Charles Nailen/The Hoya Sophomore tailback Marcus Slayton will be a key player for Georgetown Saturday against VMI.

The last time Georgetown and the Virginia Military Institute faced off on the gridiron, the Hapsburgs still held sway over much of Eastern Europe and William Howard Taft was the U.S. president.

It has been nearly 93 years since the Hoyas last battled the Keydets, coming away with a 14-6 win. The site of the match, old Hilltop Field, was a large grassy area on the present site of White Gravenor and Copley Hall. Old-style gridlines had been painted on the field and fans still sat atop the stone wall that marked the campus boundary.

In that contest, quarterback Harry Costello gave Georgetown an early lead, racing 50 yards for a touchdown after just two minutes of play. The Hoyas ended the 1910 season 6-1-1.

A new generation of Georgetown football players takes the field this Saturday against VMI at Lexington, Va. These Hoyas look to end a three-game losing skid, particularly after a disheartening last-second loss at home to Monmouth last weekend.

“I’ve been coaching since 1986 and I’ve never lost two games in the last seconds over three weeks,” head coach Bob Benson said. “I’ve never seen that and I’ll probably never see that again.”

Freshman quarterback Alondzo Turner has been an essential part of the Hoya backfield in the first three competitions of the year, leading the offense on scoring drives in each. Despite his versatility, he has thrown just two passes – both completions – for 21 yards. Nonetheless, he averages 25 yards on the ground and 6.3 rush attempts per game.

Sophomore placekicker Michael Gillman makes his second start of the season, after a rough opener last week against the Hawks. He converted one PAT but missed two of three attempted field goals. The Monmouth defense blocked a 19-yard try and Gillman had a 35-yard attempt sail wide left.

But kicking problems are just some of the problems that have plagued the Hoyas in recent weeks. Junior starting quarterback Andrew Crawford threw three interceptions and was sacked five times against Monmouth. Sophomore Rob Smith averaged just 30.9 yards per punt. Senior linebacker Andrew Clarke had just five tackles.

This week, Benson expects to “put it all together offensively and defensively.” The coaching staff has tinkered with the lineup, particularly on the offensive line. Senior Ty Hollister moves to tackle, while junior Chris Riley jumps over to guard. Georgetown also looks to fine-tune its special teams play, as freshman Keith Allan will take over the punting duties.

The Hoyas’ opponents, the 2-2 Keydets, scored 21 unanswered points in the second half en route to a 34-9 rout of Norfolk State last Saturday. Sophomore running back Sean Mizzer rushed for 104 yards on 17 carries. It was the third-straight contest in which he surpassed the century mark. Sophomore wide receiver Zohn Burden caught five passes for 124 yards and a score.

Parents’ Weekend in Lexington helped draw 7,840 spectators to last weekend’s match. The Keydets celebrate Homecoming weekend with their competition against the Hoyas. Georgetown leads the all-time series 5-0, though all matches were played before World War I.

“There’s nothing better than ruining a Homecoming,” Benson said.

Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Alumni Memorial Field.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.