Villanova\Eastern Washington Post-Game Notes
Dec. 18, 2010
Villanova's senior class finishes their careers with a 40-13 (.755) record, including making three straight playoff appearances for the first time in school history. The 40 victories are the most of any class in school history. Three members of the senior class, including offensive linemen Ben Ijalana (Hainesport, N.J.) and Brant Clouser (Altoona, Pa.) and linebacker Terence Thomas (Plainsboro, N.J.) started all 53 games of their collegiate careers.
Senior running back Angelo Babbaro (Canfield, Ohio) registered his third career kickoff return for a touchdown, including his second this season, on the game's opening kickoff tonight. Babbaro becomes the second player in school history to have two kickoff returns for touchdowns in a season, joining Brian Westbrook, who achieved the feat in 2000.
The two kickoff returns for touchdowns by Brian Westbrook in 2000, and the two by Angelo Babbaro this season, mark the only time in program history that Villanova as a team has had two kickoff returns for touchdowns in a single season.
Prior to its quarterfinal playoff game against North Dakota State last week, Eastern Washington had kicked off 599 straight times since the 1999 season without allowing a return for a touchdown. That streak ended when North Dakota State ran back the opening kickoff of the second half last week and when Villanova senior running back Angelo Babbaro (Canfield, Ohio) returned the opening kickoff for a score tonight, it was the second time in their last five kickoffs that the Eagles had given up a touchdown.
The six turnovers by the Wildcats in tonight's game were the most since the team also committed six turnovers in a 17-0 loss to James Madison on September 18, 2004. That game was played in a driving rainstorm and even the victorious Dukes committed five turnovers in the contest. The last time Villanova lost four fumbles in a game was also during the 2004 season on Oct. 2, 2004 versus New Hampshire.
Prior to tonight's game, Villanova had not committed an offensive turnover since the second to last game of the regular season against New Hampshire. Since then, the team had played three straight games committing just two total turnovers, both on special teams.
Villanova allowed a touchdown on the opposing team's first drive in all three playoff games. The only time this happened during the regular season was in the season opener against Temple. In the other 10 games of the regular season, the other team's first drive resulted in nine punts and a team safety.