The Georgetown football team (1-1, Patriot) will travel to Hanover, NH to face the Dartmouth Big Green (0-0, Ivy) this Saturday, September 15th. The Hoyas are coming off of a 13-8 home loss last week in what amounted to a defensive showdown against Campbell University.
After losing a winnable game last week, head coach Rob Sgarlata showed signs of optimism about the future. “We are eager to get back on the field,” he said as the Hoyas broke down Thursday’s practice. “This has been one of the better weeks of practices.”
His team played neck-and-neck with the Fighting Camels for most of last Saturday’s game, but ultimately it was Campbell’s ability to convert on turnovers that won them the game. While the Hoya defense forced two turnovers, the offense boasted a meager 53 yards on the ground.
“One of the keys of the game for us will be to run the ball and to control the time of possession,” Sgarlata said. The Hoyas had 24:57 minutes of offense, compared to Campbell’s 35:03.
Ultimately, the effectiveness of the Hoya’s run game will depend on the priorities of Dartmouth’s defense. If Dartmouth is able to limit Georgetown’s gains on the ground, Sgarlata will have to rely on junior quarterback Gunther Johnson to throw the ball more. Sgarlata pointed to the opening game against Marist (0-1, PFL), where Johnson threw for nearly double the 200 yards he had against Campbell.
“In the opening game against Marist, we threw for almost 400 yards because that is what they were giving us,” Sgarlata said.
Dartmouth has yet to play a regular season game this year, so knowing what to expect is a challenge in and of itself for the Hoyas. The Big Green had an impressive 2017, with nearly 4,000 total yards of offense and an average of over 27 points per game.
An untested offense, however, is the perfect opportunity to gauge how good the Hoya defense is. Last week, the Hoyas racked up two sacks, a safety, an interception, and a fumble recovery, while holding Campbell to only 13 points.
“These guys are one of the more athletic groups I have been around,” Sgarlata said. “We can run and we have depth, and I think [defensive coordinator] coach Doherty has done a really good job keeping a scheme that really maximizes and plays to our strengths.”
While the Hoyas dropped their last meeting with Dartmouth three years ago, this year’s team has an advantage over the Big Green in experience, something they will look to exploit. “I like the fact that we are now going into our third game and they are going into their first,” Sgarlata said.
Dartmouth recently made national headlines when they became the first Division I football program to tenure a female coach – Callie Brownson. Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens, told ESPN that Brownson is “as good as anyone I’ve ever had in terms of her skill set.” With all of this publicity, it is the perfect time for the Hoyas to steal a big win.
Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. ET. The game can be livestreamed on ESPN plus. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for more fall sports coverage, gameday updates, and breaking news.
Image Credits: Georgetown Athletics Communications