Jeremy Wang (@japewang)
Kevin Monangai and John Robertson ran all over the Blue Hens defense in a romp that likely means an FCS playoff bid for the Villanova Wildcats.
Things were a little nervy in the 1st half for the Villanova Wildcats, but as the game wore on, Andy Talley's troops wore down the Blue Hens and ultimately romped over their rivals 41-10 in the 2012 Battle of the Blue.
John Robertson got things started quickly for Villanova after the defense opened up the game with a quick 3 and out. Robertson quickly guided the team down the field before hitting Norman White in the back of the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown pass.
Delaware would respond immediately however when Michael Johnson brought the ensuing kickoff back 95 yards for a touchdown.
The rest of the first half was entirely slanted in Villanova's favor, but the Wildcats struggled to convert their dominance into points. First, Kevin Monangai fumbled at the goal line and Delaware recovered in their end zone, ending a key 'Nova scoring opportunity. But Monangai, who finished with 146 yards rushing for his 5th straight 100-yard game, would atone for the error by running it in from 7 yards in the second quarter. The Hens would grab a field goal before the halftime to keep this one close.
In the 2nd half though, it was all Villanova as the Wildcats steamrolled the Hens, though again it took some time to get points on the board. Mark Hamilton hit a pair of field goals to give 'Nova a 20-10 lead before Delaware threatened with a long drive. Ronnie Akins came to the rescue though with an interception in the endzone in the 4th quarter.
John Robertson would respond by driving the team down the field before finishing the drive off with an 11-yard touchdown run that would put 'Nova in total control 27-10. Robertson finished the game with 193 yards passing and 134 yards rushing in one of his best performances of the season.
From there, the defense took over and made this one a laugher. First, Ronnie Akins would grab his 2nd pick of the day and return it for a touchdown, before Eric Loper would follow suit on the next drive and return another for a touchdown to put some style points on an impressive Villanova win.
The win moves Villanova to 8-3 on the season and 6-2 in the CAA ahead of FCS Selection Sunday. Earlier in the day, Richmond beat William & Mary while Towson crushed New Hampshire, meaning that if Old Dominion beats James Madison tonight, Villanova will be crowned the CAA champions.
Whatever happens though, Villanova is looking good for a return to the FCS playoffs.
One more thing - Andy Talley for Coach of the Year!
1030p ET Update: With Old Dominion's 21 point comeback win over James Madison, Villanova is the CAA's auto-bid for the NCAA Tournament.
10:00a ET Update (Brian): VUhoops has learned that Villanova has bid on a home playoff game(s) and believes their bid is competitive. Nova will find out at 1:30pm.
3:00p ET Update (Brian): It was a communication error, but Villanova was "hoping to host" a game by getting a bye in the playoffs, but apparently did not bid on the first round.