George Washington doesn't face many opponents over the course of a season who can match the big-play bursts of Ryan Switzer, its senior tailback and Kennedy Award winner.
One of those games, however, comes tonight.
Capital can counter the speedy Switzer with its own playmakers, and hopes to break off a few big gainers of its own when the teams lock up at Laidley Field for a 7:30 kickoff.
"They're thriving off the big plays,'' GW coach Steve Edwards Jr. said of the Cougars. "Their big-play capability is really scary.''
Sophomore Kashaun Haley leads Capital's group of game-changing players with eight touchdowns of more than 50 yards - two coming on kickoff returns, two on receptions, two on runs and one each on an interception return and punt runback.
James Richmond, a junior running back for the Cougars (4-3), scooted 61 yards for a TD at Greenbrier East and went 48 yards for a score last week against No. 1 Cabell Midland.
"It's been a tough week of preparation,'' Edwards said, "because they've got so many guys who can do so many things. Matching up personnel-wise is going to be a challenge - that's what makes them so tough and dangerous.''
Of course, the No. 4 Patriots (6-1) aren't without their own not-so-secret weapon. Switzer has scored 20 touchdowns in five games since being sidelined with a concussion, and 13 of his 21 TDs this year have come from more than 50 yards.
Last year, Switzer ran for 227 yards and two TDs as GW earned a 39-29 home win against Capital.
"Hopefully, we'll do a little bit better up front and don't let him get started,'' said Cougars coach Jon Carpenter. "Last year, we couldn't catch him once he got five, six yards downfield. You don't want to let him get out in the open. Hopefully, he'll get some yards and not get in the end zone.