Georgetown quarterback Isaiah Kempf has not yet been cleared for contact since suffering a concussion almost a month ago, but the senior offensive captain continues to stay plenty busy on game day. With a headset slung over his backward blue and gray Hoyas baseball cap during Saturday’s contest against Brown, Kempf delicately shuffled through the range of roles needed to deal with his team’s current quarterback situation, alternating as cheerleader and critic for sophomore Stephen Skon between series.
With its third-string signal-caller pressed into his first career start, Georgetown couldn’t keep up with the Bears in a 37-10 loss before an overflow homecoming crowd at Multi-Sport Field. Skon threw his first career touchdown pass but also had three interceptions and was sacked five times. The Hoyas were held without a first down in the second half of his trial-by-fire welcome to the college game.
“He’s disappointed,” Coach Kevin Kelly said of Skon, who was not made available for comment afterward. “It’s going to be a learning experience for him.”
After Brown (2-1) went up 10-0 in the first six minutes of the game, Skon led a pair of scoring drives, tying it with his 23-yard touchdown pass to junior Zack Wilke early in the second quarter. The 6-foot-2, 202-pound quarterback rolled to his right to avoid the rush and fired on the move, hitting Wilke in the front corner of the end zone.
There were few highlights for Georgetown (3-2) after that. Skon tossed a pair of interceptions late in the first half, and the Bears took a 20-10 lead into halftime.
The fans who couldn’t get a ticket lined the outside of the stadium, which has a capacity of 3,215, at the outset, but the crowd thinned as the Hoyas’ offense wilted. In the second half, they barely moved the ball, recording just 18 yards.
Georgetown ran one play in Brown territory after halftime. On the first snap after the Hoyas recovered a fumble at the Bears 33-yard line late in the third quarter, Skon’s high pass tipped off wide receiver Kevin Macari’s fingers and was intercepted by linebacker Adewole Oyalowo.
“They had the right game plan,” Kelly said. “They packed the box and brought a lot of pressure and played man coverage. That’s what you expect when you see a young quarterback.”
The Hoyas had rotated quarterbacks at times during Kelly’s first six seasons, but this year Kempf entered as the clear-cut starter. He spent the night of Sept. 1 in a North Carolina hospital after being injured in the season-opening win at Davidson and, while he has begun light workouts, the team wants to be cautious with his recovery.
Instead of leading the offense, Kempf has acted as a sideline counselor for offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Vinny Marino, who works in the coaching box during games. Aiken, a junior, made three starts before spraining his left ankle early in last week’s comeback victory at Princeton. The other two quarterbacks listed on Georgetown’s roster are freshmen.
“I just feel like the quarterbacks coach, honestly, talking to [Skon] after every play,” Kempf said. “It’s good for me to see things from a different perspective. I try not to get too mad at him when he messes up — he’s a great kid.”