A week off has done the Hoyas well.

Enjoying a much-needed bye week after routing the VMI Keydets 21-0 at Homecoming, the Hoyas have spent the time off to get players healthy, rested and refocused to face the Monmouth Hawks tomorrow in West Long Branch, N.J.

“The off week is very timely,” Georgetown Head Coach Bob Benson said. “We won Homecoming, and we have momentum going into this part of the season.”

The Hoyas (2-4, 0-3 Patriot) will need that momentum when they take on the Hawks (6-1, 3-1 Northeast). Monmouth is on a three game win-streak, most recently winning a 25-24 match over Albany in which the Hawks kicked the go-ahead field goal as time expired.

Monmouth has made itself out to be something of a come-from-behind specialist. In the only meeting between the Hoyas and Hawks, Monmouth posted a comeback victory over Georgetown with an 11-play, 69-yard drive that made the score 12-10 in the final minute, stealing the win from Georgetown with only 17.8 seconds left on the clock.

While Benson said “you don’t forget” about a loss like the one the Hoyas suffered at the hands of the Hawks last year, he added that his players are not going to let the past hold them back.

In its last game, on Oct. 9, Georgetown had one of its best performances in years, shutting out VMI with tough defense and an offensive outburst.

On offense, the Hoyas put up season highs in rushing, passing and total offense. Senior quarterback Drew Crawford, who will start tomorrow, completed 12-of-16 passes for 188 yards, and junior tailback Kim Sarin rushed for 180 yards, his third 100-yard rushing game this year. Sarin is averaging 99.5 yards a game and is on pace for a 1,000-yard rushing season, but he will have to get through the Hawks first.

Monmouth is currently 12th in the nation in yards allowed, giving up just 97.57 yards on the ground per game.

The Georgetown defense is formidable as well, led by defensive ends junior Michael Ononibaku and sophomore Alex Buzbee.

At Homecoming, the Hoyas limited the Keydets to only 156 yards of total offense and two third-down conversions. This week their focus will be on Monmouth senior running back Joe Migliore, who has taken a bulk of the Hawk offensive responsibilities, averaging 56 yards per game rushing.

Georgetown will need to shut down Migliore and put up another defensive stand to defeat the Hawks.

Special teams will also play a role in tomorrow’s game. The Hoyas have concentrated on special teams this week as well since, during last year’s meeting, multiple kicking blunders led to three missed field goal opportunities that might have changed the game’s outcome.

Most importantly, the Hoyas took advantage of having a week off by using the time to get players healthy and rested, Benson said. The Hoyas have had many players injured during the first half of the season, forcing them to come into and out of games on a week-to-week basis.

Key players, including juniors running back Marcus Slayton, tight end Glenn Castergine and Sarin, have been injured and used this time to recuperate. Castergine, who spent much of the early season in physical therapy, returned in full force last week, tallying six receptions for 125 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown.

“We are glad that he is healthy,” Benson said. “We are still working on ways to get him the ball.”

Getting the ball in the air – to Castergine and others – will be a necessity for the Hoyas to get their second straight win. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow at Kessler Field.

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