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Lehigh/Georgetown Preview

Lehigh/Georgetown Preview
OK, now I'm in the home stretch... time for my weekly Lehigh preview. With all the hubub about last week's game, the media (and to be honest, even this reporter) had kind of forgotten the Hoyas. But it must be remembered - a loss to the Hoyas would put the Patriot League title and I-AA playoff berth in jeopardy. So it must be treated as a must-win game.

Lehigh Injury Report
TE Steve Burant (OUT)
OL John Reese (OUT)
FS Kaloma Cardwell (OUT)
OLB Jon Guynes (OUT)
DT Royce Morgan (OUT)
LB Randy Rovesti (OUT)
WR/PR Bilal Morris (Doubtful)

OL Tom Toth, out since Week 2 with an ankle injury, rejoins the team, possibly at RT. Backup C John Reese is out, so RT Adam Selmasska would fill in at backup there. Other than that, the Brown & White came out of the Colgate game with no new injuries - just in time for November, and the home stretch of the regular season.

History
Your great-grandfather may remember the early days of this "rivalry", when the Hoyas won 5 of 6 against the Engineers, from 1901 to 1925. Then the Hoyas wouldn't play the Engineers any more this century, after playing almost all those years from 1925 on as an independent.

More recently, Georgetown's football program upgraded thirteen years ago from Division III to Division 1-AA, and joined the mid-major MAAC football conference in 1993. Georgetown as a mid-major did fairly well in the MAAC, winning the conference title three years in a row, and appearing in the ECAC bowl in 1997.

Looking for a new challenge, Georgetown made a step up, joining the Patriot League in 2001, joining Fordham as a football-only member. Since then, they have shown improvement - except against Lehigh. In the 3 games since they joined, Lehigh has outscored the Hoyas 155-38.

Coach Lembo, a Georgetown grad ('92), will be going for Lehigh's 600th win against, of all places, his alma mater on the field on which he played as an undergraduate.

Scouting Georgetown
Coach Bob Benson, in his 12th year at Georgetown, has struggled this year. With a 2-6 record, including 0-4 in the Patriot League, the offense has struggled mightily, only scoring over 20 points twice this year. After beating VMI at home, they have lost their last 2 to mid-major Monmouth and Fordham on the road.

Offense
The Hoyas play a option-style attack with the triggerman senior QB Andrew Crawford. He has only scored three TDs so far this year passing and running and has, it has to be said, largely ineffective.

The main weapons of their option atack are junior TB Chris Sarin and, in his first collegiate start, freshman HB Erik Carter. Sarin is the meat and potatoes of G'Town's offense and is averaging 90 yards a game. Carter, obviously, is an unknown quantity. Backup TB Emir Davis also gets some time rushing the ball as well.

They will be running behind a decent sized front line with a lot of inexperience (though two seniors, RG Frank Terrazinno and LT John Cummings, are featured).

The top receiving threats for the Hoyas are junior TE Glenn Castergine and senior WR Janerio Wooten. Senior WR Craig Agnello has some talent also and shouldn't be overlooked.

Defense
G'Town plays a base 4-3 and has had *lots* of success rushing the passer this year. Inarguably the Hoyas' best athlete is junior DE Michael Ononibaku, who is 5th in all of I-AA with 9 1/2 sacks. He also returned an interception for a touchdown last week versus Fordham. Sophomore DE Alex Buzbee is close behind with 6 1/2 sacks.

Having said that, the Hoyas have been giving up yards against the run this year up the middle from a front line that is undersized. More often than not, it's junior LB Mehdi Hassan making the tackle, who is the cream of the linebacking corps.

Senior CB Adam Banks leads the defensive back unit, who has averaged giving up over 180 yards a game.

Special Teams
Sophomore Brian Tandy and freshman Emir Davis have settled in as the main return men for the Hoyas, who have not broken any plays this year for TDs. Last week, sophomore PK Michael Gillman missed an extra point in one of his few attempts this year.

Keys to the Game
1.Kicking. We need a game to get the kicking game in order. No out-of-bounds kickoffs, or missed PATs. The goal should be an error-free day kicking the ball.
2.Bottling the run. Bottling up Sarin should effectively bottle up the Hoya attack - key on him early and often. They're an option team, so "Graz" and Jason Murray will need to pursue well to the outside.
3.Pass protection. When Borda goes back to pass, you can't ignore G'Town's talent at the ends. Respect them and give Borda time to pick apart the secondary.
4.Taking care of business. Lehigh must win this game. Don't go in overconfident. The Mountain Hawks have a job they need to complete - make sure it gets done.

Fearless Prediction
Hard to imagine a tougher matchup for the Hoyas. Lehigh hopefully will roll like I know they're capable of doing.

Lehigh 49, G'Town 0

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