Villanova 2014 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

George Hammond

Villanova Wildcats


The Wildcats, who were picked to finish second in the CAA preseason poll, were just two points away from a perfect season. They lost to Syracuse 27-26 in two overtimes in the season opener and dropped a 10-9 decision to Richmond midway through the season. But after an injury-filled 2013 season, Villanova was expected to rebound this season and it has. Fifteen starters returned as Villanova is making its fifth playoff appearance in seven seasons. The Wildcats finished with a 6-0 home record with a +25.0 scoring margin in those contests as they scored more than 40 points in all six home games.

2014 Record: 10-2, 7-1
Coach: Andy Talley

Big Wins: 9/6 Fordham (50-6), 10/18 at William & Mary (35-31)
Bad Losses: 8/29 at Syracuse (26-27), 11/1 at Richmond (9-10)

Junior quarterback John Robertson is closing in on becoming the all-time career yardage leader for the Wildcats. He’s second now and could become number one during the playoffs. Besides Robertson, running back Kevin Monangai is a rushing threat as the senior is in the top ten for career rushers at Villanova. The top receiving threat is senior Poppy Livers who has 59 receptions on the year. Up front, Villanova is led by seniors Ross Hall (center) and Vince Kowalski (tackle), both preseason CAA selections. Overall, Villanova is ranked in the top 15 nationally for rushing yardage, scoring offense and is in the top five for third-down conversions. Defensively, Villanova is led by linebacker Don Cherry, who is the first Wildcat to record at least 100 tackles in a season since 2010. Villanova is in the top 40 nationally in total defense and is in the top ten in rushing defense.

As good as the defense is, the Wildcats have given up some passing yards. Going into the season finale, they were ranked 102nd in passing yards allowed. For example, JMU torched the Wildcats’ secondary for 406 yards through the air, while William & Mary threw for 350 yards. Of course, teams might go to the air against Villanova because they can’t run the ball. Also, the Wildcats are a highly penalized team and have allowed more than their fair share of sacks.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: John Robertson, QB, 978 yards
Passing: John Robertson, QB, 2,629 yards
Receiving: Poppy Livers, WR, 860 yards
Tackles: Don Cherry, LB, 112
Sacks: Don Cherry, LB, 9.0
Interceptions: Jason Ceneus, DB, 5

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 241.4 (10th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 229.4 (43, 4)
Total Offense: 470.7 (16, 2)
Scoring Offense: 39.4 (11, 1)
Rushing Defense: 101.8 (7, 1)
Pass Defense: 253.1 (102, 12)
Total Defense: 354.9 (35, 4)
Scoring Defense: 20.5 (21, 2)
Turnover Margin: 0.73 (16, 5)
Sacks: 2.45 (33, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 2.82 (94, 10)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
2012    First Round    Lost to Stony Brook
2010    Second Round    Defeated Stephen F. Austin
2010    Quarterfinals    Defeated Appalachian State
2010    Semifinals    Lost to Eastern Washington
2009    First Round    Defeated Holy Cross
2009    Quarterfinals    Defeated New Hampshire
2009    Semifinals    Defeated William & Mary
2009    Championship    Defeated Montana
2008    First Round    Defeated Colgate
2008    Quarterfinals    Lost to James Madison
2002    First Round    Defeated Furman
2002    Quarterfinals    Defeated Fordham
2002    Semifinals    Lost to McNeese State
1997    First Round    Defeated Colgate
1997    Quarterfinals    Lost to Youngstown State
1996    First Round    Lost to East Tennessee State
1992    First Round    Lost to Youngstown State
1991    First Round    Lost to Youngstown State
1989    First Round    Lost to Georgia Southern

*all team stats through 11/15


Playoff Central