After a disappointing showing against Harvard in the historic RFK Memorial Stadium last weekend, the Georgetown football team looks to bounce back against the Princeton Tigers this weekend.

Saturday’s contest against the Tigers (2-1, 0-1 Ivy League) serves as the last of the Hoyas’ three Ivy League games before heading into Patriot League play.

Georgetown is coming off a 41-2 blowout loss to Harvard in a game in which the Hoyas allowed 457 yards on defense.  The Hoyas’ only points came on a defensive safety in the second quarter.

Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said he expects the game against Princeton to be cleaner from a turnover perspective and more competitive.

“We left a lot of plays out on the field against Harvard, and they’re a good football team, and I give them all the credit in the world. But we spotted them 14 points before we even got started. So we can play a lot better than what we have shown, and that’s on me. It’s my job to get us going,” Sgarlata said.

This season, the Ivy League has dominated the Patriot League, going 7-1 over the last three weeks.

“[Ivy League Teams] aren’t like the Patriot League teams: They’re a lot deeper and have a bigger roster than the Patriot League teams, and they’re all well-coached,” Sgarlata said. “They’re all strong teams and are completing well against the Patriot league this year. Each team presents their own challenges: They all have one or two cats on offense or defense each week.”

Princeton brings an offense that has been on a hot streak through the first three games of the season, averaging nearly 30 points and over 300 yards through the air per game. The passing attack is led by senior quarterback Chad Kanoff and the Tigers’ “twin towers”: junior receivers Stephen Carlson and Jesper Horsted, who both stand at 6 feet 4 inches.

“Princeton always challenges you, and they do a lot of different things well. They’re very diverse formationally and really make you know how to match up. They also have a lot of weapons, especially on the edge where they have some big, tall receivers,” Sgarlata said.

The Tigers’ high-powered passing attack will challenge the Hoyas’ defense, but senior defensive back and team captain David Akere is confident in the defense’s ability to contain Horsted and Carlson.

“Princeton runs a little unorthodox offense,” Akere said.  “So we’re preparing and making sure that we all take care of our jobs and manage our responsibilities. We have to read our keys and make sure everyone is on time and getting to the ball, so our offense has the opportunity to get on the field and score points.”

Junior safety Blaise Brown, who recorded two interceptions against Harvard last week to earn Patriot League Honorable Mention, will lead the Hoyas defensively.

“Blaise is a really complete player,” Sgarlata said. “He’s a ‘lunch pail’ kind of guy, and he’s probably one of the better athletes, I think, in the league as well as on the team.”

Another bright spot for Georgetown is the play of senior running back Isaac Ellsworth, who totaled 282 all-purpose yards last week against Harvard, mostly coming off kick returns. Georgetown’s return game will look to take advantage of a Princeton coverage team that has given up an average of 17 yards per kick and establish good field position for the offense.

Ultimately, the team is focused on itself.

“At the end of the day, it comes down to execution, and, if we do that, everything will turn out fine. Like Coach Sgarlata says, ‘We don’t really worry about what the other teams do. We worry about ourselves and what we’re doing on our side first,’” senior offensive lineman Michael McFarlane said.

The Hoyas will be on the road for this crucial tuneup before league play, with kickoff set for 1 p.m. ET on Saturday in Princeton, N.J. Streaming will be available on the Ivy League Network and WatchESPN.

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