WASHINGTON — The Bulldogs powered past initial first half struggles to come away with the 31-14 victory at Georgetown on Saturday, giving new head coach Tom Williams his first victory at Yale.
Led by two first-time starters — running back Jordan Farrell ’10, who ran for 91 yards and two touchdowns, and transfer quarterback Patrick Witt ’12, who threw for two touchdowns and completed 22 of 27 passes — the Elis showcased their strong offense in front of a near capacity crowd here in Washington.
Still, in a day full of debuts for the Bulldogs (1-0), all did not go smoothly at first for the Yale side.
Farrell only ran for six yards off of four carries in the first quarter, and Witt fumbled four times in the first three quarters, with the Georgetown (0-3) defense taking possession twice.
Leading 17-3 with about a minute left in the half, Witt scrambled from pressure and tried to throw the ball out of bounds, but he was tackled, lost the ball, and watched as Hoya junior linebacker Paul Sant’Ambrogio picked it up and ran 38 yards for the touchdown.
“He was trying to do too much,” Williams said of Witt. “At that point he just needs to eat it and live to fight another day.”
Witt was able to keep his composure, though, and with the help of Farrell, lead two consecutive touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to put the game — which at the time was, out of reach, 17-10.
First came a 19-yard touchdown pass to h-back John Sheffield ’10, who reached over his head to make a two-handed grab at the front of the end zone with 12:13 left to play.
After a quick defensive stop by the Bulldogs, Yale received the ball on their 25 yard line and proceeded to march up the field. The possession lasted 12 plays and ended with Farrell running three yards for a touchdown — and taking a lot of time off the clock in the process.
“What made the game was that last drive,” Farrell said. “[To go 75] yards, and take off seven minutes — that’s something that good teams do.
While there may not have been enough time for a Georgetown comeback, there was enough time for the Bulldogs to reward Williams with an inaugural Gatorade shower.
“[Captain Paul Rice ’10] says he wasn’t part of it, but he gave me a congratulatory hug, and as soon as he let go of me I got doused with the Gatorade,” Williams said. “I’m not exactly buying that, but I’ll take it.”