My rants and insight into Colgate athletics and Patriot League sports

Monday, August 01, 2005

2005 Preseason Write-up: #7 Georgetown

With a short 34 days from today, August 1st, until the kickoff in Andy Kerr Stadium vs. Central Connecticut State University, I thought it was time to give my preseason write up and preview to the Patriot League. My plan is to release a bit on each school in descending order of my preseason ranking (see the April 2005 archives if you need a refresher).

Therefore, with no further adieu we start with:

#7 Georgetown

Recent History

The 2005 season marks the fifth time the Georgetown Hoyas will compete in the Patriot League as an associate member for football. The past four years have not seen the Hoyas with a winning record or with more than 2 conference wins. In G'Town's defense, not only have they been making the jump from the MAAC, they've also had to deal with inconsistency at the coordinator positions. This upcoming season sees both coordinators returning, and that is definitely good news for the Hoya faithful.

On a little tangent thought, it is interesting to read the spin on Georgetown's perception of themselves in Head Coach Bob Benson's online bio. Coach Benson has "built the Hoyas into one of the elite Division I-AA Non-Scholarship programs in the nation over the last eight seasons. This season will be the fifth for Benson and the University in the Patriot League, one of the top I-AA conferences in the country." While I'm all for self promotion, that is a bit much. Georgetown's success in the last eight years was the first four, and the Patriot League, while I love it dearly, isn't one of the top I-AA conferences in the country; unless you consider maybe 7th or 8th out of 16 conferences to be "top".

Off-Season Developments

The biggest news off-season by far the the construction of the Multi-Sport Facility on campus. This facility will be the new home for the Hoyas as early as this fall and will significantly upgrade the current situation in Washington, D.C. Its mere presence on campus should give the team a lift.

This recruiting class seemed to be along the lines of what Patriot League fans have gotten used to: some really good athletes are mixed in there with names we're not sure about. QB Jonathan "Gunner" Coil appears to have picked the Hoyas over the rest of the Patriot League, Ataefiok Etukeren made a good name for himself in the New Jersey prep leagues, and Brent Tomlinson is supposed to be a nice "catch" at Wide Receiver, playing in the Illinois High School East/West All-Star Game. The key for the Hoyas, who have had a few years of these kinds of classes, is translating talent and desire into victories on the field.

For returning players, defensive end Michael Ononibaku had the biggest highlight for the team: named to the Sports Network 2005 Preseason All-American team (Honorable Mention). This
SID proclaimed "one man wrecking crew" (or "wreaking crew if you read the sub-headline to the link - d'oh!) should be quite a force to contend with and the honor is well deserved.

2005 Schedule

This year's schedule continues to cause the Hoyas to step up the Patriot League plate fairly quickly. The season opener starts in Lewisburg, surprisingly at night. That's the first I've seen of this, so any Bucknell fans that wish to fill the readers in on what's going on would be well appreciated. That follows with a trip to Holy Cross before the Hoyas enjoy some home cooking against what could be a tough Brown squad. Then it is back on the road against NEC foe Stony Brook, who played Lehigh fairly competitively in last year's match up. Lafayette and Duquesne head to D.C. before a trip to Central New York is in order - however it's to Ithaca and Cornell this time; not Colgate. Fordham is next to go south, this time for a good old Jesuit Homecoming, before the Hoyas go on the road one last time against the Mountain Hawks. The season then wraps up with Davidson and Colgate hopefully playing in the new Multi-Sport Facility. I wonder how long that name will last?

All in all the 2005 schedule looks to be an improvement over 2004 basically because VMI and a mid-major program have been replaced with Ivy League opponents. I hope Georgetown continues this trend.

Season Outlook

This season could be one of great potential for the Hoyas. Home games against Colgate, Fordham, Lafayette and Brown don't hurt, and all signs point to a lot of experience returning. Nine starters on defense, led by #35 Ononibaku, along with 31 letterwinners could give the Hoyas a shot at developing their offense to the point where they can win some games.

And developing the offense is just what Georgetown needs in order to make any noise this year. The 2004 season saw G'Town average just under 16 points per game - with that stat bolstered by above average wins against St. Francis, VMI and Davidson. The Patriot League average was less than 13; and frankly, less than two touchdowns per game is not going to cut it in the Patriot League (or any for that matter).

So is there any good news for the offense? Seven starters return along with 32 letterwinners, so the experience is there. One question will be who is taking over the helm for the Offense: Keith Allan, Nick Cangelosi (a 2004 transfer from UNC), or perhaps someone else not yet on the radar screen such as newcomers Coil or Ben (yes, related) Hostetler?

Kim Sarin returns in the backfield as the first Hoya to ever gain over 1,000 yards in a season, along with Emir Davis who lead Georgetown in rushing touchdowns last year as a freshman. Add to that mix Glenn Castergine returning at TE and some younger faces in the receiver slots, and this fan thinks it will all come down to the trenches. (Late edit: It appears that Kim Sarin had off season back surgery and his playing time could be limited this year. Davis will have to step up big time.)

Yes, it is my humble opinion that Georgetown's success this year boils down to the offensive line. Taking a quick look at the roster, I can see only two senior offensive lineman and four juniors. That's not good news for whoever is at quarterback, and for Sarin and Davis running behind it.

Predicted Finish

Seventh. Last year's loss to Monmouth showed me that Georgetown still has a long way to go before they climb out of the Patriot League cellar. The margin is closing and a win or two against a Patriot League team other than Holy Cross is not out of the question, but if I'm a Hoya fan, I would be measuring this season's success in small doses. If Georgetown can get some good experience for the freshman and sophomore's on the line, 2006 could just be the year that the Hoyas make a case for the middle ranks of the league.

However, until some proof for consideration exists on the field, I have to pick them dead last.

Good luck to the Hoyas and I won't mind being proven wrong!

3 Comments:

  • in 03 bucknell put new lights on the field so they could start playing night games. they do it early in the season so everybody doesn't freeze their asses off in november.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:24 PM  

  • my bad it was actually '02

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:27 PM  

  • Great analysis, but I'm not surprised. You are quite right that only the most optimistic and blindly biased fans should expect major improvement. I guess that means me. :)

    I really do have a hunch, but it will all depend on the QB and the offense. This team doesn't need a bunch of touchdowns to win--they need some first downs to win. September 3rd cannot come soon enough.

    By Anonymous LBPop, at 12:57 PM  

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