Villanova/Albany Post-Game Notes
Sept. 25, 2017
- Villanova played its first overtime game since the 2014 season opener and just its second overtime contest in the last seven years. With the loss, the Wildcats are now 10-6 in overtime contests since becoming an FCS member in 1985. Villanova had won eight of its previous 11 games which went to overtime.
- The loss snapped a streak of five straight wins in CAA Football openers for the Wildcats, who fell to 23-8 all-time in league openers. The game against Albany was only the seventh time that Villanova has opened conference play on the road. The last time the Wildcats opened league action on the road was also their last loss in a conference opener (2011 at Towson – L, 10-31).
- Junior quarterback Zach Bednarczyk led a game-tying drive on the final possession of regulation, as Villanova went 87 yards on 15 plays in 2:16 and forced overtime on Bednarczyk’s shovel pass to junior running back Aaron Forbes for a two-yard touchdown as time expired in regulation. This marked the fourth time in Bednarczyk’s career that he has led a game-tying or go-ahead scoring drive with the Wildcats trailing in the fourth quarter. The key play in the game-tying drive was an 18-yard completion from Bednarczyk to senior wide receiver Taurus Phillips on 4th-and-12 from Villanova’s own 35-yard line right after the Wildcats had called their second timeout with 1:01 to play.
- Villanova made 88 total tackles in the game, the most it has had since recording 89 total stops at James Madison in 2011. As a result of being on the field for more than 38 minutes in regulation, plus one overtime series, the Wildcats had four players reach double digits in tackles. Junior linebacker Jeff Steeb had a career-high 14 tackles, while sophomore safety Julian Williams and sophomore linebacker Keeling Hunter each had a career-high 10 total stops. Senior linebacker Ed Shockley also had 10 tackles and recorded his fifth career game in double figures.
- The defense continues to be dominant against the run, with Villanova holding the Great Danes to 95 rushing yards on 36 carries (2.6 yards per carry). It is the sixth straight game dating back to last season that the Wildcats have held their opponent to fewer than 100 rushing yards. In the six-game stretch, Villanova has given up a net total of just 274 rushing yards on 151 carries (1.8 yards per rush). Ed Shockley has been the Wildcats top defensive performer against the run, making 20 of his 28 tackles this season on rushing attempts.
- Since the start of the 2015 season, Villanova has held 14 of its 28 opponents to fewer than 20 points. Over the 28 games, the Wildcats have given up 16.7 points per game while scoring 23.9 points per contest.
- Villanova only had its offense on the field for 21:16 in regulation. It was the smallest time of percentage for the Wildcats since September 24, 2015 when they had the ball for just 20:12 in a 24-13 loss to Penn. Entering the Albany game, Villanova was averaging 34:09 per game in time of possession and had also averaged 33:01 in possession in 13 games last season.