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In Their First Night Game at Home, It's Lights Out for Hoyas

Howard quarterback Floyd Haigler is lifted off the ground by Rutgers defensive backs Devin McCourty (21) and Joe Lefeged after picking up yardage during first-half action.
Howard quarterback Floyd Haigler is lifted off the ground by Rutgers defensive backs Devin McCourty (21) and Joe Lefeged after picking up yardage during first-half action. (By Rich Schultz -- Associated Pressap)

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By Kathy Orton
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 13, 2009

The first night game at Multi-Sport Field brought out a large Georgetown contingent, the second-largest crowd since the field opened five years ago. Unfortunately, the Hoyas gave their fans little to cheer about.

Although Georgetown's offense came out rejuvenated in the second half, it was too little too late for the Hoyas, who lost, 28-3, to Lafayette before 2,875 on Saturday night.

"It's really disappointing," senior center Dan Matheny said. "We talked all week about how excited we were for this game. . . . It's only the second game, we've got nine games left, and the key right now for this football team is to not end up like years past [when] we lose the first two games and it all spirals downhill."

Jose-Pablo Buerba's 33-yard field goal in the third quarter accounted for the only points the Hoyas (0-2, 0-2 Patriot League) mustered against Lafayette (1-0, 1-0). The Leopards, who led the league in scoring and total defense last season, held Georgetown to 213 yards total offense.

The Hoyas' first offensive play -- quarterback James Brady was sacked for an eight-yard loss -- seemed to foreshadow the offense's woes. Georgetown recorded only one first down in the first half and that came on a roughing-the-passer penalty against Lafayette. The Hoyas ran just 24 plays and gained 35 yards -- 13 yards rushing, 22 yards passing -- in the first half.

"We didn't take advantage of what they were giving us," Georgetown Coach Kevin Kelly said.

With the offense spending little time on the field -- less than nine minutes in the first half -- Georgetown's defense, not surprisingly, wore down trying to contain Lafayette.

The Hoyas, who allowed 519 yards of total offense to Holy Cross a week ago, didn't fare much better against the Leopards. Lafayette finished with 464 yards of total offense.

After falling behind by three touchdowns, Georgetown's offense came out of halftime inspired. The Hoyas put together a well-orchestrated nine-play drive that resulted in Buerba's field goal.

In the second half, Georgetown made much more of an effort to run the ball. Charlie Houghton, who had only two carries in the first half, ran the ball twice during the first drive after halftime. Houghton ended up with 35 yards on nine carries.

The offensive line seemed to protect Brady better, giving him more time to find his receivers. Keerome Lawrence had just one catch for four yards in the first half.

But on the first drive of the second half, Lawrence caught a pass for 11 yards and had another pass go through his fingertips in the end zone. He finished with five catches for 45 yards.


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