As advertised, the #24 Penn Quakers (1-1) gave the #1 Cats (3-1) everything they could handle last night at Villanova Stadium. Penn scored first and the lead changed hands four times, but Villanova ultimately prevailed 22-10 with strong defensive play and a solid fourth quarter on both sides of the ball.
The game took a bad turn early for Nova when All-America wide receiver Matt Szczur left the game after his first touch with a sprained left ankle. He could not return to action. Penn took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter but the Cats fought back regain the lead, 9-7, by halftime, scoring on a safety after Penn's center snapped the ball over the head of his QB and on a one-yard touchdown run by Angelo Babbaro.
Penn took a 10-9 lead with nine minutes left in the game, booting a field goal to cap a 14-play drive. Nova retook the lead for good on Chris Whitney's 21-yard touchdown pass to Norman White with 4:29 remaining (Nova failed to convert a two-point attempt). Villanova’s James Pitts provided some breathing room, intercepting a pass on the Quakers’ next possession and running it back 56 yards for the final score of the game.
VUHoops reader, Chad, reports that "official attendance was 8,000+ and that number appeared to be legitimate." Villanova faces a tough road test next week against the #8 Tribe of William & Mary. Coach Tally said in his press conference that Matt Szczur will not practice this week but hopes to get him healthy enough to play against William & Mary.