Villanova heads into a bye week after demolishing a highly-ranked Fordham team on Saturday. Going into a game against another tough opponent, head coach Andy Talley was obviously nervous about the challenge to his team. Coming off of a two-overtime heartbreaker in Syracuse, the coach was concerned that his team wouldn't be up for the game -- his players, however, were ready to go.
"We had enough to really get out there to play well," Talley said. "It is still very hard to play two tough games back-to-back."
"You have to really focus all week."
With the weather report showing over-90-degree heat at kickoff and a heavy humidity hanging over the stadium, it was as much an opponent to the Wildcats as the Rams were. A lengthy delay in the game also didn't help things. According to the coach, it was, "a game that required a lot of patience because we had two rain delays."
Despite winning 50-6, the head coach has still identified a few items for his team to work on over the bye week. Primarily on the defense and special teams.
"We're still trying to get our kicking game together," Talley noted. The Wildcats tried freshman Steve Weyler early in the game, but the young kicker wasn't ready yet. Chris Gough came back to make all of his extra points and a long field goal, so the coach wants to, "see if we can get more consistent," during the break.
Fordham also was able to run back a late kickoff for a touchdown. The score was ultimately called back for an illegal hold, but it was concerning for the coach that the Rams were able to get so far through the coverage.
The 'Cats have used some starters on special teams, but in a long, hot game, back-ups have to be able to perform as well.
Defensively, the Wildcats have been at their best, and Talley was very eager to pat them on the back for a strong set of performances the first two weeks. The 2014 defense is, perhaps, the fastest the Wildcats have ever been, the coach suggested, and that speed has helped them to catch up and make some plays that they would have missed in the past. The way his players caught up against Syracuse, in particular, underlined that speed.
The unit has a number of "young guys" who have stepped up, and the defensive line, in particular, "is playing really well, with a lot of quickness," the coach said.
Concerning for fans, however, is the injury situation for star quarterback John Robertson -- who was named CAA Offensive Player of the Week this morning. He injured his non-throwing hand in the first quarter against Fordham.
"We had it X-rayed and he has a slight crack in his non-throwing hand," Talley reported. "So he'll have a cast."
The hand specialist said that the injury should heal within 2-to-3 weeks, and the team expects him to play against James Madison on the 20th. Robertson apparently knew it was broken immediately, according to Talley, the quarterback heard something snap in his hand when it hit the ground.
Based on the location of the crack and the fact that the bone didn't move out of position, the coaches expect him to heal quickly. He played well with the break throughout most of the Fordham game, so continuing on should hopefully not be an issue -- especially with the bye-week.
Quotes and Tweets
Talley - "Thank God for the Bye Week." Says Robertson will be ready to go, but did partly fracture non-throwing hand. #CAAFB— CAA Football (@CAAFootball) September 8, 2014
@Coach_Talley says John Robertson has slight crack in his left hand. Will be in cast— Terry Toohey (@TerryToohey) September 8, 2014
"We're still trying to get our kicking game together" - Talley on what the team will work on over bye week #CAAFB— Brian Ewart (@Brian_Ewart) September 8, 2014
John Robertson should be able to play against JMU, but his left hand is broken and will be in a cast for a bit.— Brian Ewart (@Brian_Ewart) September 8, 2014