Peyton Williams/Georgetown Sports Information Junior quarterback Andrew Crawford gets pummeled by Keydet sophomore defensive end Christian Johnson during the Hoyas’ 42-14 defeat Saturday at Alumni Memorial Stadium.

Mistakes on special teams, on third-down coverage and in red zone offense cost the Hoyas their fourth loss of the year, dropping them to 0-4 for the first time since 1989.

Georgetown, which has been outscored by its opponents in the first quarter, 31-7, surrendered two touchdowns in the opening 15 minutes of a 42-14 defeat at the hands of Virginia Military Institute on Saturday. The Keydets tallied 514 total yards and scored the most points since Sept. 9, 1995.

The decision made by the coaching staff late last week to replace sophomore punter Rob Smith with freshman Keith Allan improved Georgetown special teams play, as the Hoyas raised their average punt distance from 30.9 yards in the first three games to 44 yards against VMI. But the Keydets blocked a 39-yard field goal attempt by sophomore Michael Gillman late in the second half and Gillman missed another attempt, this time from 42 yards out in the fourth quarter.

Georgetown’s secondary made mistakes on several third down plays, as VMI converted 10 of 13 but the Hoyas made just seven of 15. On their first drive of the game, Keydet freshman quarterback Jonathan Wilson completed a 23-yard toss to sophomore running back Sean Mizzer, getting his team into Hoya territory and out of a difficult third-and-12. Four plays later, sophomore quarterback Kurt Monteleone flipped the ball deep to junior wide receiver Greg Carlson for a 42-yard touchdown, converting a third-and-16.

“They moved the ball but we struggled to stop them,” Georgetown head coach Bob Benson said. “We have to improve on [defense] and stop giving up these big passes.”

Hoya junior quarterback Andrew Crawford threw three interceptions. His team committed three fumbles, though the only one it lost was committed by Crawford midway through the first quarter as the Hoyas were marching toward their first score of the afternoon. Georgetown was just 2-of-6 in converting red zone opportunities into points.

Despite the offensive struggles, senior wideout Luke McArdle still leads the nation with 202.75 all-purpose yards per game, and is second in Division I-AA with 121 receiving yards per contest.

Freshman passer Alondzo Turner entered the lineup on just the second drive of the game – his earliest entry to date. Turner made several key plays on Georgetown’s first scoring march of the afternoon, including a fourth-down conversion and a one-yard plunge for the score.

The match was fairly clean compared to recent ones, as the teams combined for just five penalties for 50 yards.

The Keydets jumped on the board early, taking advantage of a three-and-out by the Hoyas on their first possession of the day. Allan pinned VMI deep in its own territory with a 59-yard punt, but Wilson led the Keydets 92 yards on eight plays to go up 7-0.

Crawford’s fumble at the Keydet 15-yard line cost the Hoyas a valuable scoring opportunity late in the first half. VMI wore away at the Georgetown defense to take a 14-0 with just seconds to go in the opening quarter.

“We’ve got to jump on people, not let them jump on us,” Benson said. “We’re not doing the little things we need to do to be effective.”

Georgetown managed to counter on the ensuing drive, marching 79 yards for its first score. The Keydets exploded from there, however, going 68 yards in 10 plays to extend their lead back to two touchdowns. A 27-yard pass from Wilson to sophomore splitback Gary Price highlighted the series. VMI was also the first team to get on the board in the second half, moving the chains on third-and-five at its own 33, third-and-12 at its own 41 and third-and-11 at the Hoyas’ 13 for six points.

Crawford helped his team to answer back, capping off a drive with a 46-yard lob to senior wide receiver Walter Bowser to close the margin to 28-14. The Hoyas got no closer, though, as the Keydets immediately answered back with two marches – one of three plays for 65 yards and a second of five plays for 43 yards, squashing any Georgetown hope for a comeback.

The Hoyas (0-4, 0-2 Patriot) open the second month of their season Saturday at Lafayette in Easton, Pa. The Leopards (2-1, 0-1 Patriot) defeated Princeton last weekend, 28-13.

“September was a very hard month for us. We’re looking forward to October,” Benson said.

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