Any time a team is starting with a new coach and new ideas, there is bound to be a learning curve to overcome. But Georgetown was feeling the sting of more than just growing pains Friday night.
The Bulldogs had lost their top two quarterbacks earlier in the week as sophomore Caleb Hughes suffered a concussion and senior Patrick Ward broke his hand - likely a season-ending injury.
So the responsibility fell to two quarterbacks who hadn't started taking snaps at practice until just days before.
That proved a little too much for Georgetown to overcome as the offense never developed any momentum, and host Mullins took advantage of a pair of short-field opportunities on its way to a 22-2 win.
"The kids fought their tails off," first-year Georgetown coach Bradley Adams said. "... We just take back a lesson. When adversity strikes, you've got to still continue to answer the bell. And we did our best as far as answering the bell. We wish we could have come out with a win, but I'm proud of these guys. ...
"We had a chance to win this ballgame all the way up until about the last two or three minutes of the game."
The Georgetown defense did an admirable job keeping the Bulldogs in the game - and even accounted for its only points when junior defensive lineman Kalliste Lawrence recorded a safety after an errant pitch by Mullins in the second quarter.
The Mullins offense wasn't any more productive for most of the game, but two short-field opportunities help them take the lead.
Midway through the first quarter, Georgetown fumbled a snap while trying to punt, giving Mullins possession at the Bulldogs' 14. Six plays later junior Rembert Timmons scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, and quarterback Bobby Crawford rushed in for the two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead.
Then in the third quarter, Georgetown punted from deep on its end of the field and was flagged for a facemask penalty on the return. That gave Mullins the ball at the Georgetown 13, and six plays later junior Tracey Dewitt scored from two yards out for a 14-2 lead.
"Those two opportunities, they took advantage of it and that's what beat us," Adams said.
Adams preached positivity in his postgame address to the team, and before the players separated junior running back Leonard Leake spoke up to his teammates.
"I was telling them don't worry about the criticism Monday that we know we're going to have," Leake said. "... We're going to get the win Friday. I believe in our team."
Leake led Georgetown with 50 rushing yards in 15 carries. Senior Jamar Holley handled the bulk of the snaps at quarterback for the Bulldogs.
Timmons led Mullins with 53 rushing yards in eight carries.
Mullins was relying on eight or nine carries playing both ways Friday, coach Gregory Hill said.
"The determination of these kids just really came out," Hill said. "We got a little winded second quarter, and I think we got a little rejuvenated in the second half. We got a little bit of breaks here and there, and we were able to take advantage of them."