Philadelphia, Pa. -
Villanova head coach Mark Ferrante…
Opening Statement: Obviously, that was a tough one, the way that it finished. I am really proud how I guys came out down 10-0 after halftime and responded in the second half with a don’t give up attitude. We talk about resiliency all the time, our motto of tap the rock, is perseverance so we are going to stick to that.
We had our opportunities, both teams made plays and didn’t make plays. So then it came down to whatever time was left on the clock. Driving down to tie the game up with a field goal and force overtime or take a lead with a touchdown if we were fortunate enough to punch one in , but it didn’t work in our favor.
We are really proud of our team, they stayed, and they fought. We will learn from this for sure. I think we improved as a team today.
On Zach’s performance: That is Zach. Zach is competitive, he is tough, and he is going to do what he needs to do on all the plays. Obviously, there was some heat in his face a few times, but he hung in there and made the throw down the field. They are a big team, a fast team, and a physical team and we knew we were going to face that today. Zach when we needed him to make plays, did. We had an opportunity at the end but the ball unfortunately didn’t bounce our way.
On the offensive line: I am proud of the way our guys upfront played. There was pressure and we knew there would be. We don’t have a lot of depth upfront, we don’t have anyone rotating through, they are taking every snap. I am sure we will have some really great block plays and some that we need to correct when we watch film tomorrow.
On the defensive line: I don’t what their plan was in term of pass, block, throw but coming off that Notre Dame game it was hard to know what their game plan was going to be. For a long time ever since we have gone to the defense that we play it has been really good against the run. That surprises people since with only three down lineman they think they will come in there and be able to move the ball on our defense.
On what did he learn about his team today: They are a tough team. We don’t have the numbers they have and I don’t know how many people they rotated through but I am sure it was more than we did. We can be physical, we aren’t a finesse team on both ends of the ball.
What do you take away from this game: We never gave up, and played with a lot of passion in the second half. The first half was a little bit sloppy, obviously getting no points on the board, but we got some good drives. We knew we could do it. The second half we really came out and wanted to win, it is a tough loss.
Were you surprised you had to throw the ball as much as you did: No, we knew that they would be bigger and faster. So we were trying to have a balanced offense but the run game wasn’t there as much as we would have wanted. I think my o-line did great today and gave me time back there. I will take the hits as long as they give me a little bit of time.
Gaining confidence: I think you could sense it on the sideline, even the Villanova fans that we had here, there was a lot of excitement. I think a lot of people thought we could win this game, I did too, so it is a tough loss but we battled till the end.
What was the defenses game plan: For us it was to be physical. Last week we didn’t really play to our potential, so this week we well wanted to come out and be physical. We knew we would have a chance against them, they are a good team, but that is what we want to be.