VILLANOVA, Pa. (CBS) – Now 1-3 after holding off Penn, the Villanova Wildcats will look for a big conference victory on Saturday as they welcome nationally ranked William & Mary to the Main Line.

Wildcats head coach Andy Talley says the 30-21 victory over the Penn Quakers was well-earned.

“(It’s) always a battle of attrition with Penn — it’s developed into a tremendous rivalry,” he told KYW Newsradio afterward.  “They play their best game against us, and we had to play our best game Saturday night to win the game — all three components: kicking game, offense, defense.  Found a way to do it, but it was close.”

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So now, the Wildcats get waist deep into a brutal CAA schedule, which starts with the Tribe on Saturday.

“They’re not averaging a lot of points yet,” says Coach Talley, “but they have the best defense in the league, and it’s been a game that’s always been a rough one for us.   So now we are in the league and we will find out just where we are going.”

The quarterback position for the Wildcats had been unsettled for much of the season due to injury and inconsistency.  But in the win over Penn, senior walk-on Christian Culicerto played efficient football, going 12-20 for 139 yards and a score, while also rushing for 43 yards.

“(He) did a great job for us.  He managed the game — only had one interception, that was the only downfall.  And other than that, did a nice job running the ball and handing the thing off and making good decisions, so we were very happy with his play.”

Culicerto will start again this week against the Tribe, who are 2-2 on the season.   Kickoff is set for 12 noon on Saturday at Villanova Stadium.   Last season, William & Mary won this match-up in Williamsburg, Va., 31-24.

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060

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