Nov. 17, 2007
Villanova head coach Andy Talley...
On the game: I thought the time of possession would be critical in the game and to look down and see 34 minutes for us is great. We really needed to do a good job of giving the defense some rest. We were hoping to come up with a great defensive game. Delaware is an awesome team and to hold a team that averages over 40 points a game to 10 points is pretty amazing. It was a great team effort.
On the keys to the game: I think the fake punt was a key point in the game. We had talked about using it at one point. It's the type of thing that you put in and read it and if it's there you run it and if not you call it off. Matt Dicken did a great job executing the play. I also can't say enough about our defense. They were marvelous. It was wonderful to watch because they were just on. I think at times we confused [Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco] a little bit and then we knocked him down a few times. I think the key to the game defensively is that we kept the game in front of us and didn't allow any really big plays. We made them earn everything they got. The biggest thing with Flacco is to give him as many different looks as you can without confusing yourself. We did that well and stopped them from running big plays.
On the Villanova defense: [Defensive coordinator] Mark Reardon has been with me for a while now and is the architect of the defense. We lost five starters between preseason and the first game so we had to rely on some young players. We kind of put things together as we went along but we told the team that we would be aggressive and that we would have conflict and just play through that. The chemistry on the team right now is very solid.
On the Villanova running game: I think the offensive line started to see what was in front of them. Delaware came in with the concept of blitzing Chris Whitney and that was working because they came after him early. Once we got some runs going with Matt, Delaware blitzed themselves out of position a couple of times. We created some soft spots in the defense and made some adjustments at halftime with our blocking up front. Matt and Aaron Ball started to see the frontage a little more in the second half. We knew we were going to figure it out and just had to hope that we weren't too far behind by the time that happened.
On stopping Omar Cuff: It didn't seem to me like he played a lot. He is a game-breaker and puts fear in you, and he did have one big run on us. Maybe they were saving him, but I don't know. I just didn't seem like he was in there a whole lot. We were just as concerned with Aaron Love and their receivers that can catch and run, but Cuff and Flacco were the guys who we knew their big plays would come from.
On the Villanova senior class: We had a great night last night and all of the seniors spoke to the team with a lot of emotion. I sit through these things each year and this one last night was different. Usually the guys step up to talk and they speak about playing hard and beating Delaware, but this year it was different. Everyone talked about the camaraderie of the team and the relationships and friendships they have built. It seemed like we really gelled as a team right then and there and carried it over to tonight. From all of our injuries and with being so young the chemistry of the team is how we held it all together. From the coaches down to the players everyone knew their role and did what they needed to. We play together and have each other's back. I feel like I could walk down an alley with any of these guys and that's a great feeling.
Delaware head coach K.C. Keeler...
On the game: Villanova did a good job with the personnel that they have. They have a freshman quarterback in there and they did enough to win the ballgame. I didn't think they would stop our offense that significantly, but they did. I give them a lot of credit.
On Villanova: They are a great team. If you look at it they lost to some great teams, including four overtimes against Massachusetts and then they had Richmond on the ropes. They also lost to Maryland and really their only loss of significance was on the road to James Madison. They are a very good football team and that is what I told [head coach Andy Talley] when we talked before the game. They did a great job late in the game. We let them run the ball at us and they chewed up some clock.
On the Delaware offense: We didn't help ourselves by dropping the ball in some spots but more of the credit has to go to the aggressive attacking style of defense that Villanova came up with. We didn't do a great job of picking that up early but I thought as the game went on we picked up the blitz a lot better. They just came so hard and put pressure on Joe. When they are playing well we have to play better and we didn't do that.
On Delaware's playoff status: I am disappointed beyond belief to not win this game, but we have had a great season. We are 8-3 and have wins over James Madison and Navy, plus a five-overtime loss to Richmond. We don't want to back into the playoffs, but I think our body of work is pretty solid and I would be shocked if we are not in.