Nov. 17, 2012
Villanova has won at least eight games for the 19th time in its history, including the fourth time in the last five seasons. With today's victory over Delaware the Wildcats finished the regular season with an 8-3 overall record and a 6-2 league mark against CAA teams.
The annual rivalry game between Villanova and Delaware has been branded as the "Battle of the Blue" since 2006 and this marks the sixth time in the seven-year history of the Battle of the Blue trophy that the Wildcats have won the game. Villanova avenged a 26-16 loss to the Blue Hens last season at PPL Park, a loss which snapped a five-game Wildcats winning streak in the series. Villanova now leads the all-time series between the longtime rivals by a 24-21-1 margin.
Villanova has won its last four games at Delaware Stadium (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012). Prior to this streak the only time the Wildcats had won even back-to-back road games against Delaware came in a three-game streak in which Villanova won at Delaware in 1967, 1969 and 1970.
Villanova registered its second-largest margin of victory ever against Delaware with the 31-point win. The biggest margin of victory for the Wildcats in the all-time series was a 34-point win (34-0) at Villanova Stadium on October 17, 1964. This was only the third time in the 46-game history in the series that the final score (regardless of outcome) featured a margin larger than 30 points. Delaware posted a 42-point victory (49-7) at Delaware Stadium on November 2, 1974.
Delaware started the season with a 5-2 record but lost its final four games to finish the season at 5-6 overall. This is the first time since 1967 that the Blue Hens have lost four consecutive games, whereas every other school in the CAA has had at least one four-game losing streak just in the last 10 years. This is also the first time since 1935 that Delaware has lost its final four games of a season.
Each of the 11 games Villanova has played this season has been decided by a double-digit margin. The closest game the Wildcats have played this year was an 11-point loss to Richmond (28-17) on October 6. There have been two previous seasons in which every Villanova conference game has been decided by double digits. Those years were 1991 and 2005.
The last time Villanova won any road game by more than 31 points was in a 35-0 victory at Lehigh on September 11, 2010.
Villanova ran for over 300 yards for the fifth time this season and the fourth time in the last five games.
Today's game marked the 18th time in school history that Villanova has had two different players run for over 100 yards in the same game. It was just the third time in school history however, that two players ran for more than 130 yards in a contest. Kevin Monangai ran for 146 yards and John Robertson had 134 rushing yards in the win over Delaware.
The previous Villanova games in which two players had at least 130 rushing yards were against West Virginia in 1977 (Vince Thompson, Pat O'Brien) and against North Carolina State in 1949 (Ralph Pasquariello, John Geppi).
Kevin Monangai ran for over 100 yards for the seventh time this season and the fifth consecutive game. This is only the third time in school history that a Wildcat has tallied seven games of 100 yards or more in a season. Former Villanova great Brian Westbrook had eight such games in 2001 and seven 100-yard games in 2000.
With seven 100-yard rushing games to his credit Kevin Monangai moved into the Villanova top-five for career 100-yard games. Brian Westbrook (1997-01) had 22 career 100-yard rushing games, Vince Thompson (1975-78) had 11 such games and Pat Kennedy (1988-91) had eight 100-yard games. Monangai is tied for fourth all-time along with Aaron Ball (2006-10), Martin Gibson (2002-05) and Curtis Sifford (1994-97).
John Robertson broke away for a 46-yard run in the second quarter, which is the longest rush by any Villanova player this season (previously Kevin Monangai had a 44-yard run against Fordham). Villanova, in fact, had five plays of 40 yards or longer in the game against Delaware. In addition to the 46-yard run by Robertson there was also a 41-yard run by Monangai, a 63-yard reception by Poppy Livers and interception returns of 45 yards and 42 yards, respectively, by Ronnie Akins and Eric Loper.
Villanova has 16 plays of 40 yards or more this season and five of them came in the win over Delaware. Below is a breakdown of the plays of 40 yards or longer by the Wildcats this season:
40-Yard Plays by Villanova This Season
Fordham 85-yard kickoff return by Joe Sarnese 44-yard rush by Kevin Monangai
Maine 42-yard rush by Kevin Monangai
Georgia State 66-yard punt return by Poppy Livers (touchdown)
Towson 50-yard punt return by Poppy Livers
Delaware 63-yard pass from John Robertson to Poppy Livers 46-yard rush by John Robertson 45-yard interception return by Ronnie Akins (touchdown) 42-yard interception return by Eric Loper (touchdown) 40-yard rush by Kevin Monangai
The last time Villanova returned two interceptions for touchdowns in a game was in a 30-21 win over Penn last season on September 24, 2011 when Ronnie Akins and Jimmy Pitts both returned interceptions for scores.
Eric Loper registered his second interception return for a touchdown this season, as he also had a pick-six at Georgia State last month. Loper is the first Villanova player to have two interception return touchdowns in a single season since Daryl Stewart in 1989 (against Holy Cross and Boston College).
Prior to Mark Hamilton making two field goals in today's game the last time the Wildcats made multiple field goals in a contest came when Hamilton hit three attempts against William & Mary last season on October 1, 2011. In the 16 games between that contest and today's game against the Blue Hens, the Wildcats had made just nine field goals (on 15 tries).