Georgetown scored more points than it had the previous three weeks combined, but the Hoyas' offense contributed little in a 35-19 loss to Patriot League rival Bucknell at Harbin Field yesterday. The defense either set up or scored each of the Hoyas' touchdowns.
Georgetown's opportunistic defense forced six turnovers, but the Hoyas turned only three of those takeaways into points. Matt Barbiasz and Mo Banks (Gwynn Park) each returned interceptions for touchdowns and a fumble recovery by Dan Paulus led to Emir Davis's one-yard touchdown run.
The loss was the fourth straight for Georgetown (1-4, 0-3 Patriot League).
"Frustrating game. . . . We're close, very close, but how many times can you say it?" Georgetown Coach Bob Benson said.
The responsibility for the losing streak falls squarely on the shoulders of the offense: Georgetown ranks last in the Patriot League in total offense (191.5 yards per game). Since they gained 347 yards in their season opener, the Hoyas have failed to reach 175 yards in a game. Against Bucknell, they produced 162 yards, 45 of which came on Drew Crawford's desperation pass to Janeiro Wooten (Oxon Hill) as time expired.
Of the 26 offensive plays in the first half, all but three involved either tailback Kim Sarin or quarterback Keith Allan. The other three plays were runs by Davis. The Hoyas showed a little more diversity in the second half, with nine players contributing offensively. Georgetown could have used the powerful running of Marcus Slayton, but he was not in uniform after injuring his ankle against Colgate last week.
"I think the whole team is frustrated with the offense," Allan said.
"Offensively, we have struggled. I would expect them [the defense] to be. If I was a defensive player, I absolutely would be frustrated with the offense. They played great today. . . . We didn't."
Banks said the defensive players haven't lost faith in the offense.
"I believe we were [frustrated] at first, but we've got to play as a team," Banks said. "We've just got to pick the offense up. They're starting to play together now."
Allan completed his only pass -- a one-yard loss to Wooten -- with 3 minutes 13 seconds to play in the third quarter. He finished 1 for 6. Crawford replaced him at the start of the fourth quarter and completed 5 of 13 passes for 89 yards.
"Probably just like everyone else, you sit there and say why don't you play Crawford? Like you, we have all the same thoughts," Benson said. "Why not Crawford as a change-up? And yet, it's more than just one guy. . . . You need to establish confidence in that young man [Allan]."
Special teams breakdowns also hurt Georgetown. A mere 14 seconds after Barbiasz returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown -- the longest interception return in school and Patriot League history -- Dante Ross returned the kickoff 97 yards for a score. Georgetown went from leading 13-7 to trailing 14-13.
Then to start the second half, Ross returned the kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown. Ross is the first Patriot League player to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in a season, let alone a game.
Despite the offense's lackluster performance, the Georgetown defense kept the score close until the fourth quarter. Bucknell scored two of its touchdowns with less than 10 minutes remaining. The defense showed its usual aggressiveness, forcing eight fumbles, recovering four. Christopher Paulus had two fumble recoveries.
SHAW 27, BOWIE STATE 14: Dion McIver (128 yards), Terrance Ford (118) and Jermo Kimbrough (92) led the Bears (4-2, 2-2 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) to a total of 357 yards rushing and a win over visiting Bowie State (3-3, 2-2). The Bulldogs' highlight came early in the second quarter when Christopher Glass returned a fumble 79 yards for a touchdown.