Reporting Matt Leon
CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) – It’s the “Battle of the Blue” on Saturday, as the University of Delaware and Villanova play at PPL Park in Chester to wrap up the regular season.
Delaware is 6-4 this season, and fighting for a playoff berth. Villanova has struggled to the tune of a 2-8 ledger.
But last time out, Villanova went into Amherst, Mass. and smoked UMass, 35-17, forcing six turnovers.
The Wildcats had a bye last week, and head coach Andy Talley says they are definitely on the upswing.
“We look like we’ve arrived, finally arrived, as the college football team we’d like to be,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “A little late in the season, but nevertheless. Chris Polony is playing well at quarterback, and finally we are able to hang our hat on him. And he’s doing a really good job.”
Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Andy Talley in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
Polony, a true freshman, went 20-31 against the Minutemen for 183 yards and three touchdowns.
Delaware head coach KC Keeler says he also sees the arrow on the Wildcats pointing up.
“It’s really about their development,” Keeler says of Villanova. “It’s a similar x’s and o’s that they’ve been in the past, but they’ve just plugged in a lot of younger players. And finally, at this point in the season, those younger players are starting to pay some dividends. They played really well against Massachusetts and got a big win up there.”
Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with KC Keeler in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
Delaware beat Richmond in Newark last week, 24-10, and Talley says the Blue Hens bring a lot to the table.
“(They are) really a very well balanced team. Andrew Pierce is one of the best running backs in the country. Their quarterback (junior Tim Donnelly) is very capable, Nihja White at wideout is a very good player. Their defense is stout. So it is a typical Delaware team loaded with talent.”
This will be the first-ever football game played at the home of the Philadelphia Union in Chester, and Keeler says it’s a great house for this rivalry.
“Reminds me a lot of the National Championship game, when we were down in Frisco, Texas,” he recalls. “It was a soccer stadium down there, similar sort of venue. A little bit smaller, which is fine, because we are going to sell every seat, it sounds like, for this game. Really excited. I told the kids at Tuesday practice, ‘Wow, this will be a special experience. It’s such a great venue, fans will be right on top of you, it’s going to be a packed house, rivalry game, it can’t get much better than this.’ “
Villanova has won this matchup the last five years, including last year’s 28-21 decision in Newark, Del.
Kickoff is set for 3:30pm Saturday in Chester.
Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060