JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA
JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA

The Georgetown football team (1-7, 0-2 Patriot League) will have one last chance to make the most of its home field advantage on Saturday when it plays host to Lafayette (2-5, 2-0 Patriot League) in this season’s final game at Multi Sport Facility.

Though the Hoyas offense showed promise in last week’s frustrating 34-14 loss to Colgate, the defensive struggles that have plagued the team during its six-game losing streak persisted. Georgetown now faces a Leopards squad looking to maintain its perfect record in Patriot League play. Lafayette is coming to Georgetown on the heels of a 41-23 win over Holy Cross that included a five-touchdown, 283-yard performance by freshman quarterback Drew Reed.

“Their freshman quarterback was 21 out of 22. [He] had a real good ball game,” Head Coach Kevin Kelly said. “We expect them to expand on what they’re doing with him with their offensive package. He’s a good player; he throws the ball well, runs well — they’ll give us a handful.”

Georgetown’s defense will be again put to the test, this time against an offense more disposed to the pass. The unit has continually adjusted in an attempt to alleviate the scoring barrage that the Hoyas have endured for most of the season, and more of these adjustments will be employed against Lafayette.

“We keep tinkering around with our personnel trying to get a couple guys back health-wise, and we expect a big week out of them,” Kelly said.

On offense, Georgetown will look to a rushing attack that the team could not get started in last week’s game. After sophomore quarterback Kyle Nolan and senior running back Nick Campanella combined for only 67 yards rushing against Colgate, forcing a heavy dependence on the pass, Georgetown will attempt to establish the run early against Lafayette.

“Every week we try to run the football,” Kelly said. “If we can’t run the football, it makes it tougher to throw the ball.”

Georgetown’s performance will also hinge on the performance of Nolan, who is coming off of a strong 257-yard performance that kept the Hoyas competitive for much of last Saturday’s game. After continued progress in his second start of the season, Kelly is confident that Nolan’s abilities will steadily improve.

“Kyle’s got another week under his belt,” Kelly said. “People forget that he’s only played a handful of games at most and he’s just a sophomore … he’s going to get better every week.”

Although the Hoyas have been able to string together significant drives this season, they have run into difficulties trying to get the ball into the end zone. This inability to convert on scoring opportunities has not eased any pressure away from the team’s defense, and such lapses are responsible for putting potentially competitive games out of reach.

“We try to move the chains, try to get first downs and the next goal is to score and … control the football,” Kelly said. “We haven’t scored enough points, to be frank … and we haven’t defended well, so we’ve got to do both phases well in the ball game.”

Issues have mounted on both sides of the ball, and as the team sits in a six-game losing streak with three games to go, this season’s story is all but set in stone. But Kelly feels the squad is still motivated to play and win.

“I think it’s the same every week. Every week the goal is to win a game,” Kelly said.

The game holds special value for the team as the last home game for a large group of seniors.

“This week’s even a little more special because this is the last home game for our seniors,” Kelly said. “We’ve got 24 of them that will be ending their careers here at MultiSport and they all deserve a lot of respect. They put a lot of time and effort into this program. I have a lot respect for them, and I hope they go off with a win.”

The game will be nationally televised on ESPN 3. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at
MultiSport Facility.

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