November 14 Philadelphia Inquirer:
Villanova could go from being last season’s national champion to not even making the playoffs this year.
After Saturday’s 31-24 loss to No. 17 New Hampshire at Villanova Stadium, the ninth-ranked Wildcats will be fighting for survival.
That’s what is at stake for the defending Football Championship Subdivision champion in next week’s game at Delaware. A loss in the regular-season finale would mark the first time Villanova failed to make the playoffs since 2007.
“I don’t even know how you can talk about playoffs. I really don’t,” said Villanova coach Andy Talley, whose squad (6-4, 4-3 Colonial Athletic Association) lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2006, when the Wildcats fell to Maine and Towson.
“We had our opportunities,” he said. “We had our opportunities last week [at Rhode Island]. We had our opportunities this week. You have to start playing like a playoff team. And I didn’t get that feeling today.”
That’s because Villanova was penalized nine times for 76 yards and turned the ball over three times.
“I just expected more out of our team,” said Talley, whose squad trailed by 10-0 early and never fully recovered. “I’m surprised our defense would give up 31 points.”
Despite that, Villanova still had an opportunity to force overtime or beat New Hampshire (6-4, 4-3) with a touchdown and a possible ensuing two-point conversion.
Trailing by 31-24, Villanova had a first and goal at the New Hampshire 5-yard line with 26.3 seconds left.
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