Marist Next for Streaking GU

Georgetown Takes Winning Ways to Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

By Sean Gormley Hoya Staff Writer

Outscoring your opponents by an average margin of 26 points (34.8 -8.8) does not tend to make for lots of nail-biters, and look for that trend to continue for the Georgetown football team. Coming off its first shutout of the year, Georgetown heads back to New York this weekend to take on Marist, a team that has been shut out twice this season.

The Hoyas, coming off of a dominating 28-0 victory at Iona, sport a 4-0 record, 2-0 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, and are looking to stay undefeated. Marist is 2-2, 2-1 in the MAAC, and will be aiming to knock off the favored Hoyas and stay alive in the race for the conference title.

Despite Marist’s .500 record, its performances so far in this young season have been underwhelming. Although the team’s two victories have both been by impressive margins, they have come against the cellar dwellers of the MAAC conference, a pair of teams with a combined 2-6 record (Canisius and St. Peter’s).

Meanwhile, Marist’s two losses were both shutouts in which the team was outscored by a combined 47-0, including a 16-0 loss to St. John’s. The Red Storm is the only common opponent of Marist and Georgetown and they struggled two weeks ago in a 30-7 loss to the Hoyas.

Some of the Red Foxes’ struggles on offense have been due to only returning three starters on that side of the ball, and that inexperience has shown. Look for the stifling Georgetown defense to take advantage of this Saturday.

Last week, the Hoyas held the Iona Gaels to a net total of negative two yards rushing on 29 carries, remarkable considering that Georgetown was not putting an inordinate number of men in the box. If Marist is unable to achieve better success running the football against Georgetown’s pressure defense, its offense may fail to cross the goal line for the third time this year.

Much of the strength of the Hoya defense comes from the distribution of talent that prevents offenses from keying on individual players. Attempting to do this against Georgetown results in the rest of the defense running wild, evidenced last weekend against Iona. The sophomore quartet of defensive lineman Brian Blankenship, inside linebacker Matthew Craffey, free safety Ryan Cooper and defensive tackle Eric Speron put up gaudy statistics and helped to overwhelm the Gaels’ offense.

Marist is also going to have to contend with the high-flying Hoya offense that is averaging almost 400 yards of offense per game. MAAC Preseason Player of the Year senior J.J. ont continues to be excellent under center, having thrown nine touchdown passes through four games.

Complementing Mont on the offensive side of the ball are junior wideout Gharun Hester and senior running back Rob Belli. Also central to the success of the offense is the offensive line, which has done a great job of protecting Mont and opening up holes for Belli all year long.

Although Head Coach Bob Benson has nothing but good things to say about the Marist squad, and in recent years the Red Foxes have often been able to hang with the Hoyas into the fourth quarter, Georgetown’s talent simply overwhelms that of arist this year.

Look for Marist to leave it all on the field against the Hoyas on Saturday, but in the end, Georgetown’s superior skill will keep them in the win column.


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