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Georgetown vs. Princeton: Tigers Drop Home Opener to Hoyas to Start Season 0-2

DENVER - MARCH 18:  Fans of the Princeton Tigers cheer during a timeout against the Texas Longhorns during their first round game of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament March 18, 2004 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Mark BatorAnalyst IISeptember 22, 2012

Despite seeing its starting quarterback going down to an injury in the first quarter, the Georgetown Hoyas found a way to win on the road against the Princeton Tigers while scoring just one offensive touchdown.

Matt MacZura hit three field goals, including the game winner with just 14 seconds remaining, to lift the Hoyas to a 21-20 victory at Princeton Stadium before a crowd of 6,792. The Hoyas improved to 3-1 on the season, while Princeton dropped to 0-2.

Georgetown outgained the Tigers through the air and on the ground and even had more time of possession.

But the difference in the game was clearly special teams.

Princeton built a 14-3 lead early in the second quarter on the strength of two touchdowns by Mark Hayes and Will Powers, but a costly fumble by the Tigers was recovered in the end zone by Georgetown to narrow the score to 14-12 just before halftime.

Starting Georgetown quarterback Aaron Aiken, who had been 8-of-9 before injuring his ankle in the first quarter, was relieved by backup Stephen Skon, who finished 14-of-24 for 121 yards. Georgetown took the lead when Nick Campanella (nine carries for 63 yards) scored on a seven-yard run to give the Hoyas an 18-14 lead as the third quarter ended.

But DiAndre Atwater—son of former NFL defensive back Steve Atwater—ripped off a 53-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter to again put the Tigers ahead. After the extra point was blocked, the Hoyas found themselves down, 20-18.

But Georgetown mounted a 15-play, 72-yard drive that used five minutes and 20 seconds of the clock to set up MacZura's 33-yard field goal to lift the Hoyas to a hard-fought victory over their Ivy League opponents.

Princeton's special teams play was unquestionably its undoing, as not only did kicker Nolan Bieck have one of his field goals blocked (which, incredibly, the Tigers converted into their first touchdown), but he also missed three others. Perhaps most importantly, Bieck had his final extra point attempt blocked following the third Tiger touchdown, leaving the door open for Georgetown's one-point victory.

The Tigers will try to rebound and get their first victory next week on the road against Ivy League rival Columbia.

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