Villanova head coach Mark Ferrante...
On the game: It was hard fought and went back and forth. Their offense was able to keep some drives going and finish with points in the first half and we weren't really able to generate anything on the offensive side of the ball. To our guys credit, we hung in there and had a very nice drive that took almost the whole third quarter to bring the score to 16-8. I thought we had a little momentum swing going there after that long drive but then we just weren't able to generate anything again. We stalled out with some penalties -- we had eight penalties to their two -- and on the total of 10 penalties in the game eight of them were lack of focus penalties like false starts. The big one for us came on the fourth and five where they were going to punt the ball back to us when it was 6-0 and we jumped offside to give them a first down and keep that drive alive and they were able to get a touchdown out of that to make it 13-0 at halftime. You can't have five false starts and a misalignment on offense and give up penalty yards against a defense like James Madison's.
On the crowd and College Gameday atmosphere: We weren't really involved with any of the Game Day stuff at all, but that crowd was electric. I don't know if that had anything to do with some of our false starts on offense but I think it may have. It was really an exciting atmosphere to say the least. You had 25,000 plus people with almost all of them rooting against you. I don't think we handled it very well on offense but it didn't seem to affect our defense. We were able to hold them well below their total yardage game average but unfortunately we didn't hold them down in points and we didn't score enough points. Whenever you lose the turnover battle you're going to be in harm's way and against a team like JMU that's what makes it 30-8 in a hurry.
On shutting down the James Madison running game: That's what our defense does. That's what they pride themselves on. If you would've told me going into the game that we were going to hold them under 50 yards rushing when they're averaging 280 I would have told you we had a really good chance to win that ball game. You never would have expected them to throw the ball more in the first half than they did run. They put a good game plan together and we came up short on some plays but our short yardage defense and our run defense so far this season has been outstanding and if we can maintain that moving forward I think we'll be in a lot of games. We have to get something going on offense and try and be more consistent there and two of our eight penalties were on special teams so we have to clean that up as well.
On the quarterback switch in the second half: We weren't really generating anything on offense and we thought we needed a spark. We felt that quarterback was the position to try and ignite it. To Kyle's credit, I thought he came in with a very little amount of practice reps and did well. A couple weeks ago before Zach Bednarczyk went down he was our scout team quarterback and now he's out there going against the number one defense trying to get us back into the game in the second half. That's a pretty significant change in his responsibilities. On that second drive of the second half he was able to take a drive 18 plays and get us within one score and our defense held giving us a chance to try and tie the game. Unfortunately, the inconsistent play and three of our false starts came on those last two drives so against a defense like James Madison when you're second and 15 because of a false start you're making it really difficult on yourself. We couldn't overcome those penalties in a difficult part of the game.
On having an upcoming bye week: It's a good time for the bye with all the injuries we've had. I know some of our coaches are taking today and tomorrow for recruiting. We'll practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday but practice will be a little shorter than usual. We'll use it just to keep our guys fresh and we're going to focus on correcting some things and improving on what we're doing before we start doing game preparation for Elon. We'll give our guys Saturday off just to catch their breath a little and we'll get back to it on Sunday to start really focusing on our next opponent.