Villanova'/Massachusetts Post-Game Notes
Nov. 5, 2011
The all-time series between Villanova and Massachusetts is tied at 12-12 following today's game. This was the first win in the series for the Wildcats since a 47-13 victory at home back in 2001, with the Minutemen claiming four straight meetings since then.
Villanova had lost eight straight games at McGuirk Stadium since a 25-21 win there on September 16, 1978. Head coach Andy Talley had previously been 0-7 on the road against Massachusetts. With today's win he has now won at every venue in the CAA. Talley is 8-9 in his career against the Minutemen.
Senior cornerback Jimmy Pitts became the first Villanova player with three interceptions in a game since November 30, 1990 when Orin Solomon had three interceptions against New Hampshire. He now has 14 interceptions in his career, including five this season.
Sophomore cornerback Craig James became the first Villanova player to recover two fumbles in a game since Terence Taylor did so against Rhode Island on October 30, 2004. His career-high 12 tackles marked the second time in his career - both this season - that he has had double figures in tackles in a game.
The 28 points scored by Villanova in the second quarter were the most in one period since the team also had 28 points, also in the second quarter, against Colgate on November 29, 2008 in the first round of the FCS playoffs. Villanova went on to win that game by a score of 55-28.
Prior to today's game the highest point total of the season for the Wildcats had been 31 points in their only previous win of the year, a 31-21 triumph over Penn at Franklin Field on September 24. Villanova scored two defensive touchdowns on interception returns in that game, meaning the offense had scored only 17 points in the game. The previous season-high point total for the Wildcats offense was 25 points last week at home against Maine.
Villanova has averaged 387.5 yards of offense over its past two games, including 405 yards against Maine and 370 yards today against Massachusetts. In the five games before this stretch the Wildcats averaged only 243.6 yards of total offense per game and never surpassed 300 yards in a game during that span.
Today's game was the first contest for the Wildcats versus an unranked opponent since September 24 against Penn. Since then the team had played five straight games against nationally-ranked foes. Although Massachusetts was not ranked for today's contest, the Minutemen have been ranked as high as No. 17 during the season.