FOOTBALL | Tough Defeat Renews Questions About Offense
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 00:10
With twenty-seven seconds left in the fourth quarter, Brown quarterback Pat Donnelly took a knee, ending the 37-10 dismantling of the Hoyas in front of what was left of a once sold-out homecoming crowd. Georgetown (3-2) was outmatched by Brown (2-1) in essentially every statistical category and was defeated for the second time in the last three games.
The Hoyas’ offense turned in a lackluster performance, managing just 153 yards of total offense. Georgetown, led by sophomore quarterback Stephen Skon — making his first career start after both senior Isaiah Kempf and junior Aaron Aiken were injured in recent weeks — struggled, chalking up three turnovers and being sacked five times.
“[Skon] is disappointed, and it’s going to be a learning experience for him,” Head Coach Kevin Kelly said. “Last week, he came in as a backup, [and] this week he was a starter.”
Throughout the game, Georgetown’s offense was unable to successfully run against the Brown defense, rushing for a net 12 yards. This was perhaps best demonstrated in the first quarter: The Blue and Gray had a first and goal from the Brown 1-yard line but could not punch it in and had to settle for a field goal.
“We obviously didn’t get the push at the line of scrimmage. We didn’t cross the goal line. That’s frustrating when you’re at the 1-yard line and you can’t score,” Kelly said.
Skon had one shining moment when he found open junior wide receiver Zack Wilke in the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown. But that was the high point for the reeling Georgetown offense.
Their performance was stagnant in the second half, when the Blue and Gray gained just 18 total yards and failed to notch a single first down. This was in part because of the flashes of inexperience Skon showed throughout the game.
He threw into double and triple coverage, resulting in three interceptions, and was sacked five times — a result of both the offensive line’s poor pass protection and the quarterback holding onto the ball for too long.
The Bears’ defense, however, turned in a stellar performance. Brown was always a step ahead, continually in position to stop the Hoyas’ slow-developing screen passes, and the Bears packed the line of scrimmage, preventing Georgetown from successfully running the ball.
“They had the right game plan. They packed the box and brought a lot of pressure and played man coverage,” Kelly said. “That’s what you expect when you see a young quarterback. My hat’s off to Brown — they did a nice job, and we couldn’t execute.”
Whereas the Hoyas were dismal with the ball, the Bears were effective. Brown ran and threw the ball well, amassing 361 yards of total offense. The visitors picked apart the Blue and Gray defense, exposing holes in the Hoya secondary after effectively establishing their running game.
Brown rushed for 173 yards, 94 in the third quarter alone, which made Georgetown’s defense susceptible to play-action; Bears quarterback Patrick Donnelly capitalized by throwing for 188 yards and two touchdowns.
The Hoyas also struggled on special teams, continually giving the Bears good field position.
But the biggest special teams blunder came with 12 minutes and 42 seconds left in the fourth quarter, when junior punter Matt MacZura bobbled the snap, resulting in a blocked punt that was recovered by Brown in the end zone for a touchdown.
That botched play was a microcosm of Georgetown’s afternoon and a sign of all that the Blue and Gray must do to improve as they begin Patriot League play Saturday with a trip to New York to face Fordham.