‘Nova lost 20-7 to James Madison yesterday in the last regular season home game of Coach Andy Talley’s storied career. The Cats fell to 7-3 overall and 5-2 in CAA action and will need to win next week to maintain position for a possible FCS playoff berth.
The Villanova defense took care of business by limiting a high powered Dukes offense, which came in averaging 529.6 total yards per game and 308.9 rushing yards per game to only 277 total yards and 126 rushing yards. The problem for the Cats was that the offense couldn’t crack the code of the JMU defense - scoring only on a Zach Bednarczyk, 56-yard touchdown romp in the second quarter.
Breaking down what the keys to the game were going in, it is apparent that the Cats didn’t gain a significant advantage in any of them to tilt the result in their favor:
- time of possession: JMU held the ball for 32:50 and the Cats for 27:10 … in the 3rd Quarter, when it looked as if ‘Nova had a good chance to pull the upset, ‘Nova had the ball for 11:47
- turnovers: the Cats had 4 INTs, -2 turnover margin and allowed 10 points off turnovers while scoring 0 points off turnovers
- ‘Nova defense vs. JMU offense: in this key department, the Cats held their own
- Bednarczyk making good decisions: given that deflections caused a couple of the INTs it would be overly harsh to ding the Cats QB for “making poor decisions”. That said, he needed to perform a notch better in the passing game to push the Cats over the top
The final regular season of Coach Talley’s career is, fittingly, a macth-up at rival, Delaware (Saturday afternoon at 3:30 PM) (Comcast (Philly) / SNY in NY)
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