The Villanova Football team traveled to Rhode Island on Saturday and fell to the Rams 17-14, their 3rd loss of the season, and 2nd in conference. The loss leaves 'Nova in a tough spot late in the year, with a home game against New Hampshire on tap for next weekend before the season finale against Deleware in The Battle of the Blue. One more loss could eliminate the 'Cats from the playoffs, although currently they are still projected as a #5 seed.
Neither game will be easy, and if Villanova plays like they did on Saturday, they'll have their season cut much shorter than planned. Rhode Island took a play out of Andy Talley's playbook by using defense and special teams to knock off the defending champs.
An interception return for a touchdown in the 1st quarter and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown in the 4th were the big different for the Rams. Villanova's defense was good not great, but this loss can hardly be pinned on them as they only gave up 3 points.
The Villanova offense was a little too late to the scene as turnovers plagued them throughout the game. Chris Whitney had an uncharacteristically awful performance, but he wasn't the only one. The 'Cats could only muster 97 yards on 32 carries - a lot of credit must be given to the Rhode Island defense for the stunning performance against what many have considered the best rushing attack in FCS.
Andy Talley and company will hope to rebound next weekend at home against New Hampshire and save their playoff hopes. Matt Szczur cannot come back soon enough.