The 2-1, Villanova Wildcats faces the Lafayette Leopards on Saturday in Easton Pa. in the last non-conference game on the Cats' 2016 schedule. Despite the close proximity between the two schools, this marks only the 5th meeting. Lafayette won the four previous meetings which took place between 1898 and 1920.
The Cats are coming off a 4-21 home win over Towson in which the defense continue to perform at a high level and the offense began to demonstrate more balance and efficiency. The Leopards enter the game 1-2 on the season after a 35-31 road loss at Princeton last week.
Earlier this week, when asked what he expected from Lafayette, Coach Andy Talley stated "They have been in the wars. They have already played some really good teams. They played Delaware early on and Frank Tavani [Lafayette head Coach] has these guys ready to go. This is a big game for Lafayette - us coming in there and he is trying to right the ship a little bit. He had Princeton lined up and almost pulled that game off which makes a big difference when you are 2-1 as opposed to 1-2. This is a big game. I know we are going to see a real good Lafayette team and their record is not indicative of the kind of football team that they are. I know Lafayette well and Frank and his coaches and those kids will play hard. This is an important game for both of us. ... we haven't played Lafayette in my tenure but I always felt it was a sort of natural game. We have played Lehigh and now have a chance to come up and play at Lafayette is really neat for me."
When asked what his primary concerns were coming into the game against the Leopards, Coach Talley told VUSports "Well we had a rough go with Towson. I feel like our players don't know Lafayette at all. We have never played them. We had the same problem with Lehigh. With the scholarship levels now in the Patriot League, they can play with anybody. We have to make sure that we don't have a let-down - that they approach the game like they would approach a CAA game. That is the big thing when you play out of league in the CAA. All of our kids think that the CAA is the best around but the Patriot League has certainly proven that they have some terrific teams and you better be ready to play."
On offense, Villanova's Zach Bednarczyk had a career-high three touchdown passes last week against Towson and Javon White continued to run the ball with conviction and strength. Defensively, the Cats have been stingy. Junior, Safety, Rob Rolle led the charge last week and was named CAA Defensive player of the week.
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