Andy Talley’s season likely isn’t over just yet, after Villanova smashed their way through the Battle of the Blue to win 41-10 against their rivals to the south. A big second quarter allowed the ‘Cats to head into halftime with a 20-10 lead. After the break, the defense came through and pitched a shut-out to lock down the victory.
The Wildcats were determined to send the program’s longtime coach out with one last trip to the FCS playoffs, and at 8-3, they look set for that now. Delaware finished their season 4-7 after the loss, capping a disappointing season for the Blue Hens, and sending their athletic department back to the drawing board to search for a head coach.
Villanova has won five straight against Delaware, and 10 of the last 11 meetings. There is a reason that Andy Talley was voted one of the most-hated men in the First State a few years back. Yet, on Saturday afternoon, Talley was named an Honorary Blue Hen as a retirement gift, and was greeted by old friend and ex-Hen coach Tubby Raymond at the coin toss.
Zach Bednarczyk went 13-of-17 for 195 yards and four touchdowns in the victory. He used six different receivers, with Changa Hodge grabbing three passes for 61 yards and a score. Tight end Ryan Bell reeled in two short touchdown passes in the game.
Tailback Matt Gudzak ran for 121 yards and another score, while Javon White was also able to find the endzone today for Villanova. Gudzak also scored on a 54-yard pass.
For the defense, linebacker Ed Shockley had a team-leading nine tackles (six solo) and had the team’s only sack. Safety Rasaan Stewart had four tackles and one interception.
The Wildcats opened the game with a long, seven and a quarter minute drive of 14 plays over 97 yards. Bednarczyk capped the drive with a four-yard toss to Bell to put them ahead 7-0. When the got the ball back again in the second quarter, a quick possession saw Bednarczyk spotting Hodge for a 34-yard score six plays into the drive to go up 14-0.
Delaware responded with a six play, 61-yard drive that stalled in the redzone, with Villanova’s defense holding them to a field goal.
In total, the Wildcats had four possessions in the first half, and scored touchdowns in all four. The latter two in the second quarter being capped with a 3-yard TD pass to Bell, and the 54-yard pass to Gudzak.
Delaware’s positive momentum heading into the half was a block on Gerard Smith’s extra-point attempt on the last drive, and a late touchdown before the break. The Hens scored on a 7-yard pass from Joe Walker to Owen Tyler after a 7-play, 53 yard drive.
After the break, the Villanova defense locked down on the Hens, as the offense turned to the running game to chew up yards and the clock. They scored once each in the third and fourth quarters, both on short one yard runs.
Looking at a likely playoff spot (the field will be announced at 11am Sunday), senior defensive end Tanoh Kpassagon and offensive lineman Brad Seaton carried Talley off the field.