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Area Notebook

Hoyas Return Offense to Crawford

By Mark Schlabach
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 8, 2004; Page D07

Trying to end a four-game losing streak, Georgetown's football team will start senior quarterback Andrew Crawford, who lost his starting job to sophomore Keith Allan earlier this season, in Saturday's homecoming game against Virginia Military Institute at Harbin Field.

The Hoyas (1-4, 0-3 Patriot League) haven't won since beating St. Francis (Pa.), 36-7, in their opener. The Cadets have lost all five of their games this season, including a 25-24 loss to Charleston Southern last week, in which the Buccaneers scored 22 points in the fourth quarter, including the winning touchdown with 28 seconds remaining. Last season, VMI beat Georgetown, 42-14, in Lexington, Va., in the schools' first meeting since 1910.

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Crawford played well against the Cadets last season, completing 17 of 28 passes for 268 yards and one touchdown. But offense has been the Hoyas' Achilles' heel this season. The Hoyas rank next-to-last in Division I-AA in passing, averaging only 66.2 yards per game (Wofford is last, at No. 117, with 41.5 yards per game). Georgetown ranks last in the Patriot League in total offense (185.6 yards per game) and scoring (13.6 points per game).

The defense has played well, forcing 15 turnovers, third-most in Division I-AA. In last week's 35-19 loss to Bucknell, the Hoyas forced the Bison to fumble eight times, recovering six of them, and Georgetown returned two interceptions for touchdowns. . . .

Georgetown freshman Matt Barbiasz, from Ware, Mass., was named Patriot League rookie of the week after returning an interception 99 yards for a touchdown against Bucknell. It is the longest interception return in Patriot League and Georgetown history. He also had six tackles and recovered a fumble.

Bison Looking for More

Howard, which recovered from a slow start and has won two games in a row to get back to .500, plays its final non-conference game of the season Saturday against Charleston Southern at Greene Stadium. The Buccaneers are coming off their improbable comeback against VMI, which was their first-ever victory in the Big South Conference. Howard closes the season with six consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference games, starting with an Oct. 16 home game against Morgan State.

The Bison, who haven't played since a 53-7 win over Savannah State on Sept. 25, have to slow Charleston Southern quarterback Collin Drafts, who threw for 330 yards and two touchdowns on 29-for-42 passing against VMI. Freshman receiver Maurice Price caught six passes for 87 yards against the Cadets, including the game-winner.

JMU Cracks Top 20

James Madison, which is ranked No. 19 in the Sports Network Division I-AA poll, hosts Massachusetts on Saturday. With a victory, the Dukes (3-1, 2-0 Atlantic 10) could set up an Oct. 16 showdown at No. 12 Maine. U Mass. (2-3, 0-2 Atlantic 10) put up a good fight at Boston College last week, losing 29-7, and has beaten James Madison four consecutive times.

The Dukes beat Hofstra, 31-21, last week, with tailbacks Maurice Fenner and Alvin Banks combining to run for 266 yards. Against the Minutemen, James Madison must limit tailback Steve Baylark, who has run for 368 yards and three touchdowns.

"He is a big strong guy," JMU Coach Mickey Matthews said. "We really struggled to tackle him up there last year. Their offensive line is huge. They are more physical than anyone we play, except West Virginia."

"This is an entirely different program" from Hofstra, which threw 31 passes and ran 24 times in last week's game, Matthews said. "They are a run-first team."


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