Sunday, October 31, 2010

Corey Fisher=Hope

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thoughts After Villanova-Richmond

That was perhaps the most arduous and taxing game I have ever been to where the team i wanted to win won by three touchdowns. Villanova ended up beating Richmond 28-7, but it felt closer (and probably should have been closer.)

Here's what I think:
  • Chris Whitney- Beast Mode
  • Richmond offense- Not beast mode
  • I'd like to see a little bit more pressure on the quarterback in the very near future.
  • Norman White has a TD reception in five straight games.
  • Dorian Wells: if you are going to be back to return punts, catch one once in a while.
  • The officials didn't know their asses from holes in the ground.. that "fumble" in the fourth quarter that set up the final score was probably a forward pass.
  • Marquis Kirkland may have a future playing on Sundays.  
  • 15 straight wins at Villanova Stadium.
  • Congrats to the Girl's Cross Country team for winning their third consecutive Big East title.
  • Beat Rhode Island.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Keys to the Game- Villanova-Richmond Edition

Coming off wins in consecutive weeks against Maine and James Madison, the Villanova football team will take on The Spiders of the University of Richmond this Saturday at noon.  Richmond has run into a great deal of bad luck this season, losing their starting Quarterback, USC transfer Aaron Corp and his backup so they have been forced to start true freshman Montel White at the position (a similar siuation that Chris Whitney was in during his freshman year.)  Although UR has been relatively successful since the injuries, if Villanova doesn't win this game they are in big trouble.

Here's what Villanova needs to do to win:

  1. Stop the Run- Richmond boasts a dismal passing offense, one of the worst in the nation in both yards and efficiency.  Their offense on the whole isn't very good (averaging fewer than 20 points per game,) but they are much better at running the ball than they are throwing it.  The runner to watch is Kendall Gaskins who is big (6-1 230) and powerful and flashed against VU last year at Richmond, scoring a touchdown.  Other than running backs Gaskins, Tyler Kirchoff, Garrett Wilkins, and Jovan Smith (a committee if there ever was one) there should be no real threat coming from the Richmond offense.  If you force them into throwing the ball with White, you have about a 99 percent chance of winning. 
  2. Be Wary of The Gadget Play- Teams that are over matched will try some desperate things.  Fake punts/field goals, flea flickers, passes with people other than the quarterback etc.  I wouldn't mind a relatively conservative defensive game plan (not too conservative,) simply to account for these types of things.  That doesn't mean to call the dogs off by any means, but they should be aware of the fake (especially on special teams.)
  3. Throw Throw Throw- Richmond's passing defense is not great and Chris Whitney has been a monster so far this season.  So I think a heavy helping of the pass is in order.  stay in a four receiver set for most of the game and just chuck it around the yard.  Dorian Wells, Norman White, and Mikey Reynolds have really picked up the slack from Matt Szczur, our fearless leader since he has been out from injury.  Throwing it in the first three quarters makes for prime conditions to run the clock out in the fourth quarter.  Part of the problem last week was the coaches got too conservative with their play calling in the second half and weren't willing to use Whitney's arm to put the game away. 
  4. Don't Let Up- The 'Cats Felt like they let up a bit in the second half on offense against JMU, that has to change down the stretch.  Four quarters of inspired football every game is necessary for a successful stretch and playoff run.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cue The Mike Nardi Comparisons

I always get annoyed when comparisons are made simply due to race or location.  For example, Matt Szczur's game bears little resemblance to that of Wes Welker (it is in fact closer to Percy Harvin's.)  Maalik Wayns being compared to Kyle Lowry is another lazy comparison, because if I had to compare Wayns' game to anyone else it would be Kemba Walker.  Call Wayns a poor man's Allen Iverson for all I care, but his game in no way resembles that of Lowry because Lowry never had a very developed offensive game while at Villanova.

This brings me to the case of Ryan Arcidiacono, a guard from Neshaminy High School who just gave a verbal committment to attend VU starting in 2012.  I can guarantee that someone on ESPN (probably Fran Fraschilla, who is the main source of my vitriol for constantly trying to convince the audience that he can namedrop more obscure college players from ten years ago than anyone on earth, and for verbally fellating the Europeans during the world championships this summer) will mention Arcidiacono's name in the same sentence with former Villanova great Mike Nardi.  I have never seen Arcidiacono play, so his game could be similar to Nardi, but that doesn't change the fact that the comparisons are always going to be lazy because he is a highly recruited point guard with a buzz cut who is going to Villanova.

Here's some advice to you Ryan: get a distinctive hair style.  I highly recommend a jheri curl.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Matt Szczur's Injury Will Make Villanova Better

Last basketball season, Villanova relied far too much on Scottie Reynolds for offense, and once Scottie hit a slump (in the worst possible time,) the team fell flat on it's face.  During the first few games of the football season, Villanova was forcing the ball into the hands of Matt Szczur, the team's best offensive weapon.  When Szczur was injured, they were forced to reinvent themselves and it simply didn't work in the first game against William & Mary.  Since that game in Williamsburg, the coaching staff has finally realized that Chris Whitney can actually throw the ball, and that in Norman White, Mikey Reynolds, and Dorian Wells there are other weapons at the receiver position.

When and if Szczur Christ Returns, The 'Cats will be in a much better place as they will not feel the need to force the ball to him with their new found weapons.  The fact that Szczur has been hurt may also help the team next year as the coaches will not scramble to redefine the offense despite the fact that they will be breaking in a lot of new players, including a new quarterback. 

Wait until you get better before you play again sir, we'll need you for the playoffs.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Thoughts on Saturday's Game

Villanova held on to beat James Madison 14-7 yesterday despite dominating the entire game.
Here's what i think:
  • The play calling in the second half was WAY too conservative.  Chris Whitney was hot, they should have given him more opportunities to throw it down field.
  • Norman White is a beast.. Plain and simple.
  • I still love Mikey Reynolds.
  • Thomas Weaver may have had the best game by a Villanova defensive player so far this season.  He was so incredibly disruptive, even though his position (nose tackle) simply dictates that he occupies blockers and stop the run. 
  • What the hell is wrong with Nick Yako?
  • The fake punt call was incredibly ballsy.  It's good to have an athletic punter like Scarnecchia.  
  • Please find a way to stop the intermediate pass.
  • Villanova should move up in the rankings after Delaware lost to William & Mary
  • The band showed up!
  • Get healthy soon Matt Szczur.
  • Beat Richmond

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Keys to the Game- Villanova-JMU Edition

The last time Villanova lost at Villanova Stadium was two years ago, October 25, 2008 (I remember the date, because I was arrested that afternoon.)  In case you don't remember, the game (which was soggy, wet and cold) ended on a last second hail mary by James Madison, which is tied for my number one all time sports buzzkill moment.  JMU is an enigmatic team this season, beating Virginia Tech and not doing much since.  This game should be full of emotion as it is a virtual must win for both teams. 

Here are my Keys:

  1. Stop The Running Game- JMU always tries to force the ball down the other team's throat on the ground, and traditionally they're quite good at it (think Oregon's offense.)  Drew Dudzik, the Quarterback for The Dukes should be the focal point of their running game along with several running backs including Jonathan Sullivan and Griff Yancey.
  2. Keep Chucking It- The strength of this Villanova team is the down field passing game, as evidenced by last week's beat down of MaineChris Whitney should throw the ball at least 20 times, unless JMU has success stopping the passing game.  Throwing the ball keeps defenses honest and will set up the running game toward the end of the game. 
  3. Play Hard for 60 Minutes- JMU has shown that they can play with just about anyone for an entire game, so VU must play with a swagger.  This is absolutely a winnable game, and it's also homecoming so there will be a larger than usual crowd.
  4. Forget About Last Year-  Last season, Villanova traveled to Harrisonburg and shut JMU out 27-0.  As far as I'm concerned, that game never happened.  The team must completely forget about that game and play like they were the ones who were embarrassed last season.
  5. Don't Get Arrested- (for the fans) Self explanatory.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rick Pitino Loves St. John's (and adultery)

Notorious premature ejaculator Rick Pitino has made it known through his preseason coaches poll that he thinks St. John's will win the Big East this season.  Apparently the grease that emanates from his person has slipped into his brain, or he just thinks it's 1987.  If Mr. Pitino is right, he may just be Nostradamus (if Nostradamus cheated on his wife in a closed restaurant and lasted only 15 seconds in the process.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

He Toys With People

Because I'm lazy, but I still want to post.. i am going to inundate you with Villanova YouTube Videos!

Video courtesy of SeanDon

Matt Szczur and Ben Ijalana Invited to Senior Bowl

According to Villanova Football's twitter page, senior Wide Receiver Matt Szczur and senior Offensive Tackle Ben Ijalana have been invited to play in the 2011 Senior Bowl.  Fantastic news, and good for the future of the program to have two representatives at such a publicized event.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Postgame Wrapup: Without Vaseline Edition

So Villanova ran train on Maine today to the tune of a 48-18 beatdown.

Here are some nuggets from the game
  • Chris Whitney became Villanova's first 300 yard passer since Frank Jankowski in 2005.
  • I literally cannot remember the last time a Villanova player had 5 total touchdowns.
  • Whitney almost had a career high in passing in the first half.
  • Norman White and Dorian Wells both had huge games. 
  • The coaches need to find ways to get Aaron Ball and Angelo Babbaro on the field at the same time, preferably offset or with Babbaro in the slot.
  • Meh performance by the defense, but they forced turnovers.
  • The Delco Times really took a dump on my new found credibility by saying that Matt Szczur was likely to play.
  • The TV announcers were just straight up bad.
  • I think this game was proof positive that the shackles need to come off the VU passing game. 
  • Mikey Reynolds is awesome.  Just straight up gangsta.
I'll get more on this when Villanova posts the stats on their shitty official website.

Why Should You Stay Away From Maine?

 Because Lady Gaga tried to act serious there

Friday, October 15, 2010

Old Dominion's AD Calls Villanova a "Natural" in the Big East

In an article in today's Virginian-Pilot discussing the virtues of teams studying to move from FCS to FBS competition, Old Dominion Athletic Director Wood Selig called Villanova a "natural in the Big East" along with CAA commissioner Tom Yeager calling Villanova's situation "dramatically unique" compared to other schools studying a potential move up. 

This should tell you all you need to know.  Villanova would be a huge loss for CAA Football, but their commissioner is willing to comment on Villanova's situation.

Don't be stupid VU Administration, other schools would kill to be put in this position.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Matt Szczur is Expected to Play Against Maine

After practicing on a limited basis this week, Matt Szczur is expected to suit up and play against Maine.  Earlier this week, Andy Talley described Szczur's status as "questionable" but I guess he feels better?

This is huge news for the team if he does in fact play.  I just hope he doesn't get run into the ground and is managed properly.

Keys to the Game- Villanova-Maine Edition

Greatest thing to ever involve a Maine athlete

This Saturday, the battered Villanova  football travels to the great white north to take on MaineAndy Talley historically does not have much success when he travels to Orono, but Maine has not demonstrated its past form over the last several years.  I expect an inspired performance from The 'Cats coming off the bye week and their in conference loss in a year.

Here are my keys to the game:
  1. Make an Impression Early- Falling behind against William & Mary absolutely killed the team two weeks ago, and it almost always seems to in a foreign environment.  The Black Bears cannot get the impression that they have the upper hand in any facet of the game as that could be incredibly dangerous (just watch the Penn game from earlier this season.)  Taking an early lead or even a sustained opening drive are things that could send a message to Maine.  Villanova must get it into the heads of the Maine players that they will not lose.
  2. Throw The Ball- Chris Whitney doesn't get nearly enough credit as a passer, but the truth is that he leads the CAA in passing efficiency.  Wouldn't featuring Whitney's arm in the passing game be a better way to compensate for the lack of Matt Szczur?  This team is simply becoming predictable.. throw the other team a curve ball on occasion.
  3. Refrain From Fucktardery- Please please please no turnovers in the red zone?
  4. Play 60- Football teams lose if they come out flaccid like VU did two weeks ago.  An inspired effort and some momentum for next week against James Madison would go a long way toward setting this team up for a playoff run.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

PPL Park is The Answer

 look at that backdrop

Watching the United States Men's National Soccer Team play against Colombia at PPL Park last night only bolstered my opinion that it is the perfect venue for Villanova Football should they make the move to the Big East.  Not only is the stadium brand new, but it is the perfect size  to accommodate the team in the short term.  Chester is not the most ideal of locations, but neither is South Philadelphia and you can be sure that Delaware County wouldn't mind a second tenant (and thus a second source of revenue) from the stadium.

Detractors will always say that the stadium is not big enough, but there is always Lincoln Financial Field for the games that PPL Park doesn't have the capacity for.  Ultimately the best idea is to use PPL until VU is able to outbid Temple for LFF once their contract expires at the home of the pigeons.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Szczur May Not Play This Week.. FML

Matt Szczur is officially "questionable" for this week's game against Maine according to Head Coach Andy Talley.

This is not good.. ankle sprains are usually chronic and they tend not to get much better unless someone completely rests.  Compounding the issue is the fact that it's both ankles.  Villanova does not "need" Szczur in a literal sense, but he's such a large part of the offense that he is essential to a lot of what they do.  Pray to Szczur that he heals quickly.

Message to The Maine Offense

Courtesy of the Villanova Defense

Year One: Post Scottie

Scottie Reynolds did wonderful things for Villanova basketball.  From leading The 'Cats to the Final Four to ending his career as the second leading scorer in school history, he was awesome.  Now, a new chapter must be written in Villanova history as Scottie has graduated and moved on after what seemed like a decade on the Main Line.

I am calling this season "year one" as it is truly a new era as there is a need to not only replace the production of those who left the program, but also to fill the leadership void left behind by Reynolds and Reggie Redding.  Last season, when things were falling apart,  I opined that this team may have been better off in the long run without Scottie because they became dependent on him and surely enough, once Scottie hit a slump the team just flattened out and became as flaccid as Brett Favre's member (better explained by Brian on VUHoops.)

I really don't know what to think in re: realistic expectations, because frankly the bar was set too high last year after a softy OOC schedule and high expectations from a final four team the previous season.  I hope for low expectations (although basically every "expert" is picking VU to win the Big East.)  This year is a critical season for Jay Wright, because the Final Four appearance two years really just made the fans thirsty for more success, and the highly ranked recruiting classes he's brought in only compounds any of the (subtle) pressure already on him.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Basketball Season is Nearly Upon Us

As you may have noticed, the slant of this blog is mostly toward the football team, but with the basketball season nearly upon us, it's time that I step up what really interests most: the basketball team.  I'll have a comprehensive player by player Villanova Basketball season preview coming up within the next week or so.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bye Week Keys

Here are my keys to the bye week

  1. Get Healthy
  2. Get Healthy
  3. Get Healthy
  4. Throw the ball more with Chris Whitney against Maine.
That is all

36 Days Until Basketball Season

It makes me want to blue myself

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Villanova Alum Billy Joe Retires From Coaching

Billy Joe, former Villanova fullback, 1961 Sun Bowl MVP and 1963 American Football League Rookie of the Year announced his resignation from his position as the head football coach at Miles College on Monday, ending a coaching career which spanned over three decades and during which he accumulated 243 career wins.  His career win total is second to only to the legendary Eddie Robinson of Grambling for wins amongst coaches at historically black schools.  Prior to his time at Miles, Joe had stints at Cheyney, Central State and most notably Florida A&M.

Well That Kinda Sucked, College Football Thoughts On a Monday

I'm lucky that I wasn't around to watch that game because I'm pretty sure i would have committed seppuku on myself.  I'm just glad that The Giants redeemed my weekend by giving Jay Cutler brain damage.

  • Let Chris Whitney throw the ball more!
  • Can't read too too much into this game because they were playing against a team desperate for revenge.
  • Get well soon Matt Szczur
  • Beat Maine!
  • Denard Robinson may have already locked up the Heisman Trophy.  The only person with a remote chance to beat him at this point is LaMichael James.
  • The U is finally back- Jacory Harris had a crappy game but they still beat Clemson in a hostile environment.  Really a testament to Randy Shannon as a football coach and as a leader of men.
  • Alabama should be unanimous number one.  Who else do they have to beat?
  • Villanova might be able to compete in the Big East now.
  • Like Brian said on VUHoops, I actually think that TCU to the Big East makes sense.
  • Notre Dame still sucks.