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postGame: William & Mary 31, Villanova 24

Apologies for the delayed post -- as I said earlier I was without Internet access for much of the weekend, and today I've been trying to gather my thoughts about this game.

On Saturday afternoon, the William & Mary Tribe finally put an end to Villanova's FCS-reign, and exacted revenge on the team that knocked them out of the FCS playoffs last year by staving off a late Villanova rally and holding on for a 31-24 win.

The Tribe defense, in association with the disappeance of the high-powered 'Nova attack, was the story of the game. William & Mary held Villanova to just 62 yards on the ground, and it wasn't until late in the game that the offense got rolling. But it was too little too late.

The real back-breaker for me is the 84-yard interception return that Chris Whitney threw just before halftime. When that happened, I remember thinking it was over.

Villanova found itself down by 25 points in the 2nd half, and despite racking up 40% of their total yardage in the final period, they couldn't repeat the come-from-behind win that put them in the National Championship a year ago.

Replacing the injured Mike Callahan, Mike Paulus (yes, the brother of that bastard Greg Paulus) made his first career start and performed admirably for the home team, finishing 20-28 for 223 yard, although the Cats picked him off twice, include a huge interception late in the game by Martel Moody that eventually led to Villanova's final score.

Chris Whitney had a decent final line at the conclusion of the event, but most of that came late in the game when he furiously rallied the team back.

...From the people who I've talked to who were able to see the game, we really missed Matt Szczur. The Tribe loaded up front all game and shut down the rushing attack...

...Honestly though, I'm quite surprised our defense surrendered 31 points to a backup QB. Now, Paulus was a big time recruit coming out of high-school, but I didn't expect the offense to click the way it appeared to on Saturday. Giving up 3 touchdowns on the ground is a surprise as well...

...I went through a few stages following this game -- shock, followed by grief, and then, amazingly, happiness...FCS isn't like FBS...a loss doesn't kill you...we just can't have another...

...Plus, I think the shock of finally losing in their league after being so dominant will help wake this team up...we go to a Bye week now and hopefully we'll have Szczur back after a few weeks of rest...

...Stay strong 'Nova Nation this season isn't over yet...