Villanova vs. Delaware: 3 Keys To Victory

CAA Football

As we approach Saturday's final regular season game against rivals Delaware, here are 3 keys for the Villanova Wildcats as they look to seal a bid to the playoffs.

Going into the final week of the season, Villanova is in need of a convincing 8th victory and a little bit of luck to make it to the playoffs. Delaware is just looking to avoid a losing record and to knock off their CAA conference rivals in their seniors' final home game. The Wildcats should have a manageable match-up with the underwhelming Delaware squad, but in rivalries, more-so than other games, the resolve of this Delaware team could give them a considerable boost.

1. Pass the ball

Villanova is the CAA's top rushing offense, but a significant component of that attack may be sidelined on Saturday -- the speed. Quarterback John Robertson (the league's 6th-best rusher) won't be able to practice until Tomorrow at the earliest, and may not be able to practice (or play) at all. If Robertson is not able to go, the 'Cats will turn to sophomore Chris Polony, and should look to let him use his arm to toss the ball downfield.

While Delaware ranks first in the CAA in rushing defense, they are 10th out of 11 teams in passing defense. Villanova hasn't thrown much this season, but the Blue Hens are likely to give up yardage in the passing game if the 'Cats try. Kevin Monangai (the CAA's leading rusher) should still get his touches, but if the 'Cats can beat the Hen's in the passing game early, the sophomore running back can be used primarily for clock-control instead of being asked to carry the scoring load.

2. Sack the quarterback

Delaware is dead last in the conference at preventing sacks, allowing their quarterback to be dropped for a loss 27 times this season (24 in conference games). The Wildcats, meanwhile, have been among the best in the league at getting to the quarterback. The Hens have been slightly better throwing the ball than they have been at running it, so a few good hits on the quarterback should keep them from making many big plays.

Star tailback Andrew Pierce may return this week, but would do so in a limited capacity after missing two games with a sprained knee. That means that the passing game could remain the focus for the Hens this week.

3. Win field position on special teams

Especially if Chris Polony starts the game under center, the Wildcats will want to start possessions with good field position, to take pressure off of the quarterback and give the offense options. With a short field, the 'Cats will be able to run the ball more and Polony will have a more manageable passing game in front of him.

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