After a convincing 34-7 victory against Marist in their home opener last week, the Georgetown football team (1-1, Patriot League) will square off against Dartmouth (0-0, Ivy League) Saturday at Multi-Sport Field looking to build their first winning streak of 2015. Kickoff is slated for 12:00 p.m.
Saturday will be the season opener for the Big Green, something the Hoyas will look to capitalize on.
“First games are tough,” said Georgetown Head Coach Rob Sgarlata after the team’s Thursday morning practice. “Even with returning starters, it’s tough, and I hope it’s an advantage. We’re happy to have them here at home, too.”
And while it may make the preparation process a little more difficult for Sgarlata and his coaching staff, he feels more concerned about his Hoyas than the Big Green.
“I just try to worry about what we do, and what we do well,” Sgarlata continued. “They went 8-2 last year, and I don’t see them changing too much this year.”
Still reeling from the severe neck injury suffered by junior linebacker Ty Williams in the team’s season opener at St. Francis (Pa.), the Hoyas welcome Saturday’s game because it gives them a brief chance to get their minds off of the struggles of their recovering teammate.
“We’re just excited to get back out on the field,” said senior quarterback Kyle Nolan, who earned Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week for his strong play last week. “We’re still running on emotion from Ty [Williams]; we think about him every day.”
With a talented returning quarterback in senior Dalyn Williams and a resilient defense, Dartmouth may prove to be Georgetown’s biggest test of the season thus far. Williams, an All-Ivy League First Team quarterback last year, led the conference in completion percentage, .675, passing efficiency, 157.57, and points responsible per game, 18.0.
As a result of the challenge that Dartmouth presents, the Hoyas have been focused on correcting the mistakes from the past two games in order to prepare for the challenge ahead. However, the team has also been perfecting the little things, some of which are more off-field oriented.
“Many people don’t understand. [The little things] are being dressed the right way, being five minutes early to meetings, making sure you have all your gear on,” Sgarlata said. “When those critical times come, you sink to the level of your training.”
Much of Sgarlata’s coaching style centers around this type of regimented training, which stems from his friendships with numerous military members in the U.S. Army Rangers and the U.S. Navy SEALS.
“They talk to me, and I talk to our guys about how you don’t rise to the occasion in a game, you sink to the level of your training,” Sgarlata said.
This training, combined with the emotion of last week’s win and the Ty Williams’ injury, has the Blue and Gray confident about carrying momentum into this Saturday.
“[This team] is like a brotherhood out there,” said sophomore defensive back David Akere. “We all trust each other to make plays. We’re playing for Ty, our friends, and our family, and we’re going to do whatever it takes to win.”