By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After a tough loss to open the season last Saturday up at Boston College, the Villanova Wildcats will once again be on the road this weekend as they visit Fordham.
The FCS Wildcats gave the FBS Eagles all they could handle and then some. Villanova dictated play in the first half and took a 14-7 lead into halftime, but Boston College controlled the final thirty minutes of the game.
“We battled, we showed up well,” Villanova Assistant Head Coach Mark Ferrante tells KYW Newsradio. “We missed some opportunities, especially in that first half.”
The biggest missed opportunity came in the second quarter. Already leading 14-7, Villanova had a 4th-and-goal from the BC one-yard line and went for the touchdown. However, quarterback John Robertson misfired on a pass to an open Joe Price and the momentum swung to Boston College.
“Had we made that one, I think they (BC) would’ve pressed maybe a little bit more coming out in the second half, we might of have had an opportunity to sneak away with one,” Ferrante says. “But unfortunately we missed that opportunity. And then in the second half, we left our defense out there a little too much in the third quarter. When you play a team like a Boston College, an FBS team, they always have more guys, more numbers and they lean on you a little bit. Not being able to get our defense a little rested in the second half allowed them to lean on us and put the points up they needed to come away with the victory.”
Fordham, out of the Patriot League, opened its season with a victory, lighting up the scoreboard with a 51-26 win over Rhode Island.
“Fordham is an up and coming team,” Ferrante says. “They’ve done a really good job. The quarterback (Michael Nebrich) is a multi-talented guy, kind of like our guy, John. He can run the ball, he can throw the ball, he played for them early last year and then got injured, so they have their quarterback back.”
Nebrich played excellent football in that win over Rhode Island, throwing for four touchdowns and rushing for an additional score. He is the trigger man of an attack that Ferrante says doesn’t like to waste time.
“Offensively, they play fast,” Ferrante says. “As far as the up tempo stuff, sometimes they don’t even have the chains set and they are over the ball ready to snap it. We’re going to have to play fast and stay focused on defense to stay on top of what they are trying to do.”
Even in defeat against Boston College, Villanova still rolled up 355 yards of offense, 197 of that coming on the ground. Ferrante says their offense will be tested against the Fordham defense.
“They’re fast, they fly to the ball,” Ferrante says. “They don’t blitz a lot, but they do some things similar to our defense. They’ll go from a four-down front and get into the three-down front, which is what our guys do, and throw some blitzes at you.”
These two teams met last season at Villanova Stadium with the Wildcats grabbing a 28-13 victory.
Saturday’s game in the Bronx will kick-off at 6:00pm.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.