Sept. 22, 2012
PHILADELPHIA, Pa.--Several big passing plays during the first half set a tone that lasted the entire game and Villanova (3-1) cruised to a 24-8 win over Penn (0-2) with strong performances on both sides of the ball at Franklin Field on Saturday afternoon. The game was only the third matchup in FCS history between head coaches with at least 220 career victories and Wildcats head coach Andy Talley improved to 11-0 in his career against the Quakers with the victory.
Redshirt freshman quarterback John Robertson (Paramus, N.J.) threw for a career high 213 yards and a touchdown and also had 55 rushing yards and a score to pace the Villanova offense, which surpassed 200 yards both through the air and on the ground. This marked the fourth time in as many games this season that the Wildcats have surpassed 200 rushing yards but was the first time in 16 games dating back to 2010 that Villanova threw for over 200 yards.
Very early on Robertson found a connection with junior wide receiver Joe Price (Havertown, Pa.), who had five catches for a career high 113 yards. All five of his receptions came in the first 20 minutes of the game and three were for at least 29 yards as the offense effectively moved the ball. On the Wildcats second possession of the game Robertson completed passes of 38 yards and 32 yards, respectively, to Price and then threw again to senior wide receiver Norman White (Hammonton, N.J.) for a 14-yard touchdown that opened the scoring with 8:21 left in the first quarter.
While the offense continued to flourish the Villanova defense was just as dominant. Before allowing Penn to score a touchdown in the closing minutes of the game the Wildcats had run off a streak of just over 91 straight minutes without allowing a point. The streak began late in the second quarter of the win over Rhode Island last weekend. Villanova held the Quakers to 5.0 yards per play and 300 total yards while recording four sacks, including two sacks by junior defensive end Rakim Cox (San Diego, Calif.).
Junior kicker Mark Hamilton (Gaithersburg, Md.) kicked a 41-yard field goal with 9:18 remaining in the second quarter to extend the Wildcats lead to 10-0 and that stayed the score going into halftime. Robertson was 9-of-12 for 152 yards by the intermission.
In the second half Villanova turned back to its well-established running game and racked up 155 yards on the ground in the final two periods. Robertson broke away for a 26-yard scoring run with 5:43 left in the third quarter to give the Wildcats some breathing room with a 17-0 lead and sophomore running back Kevin Monangai (Roseland, N.J.) ran in from 14 yards to make the score 24-0 with 8:09 to play in the game.
Monangai ran for a career high 109 yards on 17 carries to tally his first career 100-yard rushing game. White finished with three receptions for 63 yards and the one touchdown as Villanova set a season high with 438 yards of total offense.
The shutout bid for the defense lasted until Penn scored with 3:14 left on a five-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Holland to Scott Conner, with a two-point conversion from Holland to Eric Fiore making the score 24-8.
Next weekend the Wildcats are back on the road and return to conference play at Maine. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Alfond Stadium.