Villanova lost an ugly game at Richmond 10-9 on Saturday afternoon, and there wasn't a lot to be happy about as the Wildcats dropped their first CAA game of the season. More importantly, however, they no longer control their own destiny for the conference championship, and likely lost their shot at a high-seed come playoff time.
After being in a bit of a depression yesterday though, I'm now realizing that it's better to lose now and learn from it, rather than have it happen in the playoffs. And furthermore, the defense was outstanding. Their best game of the season and it took a missed PAT for Villanova to lose on the road to a Top-15 team.
Cameron McCurry - A career-high 15 tackles for McCurry, and it was very noticeable. He was everywhere on the defense and was the best player for Villanova on the day in my opinion. He was fantastic in run support and nearly came up with a couple of big INTs as well.
Jason Ceneus - Ceneus has emerged as the best cornerback on a defense in desperate need of solid play at the position. A week after nabbing 2 INTs, he grabbed another on a play that could be used to teach kids the position. His coverage and high-pointing of the football was perfect, and it came as Richmond was driving in to the red zone.
Dillon Lucas - Another player was everywhere for the defense. It was his pressure on Rocco that forced the late INT that gave stopped Richmond in the red zone and kept Villanova's hopes alive.
Pat Williams - Playing on a sore knee, Williams was an immense presence for most of the afternoon. His biggest play came when he recovered a Rocco fumble inside the Villanova 1-yard line as the Spiders were about to score.
Don Cherry - A relatively quiet day for Cherry, but he stepped up when it mattered and grabbed the INT off of Lucas' pressure. He dropped another one late that would have improved Villanova's field position.
Lincoln Collins - A highlight reel catch for the only Wildcats touchdown of the afternoon. It belongs on the SportsCenter Top 10.
John Robertson - I didn't think we'd see his name here all season, but Robertson was one of the worst players on the field for Villanova (can't believe I'm writing that). Ultimately, he played his worst game of the year at the wrong time. He averaged just 3.0 ypc, completed 48% of his passes and threw a horrible INT as Villanova was marching for a TD. You have to imagine the elements, the cast, and the poor snaps had an impact, but Robertson constantly missed open receivers. Regroup and get 'em next week.
CJ Logan - Logan will claim he was pushed on the play, but he blew up Poppy Livers as Livers attempted a fair catch on a punt, forcing a fumble which Richmond recovered. Special teams were not good (more on that momentarily).
Peter Sotiriou - Sotiriou had been a rock deputising for the injured Ross Hall, but this was a day in which he looked like a walk-on. It felt like he had more bad snaps than good snaps (again, the weather was likely an issue), but it was clearly affecting Robertson's timing.
Steve Weyler - Weyler made a short field goal, giving fans hope that he had the confidence to kick in bad conditions. However, he missed a PAT, which ended up being the difference in the game. That's 7 missed PATs for Villanova on the year, which is the most embarrassing thing I've ever written.
John Hinchen - Hinchen had a good game punting the ball, but he wasn't immune to the special teams flu either. He fumbled a perfect snap, then illegally kicked the ball off the ground for a 15-yard penalty that set Richmond up in the red zone.
Chris Gough - Yes, a perfect trifecta for the Villanova kickers. Gough's blemish came after Villanova took the lead. He promptly shanked the kickoff out of bounds. And it wasn't even close. The ball left the field at the 20-yard line.