FOOTBALL | Hoyas Prepared for Final Ivy Test
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 23:09
The Georgetown football team (3-1) earned arguably its biggest win of the season last weekend by knocking off Princeton (0-2). Tomorrow, the Blue and Gray have the chance to beat another Ivy League foe, Brown (1-1), in Georgetown’s Homecoming game.
The Hoyas’ 21-20 win over the Tigers did not go exactly as planned, with sophomore Stephen Skon — the team’s third-string quarterback — forced into action after junior Aaron Aiken went down with a sprained ankle.
But despite his inexperience, Skon had a stellar debut, showing poise throughout the game and leading Georgetown on a game-winning 72-yard drive. The Hoyas will have to hope that his outing wasn’t just beginner’s luck, because Aiken and senior Isaiah Kempf remain sidelined.
Head Coach Kevin Kelly, however, is hopeful that Skon will respond with the same composure he showed against Princeton.
“[Stephen’s] had a good week of practice and he’s the guy this week,” Kelly said. “He’s got to take what the defense gives him, play within our scheme and not try to win the game [on his own].”
Skon’s performance last week helped Georgetown end a 13-game losing streak against Ivy League opponents, something that gives the Hoyas a big energy boost heading into this week’s showdown with the Bears.
“Everybody’s confident in what they’re doing and [I] can coach them a little bit harder now,” Kelly said. “They’ve responded and we’ve had another really good week of practice.”
They will need that sharpness to translate from practice to the game day, however, if Georgetown is to get past a Brown squad looking for its second win of the season.
The Bears are coming off a tough 45-31 loss to Harvard; but even in defeat, Brown showed off a high-power offense led by sophomore quarterback Patrick Donnelly — who threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns — and senior running back Spiro Theodhosi — who accounted for 146 yards of total offense and a touchdown.
“It’s a typical Brown football team. Offensively, they have a good running back and quarterback and they move the football,” Kelly said. “They’re solid all the way across the board.”
To come away victorious, Georgetown will need their defense to come up with stops throughout the game, putting Skon and the offense in prime position to earn points against the Bears.
Led by senior linebacker Robert McCabe — team captain and leading tackler — and senior defensive back Jeremy Moore — a ball-hawking preseason All-American — the Hoyas have an impressive ability to both shut down the run and force turnovers against their opponents.
“The quicker we can get the ball to the offense, the better,” Kelly said. “We are always looking for three and outs and a good way to get off the field is turnovers.”
So far this season, Georgetown has had a knack for finding themselves in wild, down-to-the-wire finishes. In their last three contests, the Blue and Gray needed late field goals off the foot of junior Matt MacZura to knock off Wagner and Princeton and dropped a heartbreaker to Yale when a potential game-winning pass to the end zone was intercepted.
“Every game is like that — we’ve got to take care of the football, we’ve got to create opportunities on defense and we’ve got to play really good special teams,” Kelly said. “I’m sure, like all of our games, it is probably going to come down to the last series or two.”
The Hoyas are expecting a large crowd for the contest since it is Homecoming weekend on the Hilltop. Kelly hopes that home-crowd advantage is the little push that will be the difference for Georgetown when they face the potent Bears.
“It’s going to be a festive atmosphere and that’s what college football is all about,” Kelly said. “[The players] work really hard so they can play in games like this one.”
Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. at the MultiSport Facility, with the Homecoming tailgate beginning in McDonough Arena parking lot at 11 a.m.