By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Villanova Wildcats have worked hard to put last year’s 2-9 season behind them. After a season opening loss here in 2012 to Temple in the “Mayor’s Cup” game, the Wildcats have run off four straight wins, the latest a 35-14 decision at Maine this past weekend.
“Our players were very focused,” head coach Andy Talley tells KYW Newsradio about the Maine game. “We got off the plane and did exactly what we had to do. Took the ball on the first drive, scored. They came back and scored. Then they turned it over twice – bang, we were up 21-7. At that point we just sort of took over the game and played both side of the ball, offense and defense, very, very well. Really our best game of the year.”
LISTEN: Matt Leon interviews Andy Talley
But Talley says Saturday’s game against the Richmond Spiders at Villanova Stadium will really give him a good idea of what he has in this group.
“Litmus test is exactly what it’s going to be. We’re going to find out after a 4-1 start, if we’re for real, if we can line-up toe-to-toe with a heavyweight and see what we can do and hopefully win the game.”
Richmond is 3-2, and coming off a 45-37 loss to a very good Old Dominion team. Talley says the Spiders present a host of challenges.
“They have speed at the flank, they have two terrific running backs and a quarterback that can run and throw and a tough defense. This will be an elite team in the CAA, so we’ll know a little bit more about our team after this game.”
One thing we know about Villanova already is they can run the football. The Wildcats lead the Colonial Athletic Association in rushing, grinding out more than 256 yards a game. Maybe even more impressive, is Villanova’s 5.7 average per rush.
Villanova leads the all-time series with Richmond 21-9. The two teams haven’t met since 2010 when Villanova won 28-7.
The Wildcats and Richmond will kick-off at 6:00pm at Villanova Stadium.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.