In a shocking upset in Piscataway, Villanova dominated Rutgers on route to a 37-19 win over the Scarlet Knights. The coup de grace was a 41 yard touchdown by Villanova's Terry Butler on a simple off tackle play in the waning minutes of the game. That play had been designed to do nothing more than eat up clock but Butler "took it to the house" as "out of position" Rutgers players scrambled as best they could to try to catch him from behind.
No way that was going to happen.
That was par for the course. The Wildcats simply outplayed the Knights in each of all four quarters consistently moving the ball on offense and and consistently thwarting Rutgers with their defense.
Positives? There were a few. Markis Facyson, Markus Jones and Clarence Pittman are all talented young running backs with years of excellent play ahead of them. The three have speed, moves and born running ability. Chris Baker is another young player who will shine in years to come. Each one of these players have the ability to become major threats at the Big East level.
Negatives? How much time do you have? There were plenty. The offensive line could not protect Cubit, Cubit himself repeatedly missed (and missed badly) on his passes, the defensive line was unable to put pressure on Brett Gordon even when aided by bllitzing linebackers. When the linebackers did indeed blitz, the Rutgers defensive backs could not cover the Villanova receivers one on one.
It was ugly.
Of particular note was the coaching. Andy Talley and his staff clearly out coached the Rutgers staff. That is not as much of a knock on the Rutgers staff as it would seem since Talley's performance was one of the best coaching performances I have ever seen at any level of football coaching. The Villanova staff mixed brilliant game planning with adroit "on the field" adjustments. They were one step ahead of Rutgers the entire game.
In the final score, it showed.
Villanova, which posted an 8-3 record in sharing the Atlantic 10 championship last season, had the better plays. All three of Rutgers' scores were set up by Wildcats mistakes. Gordon threw two interceptions and the Scarlet Knights' first touchdown was set up when a punt bounced off the leg of a Villanova player.
'Nova tops Rutgers
Mike Fasano: MikeFasano@comcast.net
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