FOOTBALL | Hoyas In Search of Early Win Streak
Published: Friday, September 13, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 13, 2013 00:09
After a stellar performance in its home opener, the Georgetown football team will look to have another shining performance under the lights when it returns to the field Saturday night. Georgetown (1-1) will play host to Marist (0-2) tomorrow evening at the Multi-Sport Facility.
The Hoyas, coming off of a 42-6 throttling of Davidson last Saturday, will look to record their second consecutive win against Pioneer League teams. The Red Foxes, coming off of a 27-14 loss at Bucknell, are still searching for their elusive first win, an intangible that could give them an advantage on Saturday.
“Everyone is hungry to get a win,” Head Coach Kevin Kelly said. “I know [Marist Head] Coach [Jim] Perry … is going to be well-prepared, his team is going to be well-prepared, and they are going to come down here thinking they can beat us.”
In their two losses, the Red Foxes have struggled on defense, especially in the first half. Against Bucknell, Marist allowed 285 yards of total offense in the first half alone. The Hoyas will look to take advantage of this weakness by running the ball early.
“Every week, we go into the game hoping that we can run the football because if you can run the football you can start to throw it,” Kelly said. “It helps because you can control the game and control the clock.”
Although Marist has a weak defense overall, it has been especially susceptible to the running game this season. In 2013, the Red Foxes have allowed an average of 205 rushing yards per game. Led by senior running back Nick Campanella, the Hoyas, who have averaged 135 rushing yards per game, will look to continue their success in the ground game.
“We do have several [running] backs. We have different tempo of backs. We have some quicker backs and some bigger backs, so we are going to use all of them in our game plan,” Kelly said.
Thus far this season, Marist has relied heavily on its quarterback, senior Chuckie Looney, by opting to pass on almost 70 percent of its offensive snaps. One of Looney’s favorite targets is senior wide receiver Armani Martin, whom the Blue and Gray will need to pay close attention to.
In his two games this season, Martin has had 10 catches for 128 yards and all four of Marist’s receiving touchdowns. According to Kelly, the Hoyas have specific coverage plans for Martin in order to limit his effectiveness on Saturday.
Last weekend, the Blue and Gray’s pass defense struggled against Davidson, allowing 214 passing yards to the Wildcats. Georgetown will look to solidify its secondary in order to slow down the pass-dependent Marist offense.
“We worked on a lot of the things that Davidson hurt us with,” Kelly said. “We anticipate [Marist] trying to do some of the same things. It’s like every week, you make mistakes and you have to correct them and work to get better.”
After returning an interception for a touchdown against Davidson, senior linebacker Dustin Wharton missed most of the second half on Saturday due to injury. He’ll look to return on Saturday and continue his quest for 100 tackles in a season.
“It’s a day-to-day thing now, but we expect [Wharton] back,” Kelly said. “He is a real tough kid — real strong — so that has helped him with the injury prevention over the years. But it is an injury that is not career-ending or season-ending, so he’ll be back.”
The Hoyas and the Red Foxes last faced each other in 2010 when Georgetown defeated Marist 52-28 en route to an 8-3 season. Two years removed from that matchup, both teams boast very different rosters.
“You have to respect all of your opponents and the [last time we faced them] was two years ago,” Kelly said. “We have a completely different team and they have a completely different team. History is history and we live in the moment, so it’s like anyone else. We are preparing like it is any other week.”
Georgetown will look to capture its second win tomorrow, as well as continue to build momentum ahead of the Patriot League season. Kickoff between the Hoyas and Red Foxes at Multi-Sport Facility is set for 6 p.m.