Nov. 28, 2009
Villanova advances to the quarterfinals of the Division I Football Championship for the second straight season. Next Saturday, the Wildcats will host New Hampshire in a quarterfinal game. Villanova last played at home in the quarterfinals when it defeated Fordham, 24-10, in 2002.
Villanova is making its eighth playoff appearance under 25th year head coach Andy Talley. The Wildcats improved to 5-7 (.417) all-time in the postseason under Talley, with two of the five victories coming in the last two seasons. The Wildcats improved to 5-1 (.833) at home in playoff action with today's win.
Next Saturday's quarterfinal game against New Hampshire will be a rematch of a game played in Durham, N.H., earlier this season. On October 10, Villanova suffered its only loss of the season to its namesakes from New Hampshire, 28-24. Villanova has won six straight games since then for its first six-game winning streak since the start of the 2003 season.
Junior wide receiver Matt Szczur registered his first career game with more than 100 yards receiving. He surpassed his previous career high of 83 yards by halftime and finished with 130 yards on a team-high seven receptions. Szczur added 55 yards rushing and 53 yards on kick returns for a total of 238 all-purpose yards in the game.
Today's meeting was the first in 20 years between Villanova and Holy Cross. The Wildcats now lead the all-time series by a 13-9 margin, with this afternoon's contest being the first-ever postseason matchup between the two teams. Villanova is 4-0 against the Patriot League in the playoffs and 23-3 all-time against teams from the conference.
All four teams from the Colonial Athletic Association that earned playoff berths advanced to the second round of the Division I Football Championship. In addition, to Villanova and New Hampshire, the league will be represented by defending national champion Richmond as well as William & Mary in the quarterfinals. Richmond defeated Elon, 16-13, while William & Mary blanked Weber State, 38-0.