UPDATE: The post-game press conference is embedded below.
On Saturday night Villanova eeked out a 22-10 victory over the Penn Quakers to keep their winning streak in the rivalry alive and push their record to 3-1 on the year.
It was rough night in Villanova, PA as the Wildcats tried their best to put the home fans into cardiac arrest. The Quakers had taken a 10-9 lead with about 9 minutes left in the match, an event that sent me storming out of the bar I was at to try and calm down. Seriously, nothing more frustrating than seeing a score update on your phone and have no idea why your #1 ranked team is struggling. Is Chris Whitney injured? Are the cheerleaders on the offensive line? It's maddening trying to get an FCS update. MOVE UP IN FOOTBALL!
So back to the game - up until late in the 4th quarter, Villanova couldn't get much of anything going against the Penn defense. Finally, the 'Cats scrapped together a 10-play, 74 yard drive that ended with Norman White hauling in a 21-yard touchdown pass that gave the Wildcats the lead for good, ending a night-long panic attack for myself and Jamie.
To really seal up the win, James Pitts mercifully returned an interception 56 yards for a touchdown with about 2 minutes left and ended Penn's comeback bid and let the home crowd feel at ease. Finally. Thank you James.
The defense was stifling yet again, despite allowing Penn to rush for 100 yards (becoming only the 5th team to do it in Villanova's last 19 games). But after allowing an early Penn TD, they held the Quakers to 3 points for the rest of the contest. The streak they've been on since last year is truly incredible, and they are definitely the backbone of this team.
One concerning event was that Matt Szczur had to leave the game with an ankle injury and appeared very dinged up after the game. No word yet on his availability for next week, although in the press conference it doesn't sound like he'll be practicing this week. Greeeeeeeat.
For more on the game, check out Villanova.com.
Villanova has got it's hands full next week as they travel to William & Mary for a Top-10 matchup, and a rematch of last year's National Semi-Finals which the Wildcats won 14-13. Should be a good one!