Yes, that's right folks! We actually have a football game this weekend. Now, you may have forgotten about the Villanova football team through this entire Big East expansion mess the past week, but rest assured, despite their 0-3 start and a slightly confirmed report of me trying to black them out of my memory, they will take the field this weekend.
'Nova travels to downtown Philadelphia to face Pennsylvania in The Schuykill Showdown - seriously, there's a name for this game? The Quakers haven't beaten Villanova in God knows how long (actually, it's been 99 years - not kidding), but if there was ever a time to spring the upset, it's this year since Villanova apparently has a completely incapable offense one year removed from having one of the most feared rushing attacks in football.
Join me after The Jump as we take a closer look at Penn while trying to convince ourselves that we will win a game this year.
Penn on Offense
The Quakers got roasted in their season-opener last week (those Ivy Leaguers have an odd football schedule) by Lafayette. The 3 QB's they trotted out all found similar fortunes, which is to say they found nothing at all. Billy Ragone was given the longest leash, finishing 8-23 for 91 yards and 2 INT's. Next in line was Ryan Becker, who finished a cool 5-11 for 49 yards. Bringing up the rear was Andrew Holland, whose 4-6 effort for 30 yards was tops percentage-wise on the day. Safe to say, they don't have much going on through the air, though I'm sure 'Nova will do their best to make sure they have a field day.
On the ground the story changes drastically. Penn ran up 213 yards on the ground (4.4 yards per carry on 42 attempts), yet had trouble finding the end zone (they just 1 TD). Brandon Colavita was the main threat with 70 yards on 14 carries. Billy Ragone had much more success on the ground (75 yards on 9 carries) than he did through the air. Greg Schuster will also see some carries as well after he was given 7 in the opening game.
Penn on Defense
Lafayette did whatever they wanted to do through the air, racking up 230 yards passing and 4 TD's. That left little need to establish the run, yet they were still able to pick up 136 yards on the ground.
Senior LB Jason Rasmussen led the Quakers in tackles last week with 7, while safety Evan Jackson was right behind him with 6 tackles. Rasmussen's senior LB mate Erik Rask notched Penn's only sack on the game, while recording 5 tackles.
With Lafayette finding so much success through the air, it says a lot about Penn's defensive line that only a LB could record a sack. Obviously, they aren't that good. Christian Culicerto (seriously, let's stick with a QB here people) will hopefully be able to find the same kind of success that Lafayette did.
Why Penn Will Win
Honestly, because they are due. And because Villanova is not that good.
Why Villanova Will Win
I have no reason to expect them to win this game with the exception of blind faith (which I'm going with).