Sports

Football to jumpstart new season in nation’s capital

Eighteen new starters take field, hope to repeat last year’s beatdown of Georgetown

By
Senior Staff Writer
Friday, September 19, 2014

Offensive linemen Matthew Girard ’17 and Clayton Eubank ’17 huddle up with their teammates. The sophomores will lead a team that lacks veterans on the offensive side of the ball this year.

The football team opens its 2014 season with a trip to Washington to face Georgetown University on Saturday.

In 2013, the Bears opened a strong season with a 45-7 obliteration of the Hoyas in Providence that propelled them to a 6-4 record. But to repeat last year’s feat, the team will have to find its identity on the fly. With only four of last year’s 22 starters returning — none on offense — the 2014 Bears are almost unrecognizable from 2013 team. With new players comes a new style of play, and Bruno will have to quickly discover what works best.

The Bears are ready to “find out what kind of squad we are,” said quarterback Marcus Fuller ’15.

Unfortunately for the Bears, Georgetown will have an advantage in experience. The Hoyas have three games under their belts: losses to Wagner College and the University of Dayton and a win over Marist College. They have already undergone the growing pains that accompany a new season. But there’s a flip side to this coin.

“We have two game films on them,” said center John Heile ’16, adding, “and they don’t have any on us.”

The Hoyas may know who they are but that means Bruno gets to know too. The Bears also have the element of surprise on their side.

“They don’t know anything about us,” said linebacker Dan Giovacchini ’15.

“With 11 offensive starters … and a bunch of starters on defense leaving, we’re a completely different unit,” Heile said.

With the benefit of film, the Bears are looking to take advantage of the Hoyas’ habits and playing style.

“We just kind of look at schemes, tendencies, things like that, any weaknesses we could possibly exploit,” Heile said. “We just craft a game plan around what we see from them.”

Both Giovacchini and Fuller noted some specific Georgetown tendencies they plan to use to inform their play. Giovacchini observed that the Hoya offense has been “pass-happy,” while Fuller said he anticipated some “situations where (Bruno’s) receivers are matched up with their (defensive backs) one-on-one.”

All things considered, the Bears expressed confidence about how they will play together and what waits for them in the nation’s capital.

Heile described the team’s chemistry as “incredibly important, and I think it’s come a long way … it’s only going to get better and better.” After spring practices and a scrimmage against Yale, the Bears have a fair amount of team experience, even if they have none in live game action.

Several players said that if the Bears can adhere to their game plan and avoid penalties, they should have a good shot to open the year with a victory.

“We think we can have a lot off success against this D,” Fuller said. “We don’t need any crazy individual performances. It just takes everybody doing their part.”

“We’re looking forward to the challenge,” Giovacchini added.

Saturday’s game kicks off at noon.

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