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Villanova With Big Challenge At #3 Old Dominion

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Villanova Football

Villanova Football

Matt Leon Matt Leon
Coming on board at KYW was a homecoming for Matt Leon. Born and raised...
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By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Villanova saw it’s four-game winning streak snapped last weekend, with a hard-fought, 28-17 loss at home to Richmond in Colonial Athletic Association action.

Despite that defeat, Wildcats head coach Andy Talley is pleased with the direction his team is headed.

“Certainly 4-2 is a nice turnaround from last year (2-9 in 2011),” Talley tells KYW Newsradio.  “We hope that as we progress and start taking on some of the really tougher teams in the league, we’re going to see the growth.  We need to knock off one of these guys along the way.  Old Dominion, of course, the third ranked team in the country, is the assignment this week.  So we’re going to find out if we’re moving closer to that mid-to-upper level team in the CAA.”

LISTEN: Matt Leon interviews Andy Talley

The Old Dominion Monarchs will bring a 5-0 record into Saturday’s game and Talley says you don’t have to look to hard to see why they are a special team.

“Taylor Heinicke is probably, I would say, the best quarterback in the country at the FCS level,” Talley says.

The numbers more than back up Talley’s claim.  Just a sophomore, Heinicke leads all of FCS in total offense, rolling up 503 yards a game as the trigger man of the highest scoring team in the country (56.2 points per game).

Heinicke made national headlines back on September 22nd, when he set a Division I record with 730 yards passing in a 64-61 win over New Hampshire.

Talley talks about what what allows the quarterback and that offensive unit to have such success.

“Well, they spread you out.  They make you play in space.  And he’s a guy (Heinicke) who is tremendously accurate.  And he’s fast, so when he pulls the ball down he can run and pick up yards – seven, eight, ten yards at a clip.  He slides, gets out of bounds, he’s very crafty, you never can really get a hit on him.  And if you blitz him, you’re playing with fire.  It’s just one of those difficult guys you have to be patient with, kind of keep him in front of you.  Mix it up, give him some blitz, change it up a little bit.  But he is multi-dimensional and that is what makes him difficult to play.”

This will only be the second ever match-up between the two schools.  The first was last season, Old Dominion winning 37-14 on the Main Line.

Saturday’s game between the Wildcats and the Monarchs will kick-off at 3:30pm.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.

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