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Top-ranked 'Nova not taking W&M lightly
Top-ranked Villanova visits William and Mary Saturday in a rematch of last year’s Football Championship Subdivision semifinal game in what coach Andy Talley referred to Wednesday as “a defining moment” in the Wildcats’ season.
It’s uncertain whether all-American wide receiver Matt Szczur will be available Saturday after spraining his ankle last week at Penn on the first play of scrimmage. The Wildcats won, 22-10, but the senior is considered a game-time decision.
“We’re not sure where he is at this point,” Talley said. “With his ankle the way it is, it just depends on how he responds to treatment.”
During the off-season, Talley read websites where William and Mary players were quoted as saying they were looking forward to facing Villanova. With that in mind, and a six-game winning streak against William and Mary, Talley expects a hostile crowd in Williamsburg, Va.
“We’ll see if we have ‘it’ - if we could get on the road in a very difficult environment and win in that kind of environment,” Talley said.
William and Mary (3-1, 1-1) is dealing with the loss of starting quarterback Mike Callahan, who is out indefinitely after injuring his shoulder last week against Maine. Michael Paulus is expected to replace him.
Paulus is a junior transfer from North Carolina, where he also played basketball. He is the younger brother of Greg Paulus, the former Duke basketball point guard who transferred to Syracuse to play football last year.
Last week, Paulus replaced Callahan in the fourth quarter, with the Tribe trailing, 14-3. He completed 9 of 16 passes for 104 yards, including a 21-yard scoring pass with 20 seconds left to defeat Maine, 24-21.
Since losing the Sept. 3 opener against Temple, Villanova (3-1, 1-0) has reeled off three consecutive wins. The Wildcats are 1-1 on the road, bouncing back the following week with a 35-0 win at Lehigh.
“We’ve had two tough games now,” he said about Temple and Penn. “We feel like we’ve been in the fire and we’re ready for what we’re going to find out with William & Mary.”
By Mario Aguirre, Philadelphia Inquirer