untitledThis past Saturday, we welcomed Dartmouth College to Washington, D.C.  The last meeting between the two schools was 99 years ago, in 1916, which the Hoyas won 10-0. Unfortunately, we were not able to match that feat on Saturday – losing in front of a sell-out crowd on the Hilltop.  But it was a fitting opponent to honor our rich football history. We welcomed the Georgetown Football team from the Class of 1965 back to the Hilltop and recognized them at halftime. It was great for our guys to have an opportunity to meet with them on Friday and before the game.

This weekend, we also continued our Faculty Fellows Program.  The purpose of this program is to foster a positive relationship between the faculty and our student-athletes.  At the beginning of preseason camp, I asked all of our student-athletes to nominate faculty members to participate in the program.  We invited over 100 faculty members to the game on Saturday.  Through all of the hard work and dedication of our faculty, deans, and our academic advisor, Dr. Shelly Habel, we were able to place a record number of student-athletes on the All-Patriot League Academic Honor Roll last year.  This is a great program which I hope to expand throughout this academic year.

Dartmouth is a good Ivy League football team. They finished the 2014 season with a record of 8-2, with their only losses coming against 2014 Ivy League champion, Harvard, and perennial CAA powerhouse, New Hampshire.  They entered the game with one of the best Ivy League players with their quarterback, Dalyn Williams.  On defense, they returned nine starters.  Going into the game, I knew we would have to play smart and physical to earn a victory. Every week we emphasize ball security and playing smart football in all three phases of the game.  At times against Dartmouth, we did not do any of these things.  After taking a seven-point lead in the first quarter on a terrific 31-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Nolan to Matt Buckman, we committed errors that will get you beat when playing good football teams.

Following a three and out from our defense, we surrendered a 63-yard punt return to Dartmouth return man Ryan McManus.  Dartmouth scored on the second play from scrimmage to tie the score at seven.  Over the next four series, we threw two interceptions in our own end of the field which Dartmouth turned into 14 points.  With 11 minutes left in the third quarter, we were down 21-7.

We talk every week about the concept of “next play,” meaning we have to move onto the next play, whether the previous play was successful or not.  Basically, focus on the task at hand and do not get too high or too low.  After Dartmouth went up 21-7, our defense got a stop and our offense put together a 15-play, 60-yard drive in which we converted on three third downs.  This allowed Henry Darmstadter to kick a 30-yard field goal to cut the lead to 21-10 going into halftime.

Dartmouth added 10 points to their lead in the second half.  Early in the fourth quarter, our offense put together a 13-play, 77-yard drive down to the Dartmouth three-yard line. On a fourth down, Dartmouth forced a fumble on the one-yard line and ended the drive.  A touchdown would have cut their lead to two scores with over 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter.  The official box score for the game can be found here and a photo gallery can be found here.  Finally, a postgame interview can be found here.

I felt that we played with great effort on Saturday.  On offense, we ran 85 plays for 331 yards.  Kyle Nolan finished the day with 31 completions for 308 yards.  Justin Hill had a tremendous day with eight catches for 101 yards going against one of the best corners in the Ivy League all day.  Jake DeCicco and Matt Buckman had seven catches apiece to add to the solid passing attack.  Defensively, Leo Loughery had 12 total tackles and Matt Satchell had 9 total tackles with 2 tackles for a loss.  The defense recorded seven tackles for a loss and one sack on the day.

However, we did not play a smart brand of football.  Overall we had five costly penalties on offense and special teams.  Too many times we were placed in poor field position as a result of these miscues.  We also surrendered 14 points off of turnovers.  If you want to win versus good football teams, you cannot commit these errors.  The bright spot is that all of these errors are correctable.  We have already started to review the film and met as a team on Sunday.  Following these meetings, we turn our sites on our second Ivy League opponent, Columbia University.

Finally, I want to thank all of the members of the Georgetown Football family who have reached out to offer their prayers and support of Ty Williams.  Ty has been transferred to one of the best rehab facilities in the country, Shepherd Center, in Atlanta, Georgia. The family has also established a GoFundMe account here.  We are in constant contact with Ty and his family and are behind him 100% as he starts this next chapter in his road to recovery.

We are looking forward to the challenge in New York City this weekend, where we will be traveling north to play Columbia at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.  I hope to see many of you at the game.

Rob Sgarlata

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