Villanova, Delaware Ready For Annual Showdown
By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Villanova will try to put an exclamation point on its resume for a possible postseason berth on Saturday as they visit longtime rival Delaware down in Newark in the regular season finale for both squads.
The Wildcats are 7-3 after beating nationally ranked James Madison last Saturday, and they need to close things out with a win according to head coach Andy Talley.
“This is a one and done game for us. If we win, I think we’re a playoff team. If we don’t, I don’t think we’re in,” Talley tells KYW Newsradio.
LISTEN: Matt Leon interviews Andy Talley
Regardless of what happens Saturday, the Villanova resume already demands attention as two of their seven wins have come against teams that were ranked in the top ten at the time they beat them (Old Dominion on the road, and last week’s win at home against James Madison) and one of their losses came to an FBS squad in Temple.
Delaware is 5-5 and on a three game losing streak. But despite numerous injuries to key players, the Blue Hens have continued to battle and Talley says he is positive they will get all they can handle and then some from the Blue Hens.
“They’re as good as anybody in our league,” Talley says. “It’s a typical CAA team and of course it’s our rival, so you know they’re going to be playing great football against us.”
Delaware’s three straight losses to Old Dominion, Towson and Richmond, have come in heartbreaking fashion but that hasn’t dampened Blue Hens’ head coach K.C. Keeler’s optimism about Saturday.
“I like our chances this week, I think it’s a good match-up,” Keeler tells KYW Newsradio. “Their outstanding run game against our outstanding run defense, that’s going to be the key. If we can get them off the field, give our offense enough opportunities, I think we can win it.”
LISTEN: Matt Leon interviews K.C. Keeler
Prior to the game against Richmond last week, Keeler said that star running back Andrew Pierce was doubtful for the rest of the season with a knee injury. However, that outlook has brightened a bit.
“We have a ‘maybe’ right now,” Keeler says. “There was an Andrew Pierce sighting at practice and it was good to see him. Ran through some stuff (Wednesday) for the first time. It’s Villanova week, so everyone is scrambling to do everything they can to play in this one obviously.”
Villanova quarterback John Robertson suffered a concussion last week in the win over James Madison, but he looks to be ready to go against Delaware.
Talley says he is looking forward to this one being played in the atmosphere down in Newark.
“It’s really a fantastic spot to play (Delaware Stadium). I enjoy being there, the people have been great to me and it’s really loud, raucous and it is what you want a football stadium to be.”
Villanova and Delaware will kick-off at 3:30pm on Saturday afternoon.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.