Moderator: Please provide your analysis of what happened against JMU on Saturday ...
Coach Talley: We turned the ball over and in a game like that you can't turn the ball over once. They were weird turnovers - it wasn't like we fumbled. We had three tipped balls that were intercepted. It is not like we threw it to the wrong guy we didn't do a great job blocking up front and the tipped balls really hurt because we gave them the ball inside our 10-yard line twice. You can't do that in a big time game like that. What it amounts to is that our defense showed up and did a great job - as good a job as anybody could do against JMU and we just really didn't play well from an offensive standpoint. Our offensive line got handled and it was just a miserable day, offensively, for us. Our defense kept us in the game. But there were four interceptions, really only three that mattered because we threw a hail mary on the last play of the first half, and two inside our ten that were all the result of tipped footballs. It was really disappointing in terms of we had it right where we wanted it - home game, lots of emotion in the stadium, and a great defensive effort which you have to do against JMU. We felt that we had to hold them under 21. We held them to 20 but it really should have been less than that but we really didn't show up offensively. They did a good job defensively. They played better than they look on film and that happens every now and then in our league. I felt like we were capable of putting 21 points on the board. I felt we could hold them under 20. So we did on one side of the ball but not on the other. It was a hard-fought, tough game and we have to put that in the rear-view mirror quickly because we are going to Delaware and that is a rival game - it doesn't matter what the score is. That is a big one for us. It means a lot to everybody here and it also has implications for a potential playoff spot. We immediately erased the board. The JMU game is history and we need to move on and get ready for the Blue Hens who are playing rather well. They are a very big concern for us right now.
Moderator: What was your defensive game plan and what were you able to do so effectively?
Coach Talley: The thing that is a little misleading is that Bryan Schor did not play in the second half. They managed the game very well in the second half. We did not take advantage of him not being in the game. From a defensive standpoint we just didn't let him have his way running and throwing the football in the first half. But the longer we left our defense out there it didn't matter who the second quarterback was - they had a good kid come in and they could still run the ball. We just wanted to keep everything in front of us - not give them anything easy and make them work for everything they got. Then we gave them the ball inside our ten yard line twice. We put a great strain on our defense. I would have to say right now this is probably one of the best defenses that we have ever had here and it is just a shame that we wasted a great effort and did not show up from an offensive standpoint - very unfortunate because we could have gotten it done. We just didn't play well and JMU had a lot to do with that. They played so much beter than they looked on tape. They came ready to play and you have to give them a lot of credit. They have run the guantlet and played a lot of really tough games coming into this game and they had to get on the road and come up here and beat us. They did what they had to do. We just have to move on, quickly - because Delaware is waiting and it is an incredibly important game.
Verve FM Radio: Talk about the rivalry between you and Delaware.
Coach Talley: It dates back to when Tubby Raymond was the coach there and of course we have had some incredible contests with Delaware. Games where they went down to the wire and overtime games. Coaching against him is something that I will remember because he is one of the greats in the college coaching profession. I really enjoyed the opportuntiy and K.C. was a lot of fun. He was always full of a lot of bluster and hype and all that so it was a lot of fun to deal with him. And Dave was a great gentleman so I enjoyed our association with them. They are close by - it is a big rivalry game and always has been here with Villanova - Delaware. The fact that two schools just 40 miles away can hook and we are both usually pretty good. My hope was that we would always take the game into the last game of the year to decide the championship. That is kind of the way that I have always looked at that game.
Verve FM Radio: What do you see from Delaware now (since Dave got dismissed)?
Coach Talley: I have watched the games prior to Dave leaving and now. They played hard for Dave and are playing hard now for Dennis as well. I think the Delaware kids are football kids - they come to play. I am impressed with them. They have given everyone a run and I feel that right now they are as good as anyone we have played. Especially in the situation that we are in right now where we have to win the game to be a playoff team. I think they are going to line up and try to stop that - that is for sure.
VUSports: What is your teams psyche and focus like coming out of the JMU game - have they put that game behind them and what do you view as the keys for your team against Delaware on Saturday?
Coach Talley: I think I have and our coaching staff has. We haven't seen them today because we don't practice on Monday. I am hoping that they forget about it and move on. That is our job to make sure they do that. I think the keys will be the quarterback from Delaware, Joe Walker, is a really good player. He is a guy that worries me and he can run and he can throw - he has a great arm and if he catches fire on a given day he can rip you. They have three terrific running backs. I think they are going to come out and try to run the ball on us which is somewhat of our strength but I think they will mix it up a little bit as well so we have to really keep an eye on Wes Hills and some of the backs that they have because they are really big game players. And their defense is a lot better than people think it is. The way we came off the JMU game offensively, I know they are probably ready to do the same thing that JMU did definitely. We are going to get a nasty pass rush for sure and we've got to find a way to run the football. I don't know if we can.
Delaware Online: This is the 50th Delaware - Villanova game, you probably feel like you have coached in 60 of them. Why do you feel you have been able to be so dominant of late?
Coach Talley: That is a good question - I really don't have the answer to that. It is one of those games I know, Kevin, that you have seen can go either way from time-to-time. Tubby had a run there where he beat us five years in a row and we had a run where we beat him five years in a row so I think it is just a rivalry game - one of those things that you can't predict. We have been lucky, honestly, to win this game you have got to be lucky. Let's just say we have been lucky and leave it at that.
Delaware Online: Tubby paints a weekly portrait and I know how much the one he did has meant to you and he actually has the one he did of him and you in a studio that he has in his home. Why does that picture mean so much to you that he did that for you?
Coach Talley: Tubby is an icon not only in our league but around the country as a great coach. He is also a tremendous gentleman and a first class guy. He is one of those guys that you have to have incredible respect for. He is always intelligent, always witty, a funny guy and his teams were always great. The most important thing that he put on that portrait of both of us together is "always in combat, always friends" and that is something I have tried to do with every coach in our league. We are going to be adveserial for game days but after that we are friends - we are going to move on, we are in the same profession, and Tubby and I did that and I think that is really important to all the new coaches in the league to understand that. We all know it is a tough business and we work hard at it but we are also friends too. That was a good thing - our rivalry was wonderful but we always stayed friends.
Delaware's Coach Dennis Dottin-Carter On Villanova: They have always had a ton of talent. They do a great job of recruiting and developing their athletes and they are always well coached. His schemes are always where it seems like they have got you figured out and at some point you know you are going to have to make plays and to dial it up. They are going to have a great game plan for us. I certainly expect to see a lot of talent come out there on the field - I have seen it on film. Defensively, they have an unbelievable defense. Offensively, they have a lot of weapons. They don't have to just rely on anybody. They don't just have to rely on Forbes - they don't just have to rely on Bednarczyk's arm or leg - they have got a lot of weapons and I know they will be ready to play this game.
On the 3 keys for his offense against Villanova: "it is very very simple - the things that every offense needs to do. We have got to hold onto the football. Make sure that we protect the ball and give ourself a chance to score when we are out on the field. We need to be able to run the football - that is a staple for any offense - we have got to be able to run the ball. And we have to make sure we are not making mistakes. We can't shoot ourselves in the foot getting penalties. We have to be smart. We have to be disciplined. We have been diciplined throughout the entire year, which is great, but we have got to make sure we stay disciplined