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'Nova's road not getting any easier

Coming off a winnable game at Boston College, the Wildcats prepare for a good team at Fordham.

Villanova head coach Andy Talley. (Mary Schwalm/AP)
Villanova head coach Andy Talley. (Mary Schwalm/AP)Read more

IT'S ONLY ONE loss, to an FBS program. But for Villanova, what hurts even more than knowing that you had a chance to double a seven-point lead over host Boston College from the 1-yard line just before halftime and couldn't, is the knowledge that now you have to play a pretty decent Fordham team on the road at night without as many as half your defensive starters.

That's what can happen, especially at the FCS level, where depth is always a concern. And that's what the Wildcats, who dropped only from fifth to ninth in the rankings, have to deal with. In a year when they were picked to win the traditionally rugged CAA, the last thing they need to be is 0-2. Not with the schedule they have to navigate, which includes three losable road games in a 4-week span starting Oct. 12 at Towson, which just beat Connecticut by 15.

But first, you deal with the obstacle at hand. Did we mention that the Rams were leading at Villanova last September at halftime? And are coming off a 51-26 win over Rhode Island?

"We should know how good they are," Wildcats coach Andy Talley said. "We looked like a real live team for a half [at BC], then we kind of spent a lot of time backpedaling. We've got a bunch of kids who are banged up. We lost a linebacker [Pat Haggerty] for the year, and a safety [Matt McCann]. We were already down a player [Dillon Lucas] from the preseason. So we're going to have to move some people around, particularly in the secondary. It's not where you want to be."

Neither is the venue.

"This place is a little bit of a downer to play in," Talley said. "We just came from playing in front of 40,000, and now it'll be more like 7 [7,000]. It's not the team you want to be seeing this week. They can't wait to get their hands on us. Their quarterback [Michael Nebrich] is a transfer from Connecticut. So they're pretty serious. I'm worried, because we didn't play with a lot of confidence. I'm hoping that our character kids step up."

It would sure appear to be as pertinent a time as any.