CHRIS GRIVAS/THE HOYA
CHRIS GRIVAS/THE HOYA

Order has been restored; football is back. Indeed, gridiron-induced excitement on the Hilltop might not equal that of many other college campuses, but Head Coach Kevin Kelly and his Hoyas are ready to change that.

Last year was one to forget, as injuries saw Georgetown turn to its third-string quarterback before the calendar had even flipped to October. This time around, with a team led by 24 seniors, the Blue and Gray are looking to reach new heights in Kelly’s eighth year at the helm. It all starts Saturday at 1 p.m. as Georgetown travels to Staten Island, N.Y., for a matchup with Wagner College.

“Our goal this year is to win each and every game,” said Kelly. “If we practice well, everything else will take care of itself.”

Georgetown beat Wagner in week two of last season 13-10. The Seahawks later went on to win nine straight games before bowing out in the second round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. Georgetown redshirt senior quarterback Isaiah Kempf will need to be efficient and mistake free if he wants his team to be victorious Saturday night.

“We are healthy, and the quarterbacks have been playing very good football at this point,” said Kelly. “I see no reason why they won’t do well on Saturday.”

Perhaps the biggest question mark heading into Saturday’s opener is how the Hoyas will replace departed senior linebacker Robert McCabe, whose 159 total tackles a year ago were 46 more than the next highest tally in all of FCS.

“The neat thing about college football is that you’re going to have a new team every year,” said Kelly. “Rob is gone, but we have other guys that are going to come up and take his place and play well.”

Juniors Nick Alfieri, who started every game at safety a year ago, and Pat Boyle will be looking to fill the void left by McCabe not only at inside linebacker but as a leader as well.

“Everybody looked up to Rob because he was an excellent football player and he was a good college player,” said Kelly. “We’re counting on the 24 seniors that we do have to take on the leadership aspect.”

The inexperienced linebacker corps will be tested right away. Last season, Wagner averaged over 174 yards per game on the ground, and fifth year senior Dominique Williams, who averaged 102.2 rushing yards per game on his own last season, is back as one of the best ball carriers in FCS. The preseason All-American is a three-time team captain, but he was held to just 66 yards on 22 carries in last year’s loss on Multi-Sport field.

“Defensively we have to do a great job of stopping the run, and on offensive we have to be productive and hold the ball so the defense isn’t on the field all day,” said Kelly. “It’s going to be a whole team effort to beat Wagner, because they are an excellent football team.”

Wagner is first on the list of “others receiving votes” for the FCS top 25; they are exactly the type of quality opponent that Georgetown needs to beat in order to make an early statement in what could be a special season.

Juniors Nick Alfieri — who started every game at safety a year ago — and Pat Boyle will be looking to fill the void left by McCabe not only at inside linebacker but as a leader as well.

“Everybody looked up to Rob because he was an excellent football player and he was a good college player,” said Kelly. “We’re counting on the 24 seniors that we do have to take on the leadership aspect.”

The inexperienced linebacker corps will be tested right away. Last season, Wagner averaged over 174 yards per game on the ground, and fifth year senior Dominique Williams, who averaged 102.2 rushing yards per game on his own last season, is back as one of the best ball carriers in FCS. The preseason All-American is a three-time team captain, but he was held to just 66 yards on 22 carries in last year’s loss on Multi-Sport field.

“Defensively, we have to do a great job of stopping the run, and on offensive, we have to be productive and hold the ball so the defense isn’t on the field all day,” said Kelly. “It’s going to be a whole team effort to beat Wagner, because they are an excellent football team.”

Wagner is first on the list of “others receiving votes” for the FCS Top 25; they are exactly the type of quality opponent that Georgetown needs to beat in order to make an early statement in what could be a special season.

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