Thursday, October 27, 2016

Leopards, Hoyas both need a win Saturday

Dissa and Data, less than two days from the biggest football game of Lafayette’s 2016 season to this point.

LEAGUE HISTORY – In its 15 years in the Patriot League, Georgetown has won more than one league game just six times, with its best league mark coming in 2011 – 3-2. The Hoyas have been winless in six seasons, the last being 2009. Their league mark in those 15 years was 17-70.

In those same 15 seasons, Lafayette has been winless once (last year), has had three one-win seasons and seven seasons with four or five victories. Three of those five-win seasons produced championships (2004-6), as did the 4-1 of 2013. Lafayette has won 10 of the 15 head-to-head league matchups.

RECENT HISTORY AT FISHER – In Fisher Stadium league games between the Leopards and the Hoyas, Lafayette has a 4-3 edge. The least Leopard win at Fisher was in 2014. Maybe you remember that one. Lafayette had just 250 yards of offense, but Ross Scheuerman ran for three touchdowns. Jared Roberts had an 81-yard punt return that led to a score and Lafayette blocked a field goal. The final score: 24-21.

You might not want to remember the two Lafayette-G-town Fisher games prior to that one. In 2012, Lafayette turned the ball over seven times and handed the Hoyas a 20-17 victory. Two years earlier, Lafayette ran up 509 yards of offense, including a 131-yard rushing performance by Jerome Rudolph but also committed four turnovers and lost 28-24. Four players were injured in that game.

LAST YEAR IN D.C. – I’m not sure where you start with this one. While the 2015 season had lots of low points, none was any lower than this afternoon against a team that came in with a 2-3 record and had been walloped 45-0 by Harvard the previous week. The Hoyas played like all world – or the Leopards played like they were in another world. Kyle Nolan threw five touchdown passes a secondary that, compared to the rest of the team, was pretty much intact with Matt Smalley, Jared Roberts, Phillip Parham and Alex Merriman. And the Hoyas’ defense, which allowed 173 yards per game in the first five starts, allowed Lafayette just NINE yards on 20 rushing attempts. Five sacks. Eleven tackles for loss. Sad day.

HOYA BLOCK ATTACK – Georgetown is tied for first place in the FCS in punts blocked this season with three and is second in the country in total kicks blocked with six. In a Tuesday conference call, Coach Rob Sgarlata said, “I’d like to pat myself on the back and say we spend a lot of times on special teams, which we do,” he said, then he gave kudos to special teams coordinator Kevin Doherty and the players themselves. “They take a lot of pride in what they do. Once you get one, and another one, the kids start believing, so we’re excited. They’re always looking for different ways to improve their technique. They’ve impacted almost every game that we’ve had with a blocked kick , so hopefully it continues.” Hunter Kiselick, who wears #1 – a jersey the Leopards should be watcnin g for every minute – has blocked three of those kicks. He’s a fifth-year senior, and Coach Sgarlata loves his effect on the team. “He’s a special kid,” Sgarlata told us on Tuesday. “He has two speeds: stop and full speed. He’s an inspirational leader for the guys … Emotional and humble.”

JOEY CHENOWETH --  "We don't want another 1-10. Look at our facilities, the nicest in the  league; we have the best alumni support, great coaches. We should start winning games; we're going to start winning games. The coaching staff  is working 12 hours a day to get us better. The biggest thing is we can’t look at what’s happened in the past. It's going to be great for our momentum going into next year and will get us the confidence we had before the season started. We were so confident. We knew we had the guys to get it done. Everybody was fired up. We need to finish. These last three games are very important."

A LOOK AT THE 2016 OPPONENTS -- At 6-2, Villanova has the best record among the eight teams Lafayette has already faced this season. The Wildcats are ranked No. 11 in the FCS and are 4-1 in the CAA. Fordham is 5-2, and its game with Lehigh this week has huge league ramifications. Princeton is 4-2; Army West Point is 4-3 after getting whipped last week by North Texas; Bucknell is 3-4, Holy Cross 3-5, Delaware 2-5 -- five straight losses -- and Central Connecticut State 1-6.  That's an aggregate record of 28-29. 


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