Dec. 11, 2010
PLAYOFF HISTORY: Villanova improves to 10-7 all-time in the Division I Football Championship, including a current streak of six consecutive victories ... The Wildcats are making their ninth FCS playoff appearance this season, including the third straight ... This is the first time in program history that the team has made three straight playoff appearances ... Last year the team won its first national championship with four straight playoff victories ... Villanova is 7-1 in the playoffs during the current three-year streak of appearances.
SEMIFINALS: Today's victory moves the Wildcats into the playoff semifinals for the second straight year and the third time overall ... Villanova made the semifinals for the first time in 2002 ... The team is now 3-2 all-time in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs.
ON THE ROAD: Before this season the Wildcats were 0-6 in true road games in the postseason ... Villanova has now won two consecutive playoff road games in the last two weeks against Stephen F. Austin and Appalachian State ... The Wildcats national championship game victory over Montana last season was played at a neutral site in Chattanooga, Tenn.
SEEDS AND RANKINGS: Villanova defeated the No. 1 seed in the playoffs for the second straight year (Montana was the top seed last year) ... This is also the third straight season in which the Wildcats have played the No. 1 seed, as the team lost to James Madison in the quarterfinals in 2008 ... In its past three games, Villanova has played the top three teams in the Sports Network national poll ... The string includes a 28-21 win at then-No. 1 Delaware (Nov. 20), last week's 54-24 victory at No. 3 Stephen F. Austin and today's triumph over No. 2 ranked Appalachian State ... Villanova is 6-2 against ranked teams this season ... The last four games and six of the last seven have been versus ranked opponents.
FIRST HALF LEADS: Villanova led today's game by a score of 28-10 at halftime and went on to a 42-24 victory ... It was the 32nd consecutive win since 2003 for the Wildcats when they lead by 10 or more points at the intermission ... The last time the team lost when leading by double digits at halftime was at Hofstra, 34-32, on Nov. 8, 2003 ... Villanova led that contest 26-14 at the half.
FIRST HALF OFFENSE: Villanova scored 28 points in the first half today, marking the sixth time this season it has had at least 20 points by halftime ... The Wildcats also outscored Appalachian State 14-0 in the second quarter of today's game ... Villanova is outscoring the opposition 152-58 in the second quarter of games on the year ... The team has scored 152 of its 400 points (38.0 percent) in the second period.
Matt Szczur: Szczur set career highs in today's game for rushing attempts (16), rushing touchdowns (3) and points (24) ... It was his first career game with at least one rushing, receiving and passing touchdown, although it was the second time he had three different kinds of touchdown in a game ... On Nov. 29, 2008 in a 55-28 playoff win over Colgate, Szczur had a kick return for a touchdown as well as one rushing and one receiving score ... Today's game was Szczur's third career 100-yard rushing game and fourth career 200-yard all-purpose game.
PLAYOFF OPPONENTS: In its first two playoff games this season, Villanova has defeated opponents it had never faced before in Stephen F. Austin (Southland Conference) and Appalachian State (Southern Conference ) ... The Wildcats have also never faced either of their two potential semifinal opponents in Eastern Washington or North Dakota State ... This is a far cry from last year, when Villanova played its first three playoff games versus teams it had played a combined 67 times, including a pair of conference opponents (New Hampshire and William & Mary).