They are 17-4 under the former Ravenswood star and 1998 Hunt Award winner.
Then there were potentially debilitating injuries. Against Capital, Dustin Crouser - a Charlotte recruit and GW's second-best player - suffered a knee injury that ended his prep career.
The Patriots were without starting linemen Jack Skidmore and Alex Jones, as well as receiver/defensive back Jacob Jackson last week against Columbus, Ohio-based St. Francis DeSales.
The Patriots circled the wagons, as they say, and came away with a 49-20 win over the Stallions.
You can read into however you like Edwards Jr.'s comments after the game: "We have to establish some unity and keep this thing going."
Between a loss to Capital and last week's inspired victory, there were some air-clearing conversations behind closed lockerroom doors at GW.
"We put some things into perspective for them," Edwards Jr. said. "We had some talks, got down and got honest."
"It was a rough week, but it also was a good wakeup call," senior quarterback Trevor Bell said.
George Washington has a regular-season game against Parkersburg on Saturday at University of Charleston Stadium before the playoffs begin.
The added pressure of being the team that's expected to win has dissipated considerably, but the Patriots' aren't exactly also-rans either.
Against the upstart Cougars, it appeared as if the window of opportunity was being shut on the Patriots' fingers.
That time hasn't come, but GW is in rally mode as it has thus far fallen short of its goal despite having Switzer, arguably the best player in the history of the program, doing virtually everything for the better part of his four years on the team.
The Patriots were No. 1 in 2007 when they lost 14-3 to No. 8 East Fairmont at University of Charleston Stadium. They also were top-ranked in 2010 when Brooke, another No. 8 seed, defeated them 28-21 at Steve Edwards Sr. Field.
As the playoffs near, Martinsburg will be trying to become the second Class AAA team to win three consecutive state championships, dating to the Charleston High teams of 1968-70.
North Marion won Class AAA championships in 1980 (10-3 over Brooke) and '81 (21-6 over Fairmont Senior). The Huskies reached the 1982 title game but fell to Coach Steve Edwards Sr.'s Patriots.
George Washington wouldn't mind a repeat of that scenario with Martinsburg replacing North Marion.
The Patriots need a lot to go right to make that happen, but it just doesn't seem as hard when it's not expected.
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstev...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4837.