Football | Turnovers Doom Hoyas in 31-10 Loss

If one were to look at the stat sheet from Saturday’s game against the Dartmouth Big Green (1-0, 0-0 Ivy League) without looking at the final score, he would probably assume that the Georgetown Hoyas (1-2, 0-0 Patriot League) got the win. Georgetown had more first downs, more total yards on offense, fewer penalties and 13 more minutes of time of possession. However, turnovers ultimately doomed the Hoyas. After senior quarterback Kyle Nolan threw two interceptions and fumbled once, Georgetown fell 31-10 to the visitors from Dartmouth College.

Dartmouth’s senior quarterback Dalyn Williams was a thorn in the Georgetown defense’s side throughout the game, going 18-for-29 for 155 yards with one touchdown pass and rushing 10 times for 41 yards and one rushing touchdown. Georgetown struggled to stifle the dual-threat quarterback, and his ability to keep plays alive for Dartmouth was critical to its offensive success.

“We expected him to be very agile and a mobile quarterback. I felt like we needed to contain the quarterback, and that was our goal going in,” senior linebacker Matthew Satchell said, after notching nine tackles total, including two tackles for losses. “Everything they did, we expected them to do. We just needed to make more tackles and make more turnovers, which we didn’t do.”

Nolan threw for 308 yards and one touchdown on 31-of-53 passing, but had three turnovers. The receiving corps of junior wide receiver Justin Hill, senior receiver Jake DeCicco and junior tight end Matthew Buckman had a great day. The trio caught a combined total of 22 passes, with Hill snagging eight of those for 101 yards.

Georgetown’s passing stats were so high partially because of the complete ineffectiveness of the Hoyas’ running game. Dartmouth’s defense kept senior running back Jo’el Kimpela in check from start to finish, limiting him to 29 total yards on 14 carries for a measly average of 2.1 yards per rush attempt. The offensive balance crucial to Georgetown’s first win over Marist was nearly nonexistent against the Big Green, and the one-dimensional offense made the Dartmouth defense’s job much easier.

Also contributing to the lack of rushing yards was the ineffectiveness of the Hoyas’ offensive line due to several injuries at multiple positions.

“The whole team has a next-man-up mentality,” Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said. “Does it hurt to have a couple of guys down? Yeah, it absolutely does, but we have confidence in the guys that play.”

Senior left tackle Kevin Liddy was moved to right tackle, and backup sophomore right guard Matthew Houpert got the start at center. Houpert had several low snaps during the game that pushed the Hoyas back, and it was clear that the mix-up on the offensive line affected its performance negatively.

“It changes the game a little bit, but Matt Houpert did a great job today. There were a couple that were low, but that’s alright. We built up a little bit of chemistry and going into next game we’ll have another week in the books,” Nolan said.

Georgetown started the scoring off in the first quarter on a beautiful pass from Nolan to Buckman for 31 yards to make it 7-0. After Dartmouth’s first two drives ended in three-and-outs, Williams and his offense woke up and tied the game. After a 63-yard punt return from Dartmouth senior wide receiver Ryan McManus to the Georgetown 10-yard line, Williams scampered in for the 9-yard touchdown.

On Georgetown’s next drive, Dartmouth senior safety Troy Donahue made an interception and returned it 35 yards to the Hoyas’ 13-yard line. Senior running back Brian Grove ran it in on the next play for the touchdown to make it 14-7. Nolan threw another interception in the second quarter that was returned all the way for the touchdown.

“You can’t turn the ball over and you can’t turn the ball over for points,” Sgarlata said. “We just shot ourselves in the foot at some critical times. The turnovers and the points off turnovers were just huge today.”

All that Georgetown could muster after the first possession was junior kicker Henry Darmstadter’s field goal in the second quarter. Georgetown’s second straight game was held scoreless in the second half.

The Hoyas will face Ivy League opponents for the next two games, with two straight road games at Columbia and Harvard. Columbia has lost 22 straight games, and the Hoyas will look to keep that streak going Saturday with kickoff set for 1 p.m.

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