Rob SgarlataThis past weekend, we traveled to New York to play one of our oldest rivals, the Fordham Rams.  Throughout the bye week and the days leading up to the game, a number of alums wrote emails and called to share their stories of the Fordham rivalry.  It is a rivalry that is rich in history and emotions.  I want to thank Georgetown Hall of Famer Bob Morris for his recounting of Georgetown 35-7 victory against Fordham in 1974.  I also want to thank our adopted teammate Jackson and his brother Mason and sister Gillian, for this message of encouragement.

The Hoya Family is strong in the northeast and we had a tremendous amount of support at the game.  Bruce Simmons and Robbin Robinson put together a great tailgate for all of the Hoyas who braved the cold to watch the game.  Special thanks to Jimmy Corcoran, Roger Daly, and John Verni for sponsoring the tailgate.  The number of alums who are involved in the program is awesome.

On Friday, we were able to conduct our run through at MetLife Stadium, the current home of the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets.  A special thanks to Mr. Rooney for helping to arrange the opportunity.  I remember practicing at the Meadowlands while playing for Scotty Glacken and Bob Benson when we would play St. John’s or St. Peter’s.  It was always a thrill back then, and Friday was the same experience.  Following the run through, I spoke to the team about the history and tradition of the Hoya Football Program.  I pointed to Hoya legend Al Blozis’ name in the ring of honor at MetLife Stadium to illustrate my point.  It is important for our current players and alums to understand the importance of our program in the past, present and future.

Saturday, we played a very good Fordham team.  They are currently ranked No.7 in the country and are the 2014 Patriot League Champions.  They have a very powerful offense that was averaging over 40 points per game.  Our game plan was to limit the number of Fordham’s possessions by controlling the ball on offense, eliminate the big play on defense, and take some chances in the kicking game to steal a possession or two.  Unfortunately, we were unable to follow this game plan and lost by a score of 52-7.  On offense, we were not consistent enough to maintain possession of the ball.  Penalties and an interception contributed to five 3-and-outs in our first 7 drives.  While we were able to run the football, however, our passing game could not get on track.  We were a total of 8-for-26 in the passing game.  A combination of drops and good man-to-man defense attributed to these numbers.  This inconsistency allowed Fordham to possess the ball for the majority of the first half.

Defensively, we were able to contain the run game, but we did not make enough plays against Fordham’s very efficient pass offense.  We held both of Fordham’s outstanding running backs close to their season low outputs on the ground. However, we were unable to create a consistent pass rush and Fordham completed a number of deep passes.

Our kicking game continued to be a mix of good and bad.  Our return teams were very efficient, but our punt protection was not.  Unfortunately, we did not play well early against a very good football team.  When you play good opponents, all of your little mistakes are exacerbated.

On the positive side, Jo’el Kimpela continued to have a great junior campaign.  He rushed 15 times for 104 yards.  Senior Danny Wright provided us with great field position all day with a great day on kickoff return.  Junior Jake DeCicco continued to provide a spark for our offense and had a great catch and run for a 33 yard touchdown from Kyle Nolan.  On the defensive side, senior Wardell Crutchfield led the team with nine tackles.  Senior Alex May continued to play well and had seven tackles, a tackle for a loss, a forced fumble and a sack.

During the bye week we continued to expand the “4 for 40” program.  Georgetown Football Hall of Famer John Kuhns traveled to DC to speak to our players.  John spent an over an hour talking to the players about his journey from the Hilltop to Wall Street and beyond.  John did a great job of providing the players with practical knowledge and insights from his extremely successful career.  The presentation ended with a great question and answer session on topics ranging from resumes requirements to interview skills to graduate school.  John is one of many alums and friends of the program who have taken a genuine interest in our players and their development.  I am truly grateful for everyone’s efforts.

I would like to thank Jackson Dundon, Elijah Davis and their families for agreeing to be honorary captains for our Lehigh game.  Jackson and Elijah are members of our team who are associated with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.  Our core principle of “men for others” states that we are the ones providing the benefit in the relationship.  I can honestly say that our players and staff have gained so much more from this relationship than we have provided.  Both Jackson and Elijah’s and their families have taught us so much about the real meaning of “SISU.”  Their unbelievable courage in the face of pediatric brain cancer is a constant inspiration to us.  In exchange for their much needed help with the coin toss, #35 Nick Alfieri produced this video to commemorate the day.

We are preparing for our final game of the 2014 season.  We play Holy Cross on the Hilltop on Saturday at noon.  We will again have our “4 for 40” lunch on Friday.  If you are on campus, please let me know.  We will have a senior day ceremony on Saturday to honor the 21 seniors who have helped to set the foundation for the future of this program.  I would personally like to thank our senior class and their parents and families for their tireless work and dedication to establish and advance the Hoya Football culture.  Thank you to Nick Alfieri, Alec May, Nick Quintans, Mike Roland, Darius Baxter, Mitchell Black, Patrick Boyle, Xander Carpousis, Michael Cimilluca, Chad Coleman, Wardell Crutchfield III, Peter Daibes, Billy Duncan, John Egan, Mike Kasten, Ryan Rattay, Jordan Richardson, Javan Robinson, Richard Shankle, Gibson Vaught and Danny Wright. I will always remember my first senior class as a head coach.

Have a great week.  I look forward to seeing everyone this weekend!

Rob Sgarlata

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