Moderator: What are your impressions on your impressive, 35-0, win over Rhode Island?
Andy Talley: We got off to a quick start. We have been able to do that two weeks in a row which gives our team some momentum offensively. Defensively, we have been playing really, really well. I think that is the strength of our team right now. I think we are giving up about 15 points a game. We have pretty much the same group we had from last year defensively so they are schemed up and have done a good job with what they do on defense so it has given us opportunities on offense to really get the ball back three-and-out. There were three-and-outs early in the game and I think that gave us a lot of momentum. We had a pretty good idea what we wanted to do offensively and our running game was really coming along well. When you can take time off the clock, run the ball, score early, and get some three-and-outs - that added up to a real good first half. We went out 28-0 at half-time and it was just one of those days where we were clicking. I think Rhode Island is going to be a really good team once time goes on. Jim is trying to put the pieces together there. Right now we have an older group of guys intermingled with some young kids that are starting to grow. We have been very fortunate early in the season to not have too many injuries, to be able to play some young players, especially at wide receiver. It has been a good start of the year after the Pitt game to kind of work your way through and develop some guys that are giving us depth on both sides of the ball. We are in a good spot right now. I am hoping that we can continue to grow. At quarterback, Zach Bednarczyk is playing really well. He is checking in and out of things in a good fashion. It was just one of those days where I think Rhody, with the trip and everything, that is not an easy trip coming down, and we were home and settled back ready to play.
Moderator: You touched on the quick starts - what are the reasons for those?
Andy Talley: I think that our leadership has been really good with our older players - we have ten, 5th-year kids. We have never had that before. When you have guys like that that have been around and have maturity, I think that helps your program, especially early in the season, to develop an identity. I think that was what we were trying to do - to get senior leadership on this team to set the path on the correct and the right direction and they have done that. So, Zach, having been knocked around last year as a red-shirt, freshman, as all quarterbacks, has come along, finally, has seen the light ... doesn't throw the ball up for grabs like he did last year and has a clue about what we are doing with our offense. He is a good player that can throw and run and when you have that kind of guy it puts pressure on the defense.
Richmond Times Dispatch: Are you having a chance to take everything in on this last tour around the league or is it business as usual with the nose to the grindstone?
Andy Talley: It has really been business as usual. I don't think that kind of thing when it is announced early, really affects you. It hasn't affected me that this is the last time I will go to Richmond or this is my next to the last game at Villanova. We are sort of entrenched in the season and I think at some point it probably will hit me - but it really hasn't. We have been just trying to survive in the CAA as you know it is World War III ever single weekend so it hasn't really given me the opportunity to get sentimental about this that or the other, really.
VUSports: Two parter - first, what are you keys as you prepare for Richmond - what are you focused on this week and secondly, in regards to the development of your team to date, do you feel you are a bit ahead of where you thought you would be or do you feel a little untested still?
Andy Talley: I think Richmond is a very big challenge. For one thing, it is not an easy ride from Villanova to Richmond so we are on the road. I think Kyle Lauletta is certainly the quarterback that everyone thought he could be in this league - an all-league quarterback - and he is performing that way. I am very impressed with Richmond's football team, as usual. They have skill sets across the board. Defensively, they are a tough group and they run really, really, well. I have had a lot of respect for their coach and their team for a long time. They have done a really great job. This will be homecoming down there. They had a triple overtime win against Albany that was tremendous for them so they have good momentum. The second part of your question: we have really had a nice building block in the last four or five games coming off the Pitt game to play against FCS teams and sort of build our team in terms of good offense, good defense, and our special teams has come around so I think we are at the point now where we are in the heart of our schedule and Richmond is certainly a very difficult out for us so I think we will find out a little about the Villanova football team and found out if we are really for real.
Moderator: Talk about how nice it is as a Coach to have three running backs as options ...
Andy Talley: We are fortunate because all three running backs are really unselfish and they are not worried about who gets the ball. We have tried to split it up three ways. Aaron Forbes, the sophomore running back, had a 68 yard run and is playing great. Javon White came back off a sprained ankle and had a good showing and Matt Gudzak, after missing the first five games of the year, has stepped back on the field. So we have three guys right now that it wouldn't matter to me who was in the game. All three of them are really good and a lot of that has to be because of the offensive line group that we have up front that has done a good job. They are not real healthy but they have managed to hang in there and be there every game. That has really helped and Zach being a run and pass threat has helped us. So we kind of have what we need to kind of overcome the fact that we are really young at wide receiver.
Moderator: On the other side of the ball - talk about how well your defensive is playing up front ...
Andy Talley: I think Tanoh Kpassagnon is a force on the edge and Brian Osei has done a really good job for us at defensive end as well. We have played six down line kids on defense and that has helped. The strength of our group right now is our linebacker corps, Austin Calitro and that group there. We have been fortunate defensively because we have controlled the ball, time-wise, offensively in the last couple of games and they haven't been on the field a lot and that helps keep a defense fresh.
Moderator: Is that going to be pretty critical against an offense as high-powered as Richmond's to try to do the same thing this week?
Andy Talley: Well, Richmond is a different story now. You have got a seasoned quarterback down there now with a lot of skill around him both at running back and wider receiver so we will be in a real battle. That is going to be a very tough game - a very difficult game for our defense. Our defense is going to have to come up with a scheme and hopefully come up with a way - you are not going to stop Richmond - you have got to slow them down a little bit.