Villanova actually was out for revenge.
But all week, the Wildcats had downplayed the talk about redemption against New Hampshire, the team that handed Villanova its lone football loss this season.
Then second-ranked Villanova went out and humiliated 10th-ranked New Hampshire, 46-7, yesterday in the snow to win the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal game at Villanova Stadium.
That's right, 46-7. It was a convincing victory for Villanova, which advanced to its second NCAA semifinal in school history.
"It was a sense of revenge," said Villanova nose guard Phil Matusz, referring to the 28-24 setback on Oct. 10 in Durham, N.H. "Some of the guys had revenge on our mind."
In a semifinal Friday night or Saturday, they will host William and Mary, a 24-3 winner over Southern Illinois.
With the win, Villanova improved to 12-1, tying the school's record for victories in a season.
New Hampshire (10-3) must deal with its fifth quarterfinal loss in the last six seasons.
Yesterday's performance "probably was as good as we could play in those kinds of conditions," coach Andy Talley said of playing in a snowstorm. "I don't think we could play any better on both sides of the ball.
"Our offensive kids kept their footing. Our defensive guys got to the quarterback. And it looked like we were playing on a sunny day in that respect, really."
Villanova set a school record for the fewest rushing yards allowed by holding New Hampshire to minus-66 yards rushing. New Hampshire finished with 84 yards of total offense.
The visitors didn't get their initial first down until 6 minutes, 31 seconds remained in the third quarter.
New Hampshire quarterback R.J. Toman completed just 6 of 18 passes for 46 yards. He was sacked four times before being relieved late in the third quarter. Villanova also sacked backup quarterback Kevin Decker twice.
On a sack by defensive end Tim Kukucka (game-high 21/2 sacks, team-high six tackles), Toman fumbled the ball in the end zone. It rolled out of bounds for a safety, giving Villanova a commanding 26-0 third-quarter lead.
Offensively, Villanova scored on three of its first four possessions and finished with 343 rushing yards.
Reserve running back Angelo Babbaro had 13 carries for a career-high 148 yards and two touchdowns, covering 25 and 59 yards. He had missed the teams' first meeting with a foot injury.
It didn't take long to see that this game would turn into a rout.
New Hampshire running back Chad Kackert (11 carries for minus-10 yards) fumbled on the first play from scrimmage. After Villanova safety John Dempsey bobbled the ball, it bounced back 19 yards to the 4. That's when Dempsey scooped it up again and ran into the end zone.
After Nick Yako's point-after kick, Villanova had a 7-0 lead 15 seconds into the game.
"It was a huge momentum factor for us," Dempsey said of the play. "We were sky high, and we didn't take our foot off the gas after that one."
Note. Including yesterday's game, Villanova has outrushed its last four opponents, 1,198 yards to 73.