Thomas, who racked up 710 yards on the ground.

On defense, the Bulldogs are anticipated to have a major turnover from last season, as no returning player recorded more than two sacks in 2010.

The Bulldogs do, however, bring back linebacker and captain Jordan Haynes, who racked up 102 tackles, including 10 for losses.

Kickoff is set for tomorrow at noon.

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