Skip to content
College Sports
Link copied to clipboard

Villanova beats Delaware; will likely make the FCS playoffs

NEWARK, Del. - After Villanova's recent two-game skid, the popular belief was the Delaware Blue Hens would defeat their archrival. That led to the belief that Villanova, the defending Football Championship Subdivision champion, wouldn't advance to the playoffs.

NEWARK, Del. - After Villanova's recent two-game skid, the popular belief was the Delaware Blue Hens would defeat their archrival. That led to the belief that Villanova, the defending Football Championship Subdivision champion, wouldn't advance to the playoffs.

Oh, really?

The 15th-ranked Wildcats destroyed a few beliefs here in Saturday's regular-season finale at Delaware Stadium.

Villanova safety Martel Moody forced and recovered a fumble at the Wildcats' 2-yard line in overtime to cap Villanova's 28-21 victory over the top-ranked Blue Hens.

With the win, Villanova (7-4, 5-3 Colonial Athletic Association) will likely advance to its third straight postseason appearance. The 20-team field will be announced Sunday at 10 a.m. on ESPNU.

"I can't believe that we couldn't be in," Villanova coach Andy Talley said. "I mean, the defending national champion. We just beat No. 1 at their house. We played a [Football Bowl Subdivision] team [in Temple]. We have to get in. . . . We have to get in."

The victory also enabled the Wildcats to beat the Blue Hens (9-2, 6-2) for the fifth straight time. And it denied Delaware the outright CAA title.

The Wildcats never appeared intimidated by, or inferior to, Delaware during a game in which they received an emotional lift with the return of Matt Szczur. The all-American wideout had missed the previous six games with a left high-ankle sprain.

Running back Aaron Ball scored what ended up being the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard run to cap the opening possession of overtime.

Delaware's overtime drive, and the game, concluded when Moody was credited with dislodging the ball from running back Andrew Pierce and recovering at the 2.

"My man, Martel Moody, came up with the play of the season for us," Talley said.

Early on, the game had all of the signs of a Villanova rout.

Angelo Babbaro returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown. Villanova went ahead by 14-0 on Whitney's 4-yard touchdown pass to Lawrence Doss on its second possession.

Delaware quarterback Pat Devlin, a product of Downingtown East, went on to throw two of his three touchdown passes in the second quarter to knot the score at 14.

The 2009 Penn State transfer's third touchdown pass, a 1-yarder to Pierce with 18 seconds remaining in regulation, tied the score at 21 to force overtime.

But the game ended with Moody lying on top of Pierce's fumble.

"We are still breathing," the defensive back said while clutching the ball. "We still have [postseason] life."

Szczur (three carries, 24 yards) played 15 offensive snaps, fourteen in the first half. He had a 19-yard gain on Villanova's second play from scrimmage.

Published