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Villanova Tops Towson
Villanova’s James Pitts made a freshman mistake and lost a fumble on a punt early yesterday against Towson.
“All I said to him was, ‘Give me something back - come on, you need to get me something back,’ ” Wildcats coach Andy Talley said he told Pitts. “Boy, was he at the right place at the right time.”
With Towson looking to pad its lead, Pitts intercepted Tigers quarterback Sean Schaefer and sprinted down the sideline for a touchdown, handing Villanova its first lead 12 seconds before halftime.
That play proved pivotal as the Wildcats held off the upset-minded Tigers, 34-31, yesterday at Villanova Stadium to improve to 8-2 overall and 6-1 within the Colonial Athletic Conference.
Eight wins might be enough for the Wildcats to get an at-large bid in the Football Championship Subdivision (Division I-AA), their first appearance since 2002, but Talley wants more certainty.
A repeat of yesterday’s poor performance at archrival Delaware on Saturday might not be enough to win, Talley said. A loss would leave the Wildcats with eight wins - and that wasn’t good enough in 2001.
“I think the magic number is eight - but, man, I don’t want to leave it up to some political situation or committee to say, ‘These three teams aren’t getting in this year,’ ” Talley said. “We’re on a mission. We have to play better.”
One week after playing a penalty-free game against New Hampshire, the Cats committed 10, including five in the first quarter. Battling the wind, Joe Marcoux missed a 24-yard field goal, and the defense couldn’t get off the field in the first half, allowing Towson to convert 6 of 9 third downs.
Schaefer completed 35 of 47 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns, becoming just the third FCS player to amass 1,000 completions. But, he made one crucial mistake - Pitts’ interception.
On the play, Greg Miller appeared to have Schaefer sacked, but Schaefer unwisely chucked the ball skyward toward the sideline.
“I knew Greg had him - he was going down, but the ball was up in the air,” Pitts said. “I just looked at it as a punt.”
This one he didn’t botch and it proved to be the difference.
Villanova tops Towson
By John Kopp, The Philadelphia Inquirer