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Patriot League Play Continues at Georgetown

Oct. 31, 2017

 Lafayette at Georgetown
 Gameday Info Gameday 
 Date & Time  Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 - 2 p.m.
 Location  Washington, D.C. | Cooper Field
 Tickets  Lafayette Athletics Ticket Office
 Game Notes  Lafayette Get Acrobat Reader | Georgetown Get Acrobat Reader
 TV  None
 Live Streaming
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Social Media  Twitter & Facebook

The Match-Up: Fresh off a bye week, the Leopards enter the stretch run of the season with a Saturday sojourn to Washington, D.C. to face Georgetown in a 2 p.m. kickoff.

Title Hunt: With three Patriot League games remaining, the Leopards (2-1) find themselves in the Patriot League title hunt. After this weekend, Lafayette plays frontrunner Colgate (3-1) at home on Nov. 11 before venturing to Lehigh (2-1) on Nov. 18 for the 153rd meeting of College Football's Most-Played Rivlary. Colgate is off this week before traveling to Easton and Georgetown, while Lehigh has Bucknell, Holy Cross and Lafayette waiting.

After the Bye: Over the last three seasons, Lafayette is 1-2 after a bye week. That W came on Nov. 22, 2014 in Yankee Stadium when Lafayette topped Lehigh 27-7. The losses came Nov. 21, 2015 at Lehigh (49-35) and Nov. 12, 2016 at Colgate (38-17).

National Numbers: Senior linebacker Brandon Bryant currently ranks second in the nation in tackles with 109 (13.6 per game) and third for solo tackles with 60 (7.5 per game). He is also tied for the seventh-most tackles in a game in 2017 (19 - Harvard). He is averaging 16.5 tackles per game over the last four contests and 15.7 in league play.

Last Time Out: Bucknell's Colin Jonov returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown on the first play of overtime to lead the Bison past Lafayette 13-7 on Oct. 21. The Lafayette defense shut out the visitors' offense, holding Bucknell without an offensive touchdown while limiting the Bison to 208 yards of total offense. But, it was two interceptions for touchdowns that were the difference.

On the Ground: The Leopards running game made some strides against Bucknell, rushing for a season-high 96 yards while also managing the team's first rushing touchdown of the season, a two-yard run by Selwyn Simpson in the third quarter. Simpson finished the game with 45 yards while C.J. Amill added 48.

Flags & Fumbles: The Leopards are first in the nation in fumbles lost, tied with Norfolk State and Butler with just one lost, and eighth in the nation in penalty yards per game (39.38).

Familar Foe: For one coach on the Leopards' staff, Saturday's opponent will be quite familiar. Defensive coordinator Luke Thompson spent the 2014-16 seasons as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Georgetown under current Georgetown head coach Rob Sgarlata.

33 For Three: Senior LB Brandon Bryant was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for three straight weeks.
• It would have been hard to deny him the honor after his career-high 19-tackle performance at Harvard (10/14).
• Versus Fordham (10/7), he made 15 stops in a 14-10 win. Thirteen of Bryant's tackles were solo stops and he also added a sack. He helped the Leopards' defense shut down Fordham on 4-of-5 fourth-down situations and 10-of-16 third-down opportunities while holding All-American Chase Edmonds to 78 yards.
• Bryant made 15 tackles in the Patriot League opener at Holy Cross (9/30). He added two tackles for a loss (one sack) of 10 yards. His biggest stop came on 4th-and-1 at the HC 33 when he stuffed Diquan Walker for no gain and the Leopards took over on downs.
• It very likely could have been four weeks in a row were it not for the dramatic fashion the Bucknell ended. Bryant had 17 tackles in that game.

Parham's Picks: Senior cornerback Phillip Parham has five interceptions in eight games for the Leopards and ranks tied for second in the nation in that statistical category. He has 10 interceptions for his career. The Lincoln Park, Mich. native is fourth in the nation in passes defended [pass breakups (8) + interceptions (5)], averaging 1.9 per game.

The Garrett Era: John Garrett began his first head-coaching assignment on Dec. 21, 2016 when he was introduced at a press conference on the Lafayette College campus. Garrett, the Fred M. Kirby '42 Head Football Coach, brings more than 25 years of coaching experience at the NFL, NCAA FBS and NCAA FCS levels. His most recent stints included offensive coordinator gigs at Richmond and Oregon State. In his first season, Garrett is handling the offensive play-calling duties, taking over a Leopard squad that was 3-19 over the last two seasons.

Punting Prodigy: Freshman Michael Turk has been outstanding in his first season. He is averaging 42.9 yards per attempt (which would rank him first in single-season average at Lafayette) with a long of 64 yards and 14 punts of 50-plus yards. He has landed 14 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line. He is ranked 12th in the nation in punting average.
Turk developed his skills in 2016, training with his uncle Matt Turk, who was an NFL punter for 19 seasons. Prior to that, he had not punted in high school.

Opponent: Georgetown comes into week nine with a 1-7 overall mark and a 0-3 clip in league action. The Hoyas won their season opener at Campbell, but have lost seven straight, including losses to common opponents Harvard (41-2), Princeton (50-30), Fordham (17-9) and Holy Cross (24-10).

Georgetown returns 62 letterwinners, including 17 starters (nine on offense and eight on defense).
Soph. Gunther Johnson has been Georgetown's signal caller, completing 69-133 (52%) for four touchdowns with no interceptions. He has added four rushing scores for a team averaging 48 rushing yards per game.

Defensively, senior DB David Akere is averaging nine tackles per game and has two interceptions.
Rob Sgarlata is in his fourth season as head coach in at Georgetown and holds an 11-30 record.