PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Villanova Wildcats will look to bounce back from last weekend’s painful loss to New Hampshire on Saturday when they welcome Maine to the Main Line.
The Wildcats (4-3, 3-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association) lost to UNH, 29-28. Villanova actually trailed 21-14 late in the fourth quarter, then scored two touchdowns less than a minute apart to take a 28-21 lead with 1:09 left. But New Hampshire, with the help of a key personal foul penalty on the ensuing kick-off, went down the field and scored with 14 seconds left – then went for two and the win, and got it, breaking Villanova’s hearts.
“We made some mistakes on the last drive and they ended up going for two and winning the game,” Villanova head coach Andy Talley tells KYW Newsradio. “It was a bitter loss for us. It was (a game) we needed and now we’re really up against the wall.”
Even in defeat, it was another huge day for Villanova quarterback John Robertson. The sophomore rushed for 256 yards and three touchdowns, while completing 15 of 17 passes for another 122 yards. In his last two games, Robertson has rushed for 406 yards and six touchdowns while completing 32 of 35 passes (91%) for 304 yards and two more scores.
“He’s playing at the highest level of any quarterback that we’ve had here in years,” Talley says. “He can hurt you with both the run and the pass and he’s been just a dominant figure in the game. His passing efficiency and accuracy have been tremendous and of course his running ability, he’s a breakaway threat.”
Maine is having an outstanding season. The Black Bears are 6-1 and a perfect 3-0 in the CAA, and last week they beat William and Mary, 34-20. Talley talks about the improvement in a team that went just 5-6 in 2012.
“I think it is an accumulation of a lot of young players who finally grew up and are ready to play,” Talley says. “They gave Northwestern a great battle out there in Illinois and that is their only loss (35-21 back on September 21st). They have good offense, defense, special teams. They have a lot of talent across the board. So I think this is a special year for Maine.”
Last season, Villanova beat Maine 35-14 up in Orono.
This year’s match-up will kick-off at 1:00pm on Saturday at Villanova Stadium.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.