With last week’s loss, the CAA title is out of reach for the Villanova Wildcats. However, they’re still very much in contention for one of the un-seeded spots in the FCS playoffs. That makes this weekend’s final match-up with the Delaware Blue Hens a must win if the team hopes to extend head coach Andy Talley’s final season.
Delaware has had a lack luster season, to put it mildly. At 4-6 (2-5), there’s no hope for the playoffs or even a winning season. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot to play for on Saturday. It will be Senior Day, and the Blue Hens’ senior class has never beaten the Wildcats, something they’d desperately like to do. Defensive tackle Grant Roberts went as far as to say “It’s like our Super Bowl”, so yeah, they want this one.
Here’s a few things Nova fans should look for this weekend.
Win one for Andy
A loss this weekend would bring to an end the greatest coaching career in Villanova Football history. Andy Talley brought this program from the lowest of lows, building a program from scratch after its 1984 reinstatement, to the highest of highs, the 2009 FCS National Championship. Every Wildcat on the field will be giving their all to a coach that has given this school and this team everything. If that’s not motivation to win a football game, I don’t know what is.
Ground and Pound
Villanova has found most of its success this season through it’s ground game, and the Blue Hens are no different. Delaware has a dual threat in the backfield of junior Wes Hills and sophomore Thomas Jefferson. Hills is a freak athlete who’s just as good in the short passing game as he is taking the hand-off. Jefferson was last seasons CAA Co-Offensive Rookie of the year along with Villanova’s Zach Bednarczyk. Expect both of these backs to try to solve the puzzle that has been Villanova’s run defense this season.
This could come down to the wire...
The Villanova vs Delaware game seems to be one in which you can throw away the teams’ records, because they end up being really, REALLY, close. How close you ask? Villanova won last year’s contest on a come from behind field goal in the last second of the game. The year before, the Wildcats scored a touchdown with less than 30 seconds left to take the lead and go on to win. And the year before that Villanova came from behind in the final few minutes to win by a touchdown. Three straight years, three straight Nova victories of 7 points or less in the final minutes. Another close one wouldn’t surprise me.