FOOTBALL | Brown to Challenge Depleted Defense
Published: Friday, September 20, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 20, 2013 01:09
It’s easy to say that the Georgetown football team (2-1) is looking for revenge against Brown tomorrow in Providence, R.I. Brown leads Georgetown in the all-time series 3-0 and last season, the Bears spoiled the Hoyas’ homecoming weekend by embarrassing the Hoyas, 37-10. Tomorrow, the Blue and Gray are looking to do more than just avenge last season’s loss.
“Going in against Brown, we expect to win the football game. It is going to be a tough task,” Head Coach Kevin Kelly said. “It is just another opportunity. We didn’t play well against Brown on homecoming last year. It was closer than the score probably indicated.”
Georgetown enters tomorrow’s game a week removed from a shocking 43-23 loss to Marist. The Hoyas, who were without key players, gave up a staggering 505 yards of total offense to the Red Foxes, including a season-high 230 rushing yards.
The Blue and Gray will look to get back in the win column against the Bears. Brown — perennial Ivy League contenders — returns eight offensive starters as well as the core of their defense.
“[Brown] is a very good football program — very solid, physical program,” Kelly said. “We have had a great week of practice so far, so I feel good about where we are at this point. They are a veteran team. All of their offensive starters are seniors, and seven out of the 11 on defense are seniors.”
Tomorrow’s game will be the Bears’ season opener as they begin their quest for their sixth consecutive winning season. Brown finished last year third in the Ivy League with a 7-3 record, including a 3-0 out-of-conference record.
“It’s a blind [game]. Like I said, they have a veteran staff that has been there a long time,” Kelly said. “I am sure they are going to have some wrinkles, but for the most part, I think their concepts are going to be the same. Again, we have to worry about what we do and not so much what Brown does. We are prepared for everything, and that is the mentality that we take in these kinds of games.”
The Bears’ offense finished fourth last year in the Ivy League in total yards. Returning for Brown includes senior quarterback Patrick Donnelly, the Ivy League’s third-ranked passer last season, as well as Donnelly’s two favorite targets, senior Tellef Lundevall and senior Jordan Evans. After struggling last weekend against Marist, the Georgetown defense made several adjustments in order to slow down the veteran Brown offense.
“We have tweaked some things [on defense] that we are doing scheme-wise,” Kelly said. “There also have been a couple different changes as far as personnel. We are trying to get healthy; we have had guys nicked up, so hopefully we’ll get some guys back.”
Last week, the Hoyas were without their two leading tacklers, senior linebacker Dustin Wharton and junior linebacker Nick Alfieri, whose absences were reflected in the poor defensive showing. The Blue and Gray are hopeful that both Wharton and Alfieri will return for Saturday’s contest, but both are game-time decisions.
“[Wharton and Alfieri’s] status is day to day right now — literally,” Kelly said.
Senior quarterback Isaiah Kempf threw for 398 yards on 35-of-52 passing, a career high and the most for a Georgetown quarterback since 1998, last week against Marist. Kempf and the Hoya offense will look to continue this momentum as they take on the Bear defense, which allowed the fewest points in the Ivy League last year. Although Brown returns seven defensive starters, they did graduate two of their all-Ivy players.
However, more importantly, Georgetown will have to limit their turnovers tomorrow. Last week against Marist, the Hoyas committed three turnovers — two fumbles and an interception. In order to win tomorrow, the Blue and Gray will have to do a better job protecting the football.
“[Turnovers] are something that we are focusing on. Not only did we give up three turnovers [against Marist], but we didn’t get any,” Kelly said. “So it was 3-0 in the turnover ratio. More often than not, if you are minus three, you are going to lose the football game, so we have to correct that on both sides.”
The Blue and Gray will face off against the Bears tomorrow in Providence, R.I. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m.