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Talley Talks Elon and URI

Villanova Head Coach, Andy Talley talked about a number of topics on the CAA Coaches call this week ...

Moderator: Please give us your analysis of your road win at Elon.

Coach Andy Talley: We were on the road for the first time in a while so I think the important aspect of playing in the CAA is being able to win on the road - that is really hard to do. So I was pleased that we were able to travel to Elon - we expected some hot weather and we did get some hot weather. We handled the weather and the trip pretty well. We caught Elon at the best time really. They were coming off a big win against William & Mary the week before. It is hard to win back-to-back in our league especially they had a great win down at William & Mary which is a tough place to play. So we were very skeptical and very concerned about the game, obviously. We got off to a very quick start and were able to score on the first drive of the game, the second drive of the game, the third drive of the game we were on the minus 40 on the fourth drive of the game and I went for it on fourth down. I just felt like our defense was playing well enough at that time that if we didn't get the first down that we could maybe do a pretty good job there so we went for it and we were able to get our fourth touchdown. I think once you can get to 28 in the league early in the game and we are playing really good defense - we had a pretty good day defensively. SO when you put it all together, we had 557 yards of total offense and defensively we held them in tact pretty well. It was one of those days where it was just a Villanova day and Elon had a rough start coming off the William & Mary game. It was difficult task for them to play those two games back-to-back early in the season so I was pretty pleased with the results. 

Moderator: Talk about Zach Bednarczyk and his performance on Saturday.

Coach Andy Talley: Well, he is a guy who I think as he goes we will go and that is usually what happens in this league when you have a quarterback that can play. He was off against Lafayette, he was sick actually and I think he came, guns blazing, for the Elon game and was really accurate, on target, and we held him off running the football against Lafayette. When you hold him back running the football that hurts what he can do - because our second quarterback had a concussion and I didn't really have a second quarterback ready to go against Lafayette so we didn't let him run. Saturday we let him run the ball a little bit and that opens our offense up when he is able to run and throw - so that is why I think we had a pretty good day offensively. 

CBS Radio Sports: Please talk about how Zack Bednarczyk has progressed since he took over as starting QB

Coach Andy Talley: Last year he was pressed into service in the third game of the year against Delaware when John Robertson went out with the knee. It was just a battle under fire, he really had to just go in and get it done and he played some really terrific games and he had a couple of rough games and we almost snuck by with him last year but he had very good valuable experience and he showed signs that he could be the kind of valuable quarterback that he is right now. What we are looking for him to do is to play consistently well throughout the rest of the season and put together another really good game offensively back-to-back. I think in our league when the quarterback plays well every week, you really have a chance.

CBS Sports Radio: And speaking of every week, you have Rhode Island coming in this week - what problems do they pose for you?

Coach Andy Talley: Rhode Island is a team that finally got on the winning track against Brown. They have played a very difficult schedule. Two of the three teams they have played, Albany and Harvard, are undefeated and New Hampshire has only lost one game. They have had a very very difficult schedule as opposed to us. Our schedule is a little light early in the season. We anticipate Coach Fleming bringing that group down here and playing hard. Jim is a guy who coached for me, was my defensive coordinator, and I know him very well. He is a terrific guy, a terrific coach and he is right around the corner from getting this Rhode Island team where they need to be in our league. We know we are going to have a rough game.

VUSports: Fill us in on the prognosis for the return of Javon White and given the way that Matt Gudzak and Aaron Forbes have played, how do you see mixing in all three of your running back options?

Coach Andy Talley: We held Javon out last week because we felt that Matt Gudzak was ready to go and Matt certainly responded and had a really good game. If Javon is a little better tomorrow, we will work him into the mix because now we have three very talented tailbacks. Actually, it is going to be tough to get all three reps. Aaron Forbes is a tremendous young running back - we love him. And Gudzak has real good legs underneath him right now because he didn't have a preseason. He was really sharp Saturday. I think it will be interesting to see how we can use all three so we will wait and see how well Javon does this week in practice but I think he will be feeling better so we will probably have a problem trying to get all three reps.

Moderator: Talk about how well your defense played.

Coach Andy Talley: Well we matched up pretty well with Elon and I think the defense right now is playing very well. They are a very talented group and we are able to play a lot of guys on defense which helps - with not a lot of drop off. It is really important to be able to team up some of the younger guys that have helped us because we are going to start to get some injury and we got to have people that can back up a little bit. Our secondary has played really, really well. I like what our linebackers are doing right now. Austin Calitro is one of the better linebackers in the league. Tanoh Passagnon is having a great year. I really like what he is doing. It is kind of a quiet leadership group on the defense. Two of the captains, both Tanoh and Austin Calitro, are over there. They have an iron grip on that defense and they are pretty stingy right now. In this league, you have got to try to have a good balance of offense and defense and I think we are pushing towards that right now where we are starting to be able to come up with a team that can score points and a defense that can hold people under eighteen points and that is critical. We will see how we go. We are starting to get into the high-powered teams now and we will see if we can maintain the skill set that we have shown up to this point.

Moderator: How big has the leadership from Tanoh and Austin been - because you came into this season with sort of a lot of unknowns ... are you surprised at all with how quickly they have come together and how impressed are you with the leadership of those two guys?

Coach Andy Talley: For the first time, we have ten, 5th-year, Seniors. We have never had that before. So there is a quiet leadership on this team of guys that have been here for five years. Usually we have two or three - because we have been playing a lot of freshmen early on special teams. But I think this year that this team has the maturity to come from behind, to battle, to understand that you are going to be in a tough game going into the third and fourth quarter and have to maintain your resiliency. That has helped us up to this point.


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