Oct. 13, 2013
Villanova head coach Andy Talley...
Opening statement: We got a lot of turnovers early. We knew [Towson] had been in that turnover mode early and I felt if we could get ahead our offense was good enough to control the football and hang in there for a close game at the end. [Towson] is very good. Obviously if I was on the other side I would be saying that you can't give up that many turnovers and beat a good team. I think we are a good enough team that if you give it back to us four or five times we can do enough good things to win.
On Towson: They are very good and I wouldn't want to play them again. Terrance West is the very best. He is just a great player.
On the Villanova offense: Our quarterback needed to have a phenomenal game and he did. He played great. Our offensive line, for the first time this year, was back and healthy. They were cohesive and that helped our cause.
On the game plan: Our offense line was intact for the first time really since Boston College. We have a really good offensive line. They are all 300 pound guys. They are quick and good at what they do so that gave us some cohesiveness. John [Robertson] is a big factor. He is so quick that when he gets up in there he is through the line of scrimmage in a hurry. Our quarterback ran for 150 yards and it was pretty much all up the middle so that tells you the offensive line is pretty good. They are a fast defensive team so when you run laterally they can run you down. We didn't do too much of that. We did it a little to keep them honest but most of our stuff was north-south.
On the blitzing by Towson: Normally you see a team blitz us 15 percent of the time. The most you get is maybe 18 percent. They blitzed us 44 percent of the time and you are playing with fire when you do that. [Villanova offensive coordinator] Sam Venuto is a think tank and he knew where we were going with the ball. He was patient and kept picking and picking. I am fortunate with the coaching staff I have. These guys have been around a long time and they did a great job tonight. You can't blitz us 44 percent of the time and get away with it. John was 17-of-18 when we stopped throwing. That's a lot of blitz.
On the Villanova defense: Our defense played better than the score indicates. I just think we played better than that but when you look at it Towson had 466 yards of total offense and 35 points. That isn't a great stat but we capitalized on some turnovers and shut down some things at critical times which got us out of difficulty.
On the strangeness of the game: At halftime I looked at the stats and I said `Wow' because they only had the ball for 4:43. I couldn't believe it. That and the turnovers, and the way a lot of stuff developed in the game - I think this is the most bizarre game I have ever been in.
On Villanova and Towson being the top two teams in the preseason CAA poll: I thought you saw the two leading contenders for the league title going head to head in a slugfest tonight. They turned it over five times and in a game of this magnitude you can't do that. There was also a critical play in the game in the second quarter. They almost had a pick-six but it bounced out of their hands and to Jamal Abdur-Rahman, and he ran it down to their six. Had they gone the other way there that might have been the turnover that turned the game in their favor. I thought `finally we are having some luck.' That play was luck and we had it.
On having to hang on to win after taking a big lead early: We did that down at William & Mary in 2008. We went up 35-0 and should have squib kicked it [in the final minute of the first half] but we kicked it deep and they returned it 97 yards for a touchdown. The final score wound up being [38-28] and it was that kind of game.
On Towson quarterback Peter Athens: He was kind of at a disadvantage because they were behind and you knew he had to throw the ball. You almost started anticipating. They game is play action passing, that's what they made their money on. That's their game; they are not a drop back team. Because they were behind they aren't going to play-act us when we have 21 points on them. You are going to get in the pocket, try to spread the field and throw the football. That isn't who they are and I think that was difficult for them.
On the importance of the win: We would have been at the end of the line had we lost today because of our non-league loss to Fordham. We have two losses and you are probably really floating with danger if you have more than three losses. If we had lost this game, instead of being 4-2 you are 3-3 with having to play at New Hampshire and then getting Maine at home, and they are a hot team. Plus you still have to go to James Madison. This is CAA Football. You have to survive and advance, and that's basically what we did.
Sophomore quarterback John Robertson...
On having 32 carries: It reminded me of high school but I don't know if I ever carried it that much. I didn't know it was that many. That was surprising but we were going to do whatever we had to in order to win.
On the defense over-pursuing him: Sometimes when you have Jamal [Abdur-Rahman] on the outside, or even with Kevin Monangai and Austin Medley, it opens hopes up for me. A lot of times we were sweeping and spreading out and I could go up the middle.
On the team's approach to the game: We had a great game plan. We knew we wanted to play great. They are a good defense. They don't allow a lot over the top so we had to spread the ball out to everyone. My offensive line and running backs opened everything up for me.
On being up 21-0: I can recall once or twice in my career maybe being up big with so few plays being run by the opponent.
Sophomore safety Cameron McCurry...
On Villanova recovering the opening kickoff on a fumble: Getting the first turnover and a quick score got us excited and ready to get out there and try to get another turnover, and just keep playing. We knew this was a good team and they could run the ball, so if they got up early it would be hard for us to come back. Us getting a chance to get up early and then getting another turnover got all of us excited.
On holding Towson to 91 rushing yards: We knew they would try to run the ball. Holding them to the rushing yards we did was a really good accomplishment for the defense.
On forcing five turnovers: We saw on the film that they turned it over a couple of times. We didn't think that would happen [against us] but we knew we could force it and we did.
Towson head coach Rob Ambrose...
On John Robertson: He is amazing - not just good. He is Michael Vick-esque. He is elusive, strong and knows his offense well. In order for a team to be a championship contender it needs to have a player like John.