Sept. 28, 2013
VILLANOVA, PA. - Villanova defeated crosstown rival Penn by a score of 35-6 on Saturday evening giving head coach Andy Talley his 200th career win as the Wildcat mentor. Talley improves his 29-year Villanova record to 200-122-1 and his 34-year collegiate mark to 228-140-2.
With the win, the No. 19 Wildcats improve to 2-2 on the season, while the Quakers fall to 1-1.
Talley becomes the 37th coach in all divisions of college football to win 200 games at one school, and just the eighth active head coach with that distinction. Throughout his Villanova career, Talley has led the Wildcats to 21 winning seasons, 10 NCAA playoff appearances, six conference championships, six conference titles, three national semifinals and the 2009 National Championships.
In the victory, the Wildcats amassed 546 yards of total offense, including 280 yards rushing and 266 yards through the air. Sophomore quarterback John Robertson rushed for 132 yards on 15 carries and junior running back Kevin Monangai had 17 carries for 101 yards. Robertson has now registered back-to-back 100-yard rushing games and Monangai has eight career 100-yard games to his credit. The eight century mark performances rank Monangai tied for third on Villanova's career 100-yard game list.
Junior wide receiver Poppy Livers had a career game for Villanova with a career-high tying eight catches for a career-best 121 yards and his first two career touchdowns. The Villanova defense was led by sophomore linebacker Don Cherry who had a game-high nine tackles and junior safety Joe Sarnese who posted two interceptions and six solo tackles.
Penn was led by quarterback Billy Ragone who completed 18-of-35 for 192 yards and one touchdown. Wideout Conner Scott recorded 11 catches for 129 yards.
Villanova got on the board first when the Wildcats went on a nine play, 83-yard first quarter drive culminating in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Robertson to wideout Joe Price. Robertson and Monangai each had runs of over 20 yards to highlight the drive.
On the next possession, Penn put together a solid drive and were set-up for a 37-yard field goal attempt that would have sliced the Villanova lead to 7-3. Wildcat defensive end Rakim Cox blocked the field goal that Craig James picked up and returned 73 yards for a touchdown to give his team a 14-0 lead.
The Wildcats capped off the first half scoring at the 11:08 mark of the second quarter when Robertson hit Livers on a 50-yard scoring strike to give Villanova a 21-0 lead. Livers finished the first half with five receptions for 108 yards.
Penn cut the Villanova lead to 21-6 with 7:08 to play in the third quarter when Ragone hit Spencer Kulcsar on a nine-yard touchdown throw.
The Quaker momentum was short lived, as Robertson scored on a 36-yard run just two minutes later to increase Villanova's lead to 28-6. Livers finished the game's scoring with a six-yard touchdown catch at the 14:18 mark of the fourth quarter.
Villanova returns home next Saturday to conclude a three-game home stand against CAA rival William & Mary. Kickoff at Villanova Stadium is set for 1 p.m. Penn will open the Ivy League portion of its schedule next week against Dartmouth.
NOTES: Villanova has now defeated Penn on 12 straight occasions. Penn's last win in the series came in 1911...Head coach Andy Talley improves to 12-0 versus Penn and 14-0 against Ivy League competition...Tonight's game concludes the non conference portion of Villanova's 2013 schedule...After having just six penalties the first three games of the year, Villanova was whistled for 10 penalties in the win over Penn...Poppy Livers becomes the first Wildcat to record a 100-yard receiving game since Joe Price (6/153) accomplished the feat last year against Richmond on Oct. 6, 2012.