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Villanova Returns From Bye, Hosts JMU

(FIle photo provided by Villanova Univ.)

(FIle photo provided by Villanova Univ.)

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By Matt Leon

RADNOR TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — The Villanova Wildcats are gearing up for the home stretch of the regular season. Saturday they will host James Madison as they return from the bye.

The Wildcats are 6-3 and in the mix for an FCS playoff berth and head coach Andy Talley says the week of rest came at a good time after a bruising loss to Towson back on October 27th.

“This is the best time for us to be off, because we have a bunch of guys that probably would not have played this past Saturday had we not had the open date,” Talley tells KYW Newsradio. “So, it’s been good for us. Our quarterback’s (redshirt freshman John Robertson) been running a lot, and he was sore and needed a break. So the bye came at a very good time.”

Listen To Podcast With Coach Andy Talley:

Just two games left for the Wildcats in the regular season starting with Saturday and winning both will be critical for the Wildcats playoff push. But Talley says the Dukes bring quite the resume to the Main Line.

“JMU’s ranked ninth in the country and they are very good,” Talley says. “They’ve played West Virginia and have had a very good run this year. They run the ball traditionally. Their quarterback, Justin Thorpe, is one of the best running/passing quarterbacks in the league and that gives everybody fits when you have a player like that. Dae’Quan Scott, their tailback, is one of the better runners in the league.”

Talley says JMU is also talented on the other side of the football.

“They have a great defense, they have the #1 defense in the league and we have the #2 defense in the league,” Talley says. “So I don’t think it will be a high scoring game. It’s going to be really important not to turn the ball over in a game like this. Because you’re not going to have that many opportunities and they’ll probably be some three and outs. So the turnover factor is going to be critical, and most likely special teams.”

The Wildcats are 8-2 in their last 10 games following a bye week.

Villanova and James Madison will kick-off at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.

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