It's been a roller coaster season for the Georgetown Hoyas: One week they were riding the crest of setting six school records against Swarthmore, and then came Saturday's ebb when quarterback Bill Jenkinson was sacked 10 times by cross-town rival Catholic.
The Hoyas, who suffered through a 2-8 record last season, have rebounded with a new pass-hungry, pro-style offense that has bewitched defenses and set numerous school records en route to a 4-4 mark.
In its wins, Georgetown has outscored Gallaudet, St. Peter's, Johns Hopkins and preseason top 20 Franklin and Marshall by a combined 125-22. But in the setbacks, the Hoyas have been outscored, 142-107.
Save the 1987 and 1988 seasons -- when the Hoyas won six games each season -- the program has had history of losing. The new offense is accountable for the team's marked improvement, but so is a simple case of embarrassment.
"Last year we had two passing touchdowns all year," senior wide receiver David Cesares said. "Having that stat in your face all summer makes you really want to change it."
Glacken, a quarterback with the American Football League's Denver Broncos during the 1960s, said the turnabout is the result hiring offensive line coach Paul Litwinetz, a former assistant at Catholic and a counselor in the Fairfax County Public Schools system.
"His philosophies are completely different from what we've had here the last 20 years," Glacken said. "Paul's a true student of the game. We first met last winter and developed a brand-new offense through the spring."
His changes have resulted in mayhem of the best sort. The passing attack has dominated the opposition, particularly that of Swarthmore, which managed a 33-31 victory over Georgetown Oct. 13 despite being victimized by an offense that set or matched six school records:
Quarterback Jenkinson, normally platooned with fellow sophomore Craig DeGruchy, erased a 25-year-old record with 384 passing yards. The old record: 295 by Tony Lauinger in 1965 against Fordham.
Jenkinson tied another mark, held by two others, for touchdown passes in a game with four.
Wide receiver Chris Murphy had 190 receiving yards, breaking the mark by Clayton Wagner against Catholic in 1976.
The passing yards and touchdown passes in a game were team records.
The Hoyas have 13 passing touchdowns in six games, surpassing the mark of 12 in eight games in 1978 and 1988.
Then, as if to prove that six records were not enough, the Hoyas set one more in their 17-3 homecoming win over Johns Hopkins, then two more in the 26-9 loss to Catholic. Jenkinson's 132 passing yards helped Georgetown set a single-season team passing record with 1,378 yards, surpassing the three-year-old mark of 1,300. Murphy's four receptions against the Cardinals brought his season total to 39 and his total yardage to 576.
Glacken junked traditional formations such as the power-I and wishbone in favor of a multiple pro-set. In the past, Glacken's playbook had four or five offensive formations; now there are more than 10. The players say they've had little problem learning the new schemes. "It's tougher for defenses to adjust to us," Murphy said. "Now we come from both sides, sometimes in four-receiver formations."
Jenkinson said he likes the more intricate passing game, but he still has room to improvise. "I audible a lot if I see a switch in the defense. It's almost like backyard football. My receivers know to instinctively break off their patterns when they see I'm in trouble."
Lest any observer forget, Georgetown still is 4-4. Mistakes have hurt the Hoyas, especially two fumbles inside their 20-yard line that Swarthmore converted into a 14-0 lead. Then there was the low point of the season: allowing Catholics to sack Jenkinson and backup Craig DeGruchy 12 times.
"I'm very pleased with the progress," Glacken said. "But there are some parts of the team that need more work."
Two in particular: the running game and the secondary, both of which have been hindered by injuries. Three of last year's top runners are out of action: Jim Ellis, who left school for personal reasons; Bill McRae, who broke his back in 1989 and has not received medical clearance to play; and J.J. Williams, who pulled a stomach muscle in the first week of the season.
Picking up the slack has been senior Joe Cesare, back from career-threatening knee surgery, and freshman Rob Scarlata, who contributed a 39-yard run in the Hoyas' 33-0 upset of Franklin and Marshall.
The secondary welcomes back Mike Sotirhos, a preseason Division III all-American candidate returning from a broken leg, and Jim Bolger, whose leads Division III with seven interceptions despite having a pin inserted in his broken right thumb. Bolger returned an interception 70 yards for the clinching score in the victory over Hopkins.
The Hoya defensive front has also made a loud statement with 44 sacks in eight games. They have allowed 45, though.
Nose guard Tony Zaslav, from Bethesda-Chevy Chase, had five Saturday against the Blue Jays (the team had 16) and was named East Coast Athletic Conference Division III defensive player of the week. Last season the Hoyas had 27 sacks in 10 games.
"What these kids have picked up has been incredible," Glacken said. "We have extremely intense individuals who work very hard."