Andy Talley's comments from this week's Villanova football luncheon are above. Notable is the injury report, where the coach notes that defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon is most-likely out for the season with an "MCL, PCL and cartilage" injury in his knee. An injury that was previously described as a concussion for linebacker Corey Majors is serious enough that he will likely sit out the remainder of the season as well. Linebacker Joey Harmon is also listed as "doubtful" for this weekend with an undisclosed injury, though it sounds like he should return this season.
That is a tough pill to swallow for the Wildcat's defense that once looked very deep at linebacker and strong on the defensive line. Now, they will look to replace two key players the rest of the way.
Austin Medley's ankle injuries will sideline him for 4-to-6 weeks, requiring Gary Underwood to step up and take on the additional carries and give Kevin Monangai (and John Robertson) a breather.
Coach Talley rarely sounds like an optimist when talking about his team, so it is tough to tell how bad things really are. Their performance against Penn and Maine on the road will help to clarify that situation.
"Penn does the best job of any team we play of defending their home field," Talley stated. The Wildcats have consistently been the better team in this match-up during Talley's era on the Main Line, but the 'Cats haven't always run away with it, requiring a few last-minute plays to keep the streak alive.
"We will have many opportunities to have lunch at Fellinis, and eat Italian food," he said of his relationship with retiring Penn coach Bagnoli.
"I don't think anyone wants to play a team that is a perennial Ivy League champions," Talley said of Penn and the 'Cats' tough schedule. "I prefer to play somebody that we can line up and know that we're two or three touchdowns better than, because the CAA is a war zone."