The Cats dominated both sides of the ball and scored touchdowns on the first three ‘Nova possessions to control the game from start to finish. The 21-0 first quarter margin was followed up with touchdowns in both the second and third quarter before Villanova took the foot off the gas and coasted to a 35-0, home victory over Rhode Island today.
‘Nova amassed 463 yards of total offense to only 103 for the Rams. Villanova averaged 6.1 yards per rush while holding URI to only 1.3 yards per rush. The Rams didn't have much more luck trying to pass the ball either as the stingy, ‘Nova defense held URI to only 5.4 yards per completion.
The first Wildcat TD came on an electrifying, 16-yard run by Javon White on which he broke a tackle and found the pylon through two defenders. Ryan Bell scored his first career touchdown on the next possession on a 36-yard pass from Zach Bednarczyk. Aaron Forbes rocketed 67 yards to pay dirt on the first play of ‘Nova’s third drive to stake the Cats to a 21-0 lead at the 1:42 mark of the first half.
The other two Wildcat TDs came on an 8-yard pass from Zach Bednarczyk to Taurus Phillips and a powerful, 1-yard run from Matt Gudzak.
Austin Calitro, Shayne Jones, Ed Shockley, Rob Rolle and T.J. White were stand-out performers for the Wildcat defense.
Villanova travels to #7 Richmond next week for a 3:30 game on Comcast SportsNet. The Cats have been on a roll and this game with the Spiders will serve as a huge test of just how good the team has become through six games.
Link to: Full Box Score
Head Coach Andy Talley
Opening Statement: Obviously very happy with the outcome of the game. I liked the way we got after it early and pushed the ball across the goal line. I’m really pleased with the effort in the first half of the game. I liked the fact that we were able to play great defense again, two weeks in a row and have a nice balance of offense, defense, feeding off of each other. We knew Rhode Island was a 1-4 team coming in, but they had played a very difficult schedule. They played two undefeated teams, Kansas and New Hampshire. I had a lot of respect for Jim Fleming and their team. They were capable of giving us a much more difficult game, if we let them stay in the game early. I thought it was defining to go up four touchdowns. I know our defensive coaches are happy with the shutout and all in all I think the early part of our schedule is over now and we will find out what we will be, as the season goes on now, with Richmond next week.
On the running game today: We featured four backs really, three of our tailbacks could really start for just about anyone in our league really. It’s a tough ball distribution to get the ball to everybody. Our guys are pretty unselfish and I think that helps us in the way we use them. We try to keep them healthy as well, all three of them are very healthy. Javon White is coming off of an ankle sprain last week, he looked really good today. So, were very pleased with it, as we were a victim of losing all three tailbacks last year. I think we’re very fortunate to be healthy.
On the schedule: Yeah I think that this schedule is frankly the easiest one we’ve had in my years here, where we started out and had the chance to take a team with some older guys and blend in some young guys like Aaron and so on into the mix with a positive force. Now you’ve got the confidence to go hit the challenge of your schedule, so we’ll find out what we are down at Richmond, but I think we’re well prepared to go down.
Linebacker Austin Calitro
On what type of team they are and thoughts on looking forward to the team they will become: Yeah, I think our schedule was set up perfectly for us. We have the young guys going and their confidence up. I think more than anything, we just turned this into a team bond. Just going forward, I think we’re going to prove a lot, especially with this next game against Richmond, but it’s not just that game, it’s all the games going forward. We’re always worried about the next one, but we want to string the next few wins together, and keep our confidence going, and our young guys are coming along.
On what makes the defense so successful: We’re all unselfish. We just have a job and we all do it and I think a lot of times when we put our film on, you’ll see eight, nine Villanova jerseys on the ball. You don’t teach that, it’s just something we instilled the past four years and if you don’t have that drive, you’re not going to hustle on the ball.
Running Back Aaron Forbes
On him being young and gaining more confidence: Yes, most definitely, we’re getting more confident. I think it’s more of the older guys keeping us together as a team. They preach unselfishness, like how Coach Talley says we had four backs run today and three of them could start for any team, that’s definitely a fact. I think that all three of us are really great running backs and we’ve all learned from each other, especially me being the youngest one. I love being in a backfield with three other guys, we love the competition at every practice day in and day out.
On keeping the running rotation fresh: For sure, the rotation just helps us all be fresh. We all bring a different aspect to our game, so I think it keeps the defense on their toes.
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