Head Coach Mark Ferrante
On his impressions of the first game vs. Lehigh and what impressed him about his team’s effort,
Well obviously we’re excited about being able to start out the season with a victory. Going into the game we knew it was going to be a close contest with their high explosive offense coming back. What we were happy with was that it was a fairly clean game. There were some penalties that we’re going to look to clean up and each team only had one turnover so both sides played fairly error free football. There was a lot of give and take and a lot of back and forth, there was a couple times in the game where I thought we were going to gain a little control and they kept fighting back. We got up 14 on three separate occasions and they were able to bring it back within seven every time. We were able to close it out at the end; the resiliency and persistence to be able to get the ball back only up three with four and a half minutes to play, being able to finish the drive, stay on the field and not give the ball back to their offense. We were pleased with a lot of things, but there are obviously first game errors and mistakes that we have to clean up. To start off 1-0 for the first time since 2009, we’re excited but still have a lot of work to do.
On the difference of playing an FBS team the second week as opposed to the first week,
We’ll find out since this is the first time we’re going to do that. Having to prepare for an FBS opponent coming in, especially in this case playing Temple with a whole new coaching staff, it’s almost like having a second opener. With Coach Collins coming up from Florida, we did look at some Temple stuff from last year and obviously we looked at their game from this past week against Notre Dame but it really is like preparing for a second opener. We came out of our game relatively healthy; I haven’t seen any reports on how they got out of their game. We’ve been watching film last night into this morning so we’ll see how it plays out. It’s different for sure, not having most of preseason to prepare but they’re in the same boat as we are, having to prepare for Notre Dame then having to get ready for us. Facing an FBS opponent, they’re always going to have more depth at each position, but we’re excited to go down there and compete against a very good Temple team.
On the difference of playing Temple compared to a different FBS team,
I don’t know if I’d call it different. The local rivalry adds to it, being a Philadelphia school, so we’re excited. We’ve played against Pitt in a pro stadium before so we’ve seen that. Going to the Linc is an easy trip for us, which I like as an away game that isn’t that far away from us. It’s sort of a repeat of our schedule from last week since we did Lehigh in a day trip as well. I don’t know if I’d say its different compared to a school like last year’s Pitt or the year before’s UConn, but I know they are really good, they have a lot of size, speed and athleticism coming back from the past two years of winning 10 games so we definitely have a challenge ahead of us.
On the most pleasant surprise, least pleasant surprise and the keys of the game against Lehigh,
The most pleasant surprise was being able to have big plays offensively. I knew we were capable of doing that, so it was good to see a great balance in the running game and the passing game being able to distribute the ball to a number of different people. It looks like Zach (Bednarczyk) has continued to progress the way we had hoped he would. I don’t know it was a ‘least pleasant surprise’ but I think we need to work a little harder and come up with different things to get some pressure on opposing quarterbacks. I think their quarterback had a little too long to throw at times, but it was good to see our defense continue to be stout against the running game. We want to make sure that we don’t give opposing quarterbacks as much time as (Brad) Mayes had back their at times to distribute the ball down the field. As for keys to the game, we played pretty error free football and minimized penalties. We had some (penalties) this week that were definitely correctible. We have to continue to do well in the turnover area. It’s important to not give your opponent free possessions. Hopefully we can play similar error free football this weekend against Temple.
On the game in Philadelphia against Temple and if Villanova wants to keep doing it every year,
I know we’re going to schedule an FBS every year, so from my perspective I wouldn’t mind it being Temple being only 20 miles away. I think it is good for the area, I think it is good for Philadelphia, I think it’s great for our fans and theirs as well. I know from the times we’ve played them at the Linc before we’ve had just about the whole bottom of the stadium full. I think this week we should expect a good crowd because most other times we’ve played them it had been on Labor Day weekend with people on vacation so playing them the week after, I expect it to help our crowd. I know they’ll have a good crowd on their side and I expect a good crowd with our NovaNation coming down to see us as well. I think it will be great and I’d love to play it each year. We have them for this year and next year so we’ll have to see what will happen after that.
On Temple’s team compared to last year’s,
We’re still looking and we’re trying to break them down as best as we can but they’re still big, fast and physical and that is always going to be Temple’s makeup. We’re just hoping to go in there and play as hard as we did last weekend and stay as fresh as we can since they will probably rotate more people through the game than we will. Last weekend we had some guys, between defense and special teams, take probably over 100 snaps so we just have to make sure we get our legs back and be as fresh as we can be against a team that is big, fast and physical and minimize our errors and mistakes.