Coach Andy Talley’s last season leading the Wildcats has flown by quickly. It is hard to fathom that the final regular season game of his storied tenure at Villanova is upon us. Fittingly, the game will also serve as the 50th all-time meeting between ‘Nova and Delaware. Talley travels to UD with his team (7-3 Overall, 5-2 CAA) needing a win to perhaps seal a spot in the FCS playoffs. The Blue Hens would love nothing more than to end the Cats’ season on Saturday.
The game kicks off at 3:30 from Delaware Stadium in Newark and will be televised on CSN. The Cats lead the all-time series 27-21-1. Delaware enters the game 4-6 Overall and 2-5 in CAA action.
One of the key battles in this game will be the ‘Nova defense against the Blue Hen rushing attack which averages 238.7 yards per game (10th best in FCS). ‘Nova is 3rd nationally in FCS Total defense (268.9 yards per game) and 10th in rushing defense (99.3 yards per game). Something has to give.
The game figures to be a defensive struggle given ‘Nova holds opponents to 15.4 ppg and Delaware is also stingy - allowing 23.5 points per game.
Keys to the game:
- ‘Nova D vs. Delaware running game
- Zach Bednarczyk bouncing back after a tough outing last week
- Stopping the UD pass rush
Here is a bit of what Coach Talley had to say about the match-up with UD tomorrow:
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.
Here is what Delaware's Coach Dennis Dottin-Carter had to say about 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.
Coach Dennis Dottin-Carter 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.