Monday, June 30, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 60 is for...


Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.
 
Ross Hall
Center: 2011-Present
The injury to two year starting center Dan Shirey prior to the 2012 season should have been a devastating blow to the Villanova offensive line, as most teams cannot absorb the losses of one of the better linemen in the history of the school. Ross Hall's emergence as a redshirt freshman made Shirey's absence less of an issue, and when Shirey returned in 2013, the two paired to be a formidable center/guard combination. Ross Hall will return as the starter at center in 2014. He will also be wearing number 73 for the second consecutive season.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 61 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Paul Berardelli

Offensive Guard: 1985-1988

A teammate of my uncle and a member of the first full class of Villanova football players after the program's resumption, in 1988 Paul Berardelli was the first All-American during Andy Talley's tenure at Villanova.

Villanova recruit gets coolest cake ever



Rasaan Stewart from Perkiomen Valley, who happens to be one of the biggest Villanova football recruits in recent years had this awesome cake for his graduation party.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 62 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.
 
The 1962 Liberty Bowl Team
 
Although they lost 6-0 to Oregon State, the 1962 Villanova Wildcats are significant for being the final Villanova team to play in a bowl game. A distinction that it looks like they will hold forever. Rich Richman played in two games that day for Villanova, as quarterback of the football team, and as a reserve off the bench for the basketball team.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 63 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well

Robert Richardson
 
Center: 1998-2001
As the center for the Villanova football team from 1999-2001, Southern California native Robert Richardson was in the pivot for some of the most explosive offenses in school history, and the vessel through which Chris Boden and Brett Gordon, the two most statistically prolific quarterbacks in school history were snapped the ball and played a key role in opening running lanes for Brian Westbrook, the greatest player in Villanova history.
 
On the current roster, defensive lineman Fran Walsh is wearing 63.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

James Bell 2014 highlights


He'll look to be drafted tonight, although that isn't extremely likely. He has worked out with multiple teams though and will likely end up on a summer league roster.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 65 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well

Nico D'Angelo

Offensive Line: 2012-Present

Redshirted in 2012, didn't see much playing time in 2013, but will have a chance to fight for a spot on the Villanova offensive line in 2014.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 67 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Brant Clouser

Offensive Guard: 2007-2010

For four seasons, Villanova had the luxury of having two great offensive linemen to anchor the offensive line. One, Ben Ijalana was consistently heaped with praise, but Brant Clouser's role in opening up gaps in the middle of the offensive line cannot be understated.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Villanova Football season countdown: 68 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

John Finneran

Offensive Tackle: 2002-2006

A cousin of former Villanova receivers Brian and Brad, and alumnus of Santa Margarita Catholic High School, the same alma mater, John Finneran was a two year starter on the Villanova offensive line in 2005 and 2006.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 69 (nice) is for...


Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.
 
Offensive Line: 2001-2004

Literally the only person to be issued this number in the recent history of Villanova football until this year. Berggren was a reserve offensive lineman for four years, and after his graduation he returned to the school to help coach the offensive line from 2005 to 2007.

It turns out that Villanova doesn't like issuing 69, but they did this year for freshman long snapper Collin Linden.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 70 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Bill Vogel

Offensive Tackle: 2011-2013

One of Villanova's first real impact transfers in quite some time, Bill Vogel transferred to Villanova from Nebraska-Omaha in at a time when the Villanova offensive line was in shambles due to the graduation of Ben Ijalana and Brant Clouser, as well as a season ending injury suffered by Chidozie Ekweozor in preseason camp, the presumptive starter at left tackle suffered in preseason camp. After some growing pains his first year on an offensive line that needed to replace three starters, Vogel stepped up and was an anchor of Villanova's extremely potent rushing attacks in 2012 and 2013. Replacing Vogel will be a big task for the 2014 Villanova team.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 71 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Ben Ijalana

Offensive Tackle: 2007-2010

Any discussion about the greatest offensive linemen in the history of Villanova football could probably begin and end with Ben Ijalana. Not only did he play left tackle, the most important position on the line, but he started and played at a high level at the position for all four years of his college career, becoming an All-American, winning a national championship, and ultimately getting drafted in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Ijalana is currently in his second season with the New York Jets in the NFL after spending two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.

On the current team, center/guard Peter Sotiriou wears this number.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 72 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.
 
George Benakis
 
Offensive Line: 2012-Present
At 355 pounds, the walk-on Benakis is the heaviest player on the team. He is also the only player on the team who went to high school in Canada.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 73 is for...

 

Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

David Reid

Offensive Guard: 2001-2004

July 30, 1983 - July 25, 2004

After impressing his coaches in the spring of 2004, on a Villanova team with an offensive line that was in flux, David Reid was staring at a possible starting spot. Hust five weeks before the season was to begin, Reid drowned in a friend's pool, a tragic accident that was part of the most devastating offseason in recent Villanova history, which began with the death of former Villanova player and longtime coach Lou Ferry.

David Reid was 20 years old. 

In 2008, David's family set up a foundation in his honor to help underprivileged Philadelphia-area students. 

Starting center Ross Hall currently wears this number

Monday, June 16, 2014

Villanova Football season countdown: 74 is for...


Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Kyle Wallace

Offensive Guard: 2011-Present

Started his freshman and sophomore years at left guard and played well, but redshirted in 2013 to allow Dan Shirey to return to the lineup. Should be the starter at left guard in 2014.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 75 is for...

 

Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Josh Bucci

Offensive Guard: 2009-2013


After redshirting his freshman year, the national championship 2009 season, the mammoth Josh Bucci started four seasons at guard. Recently, he got an invite to camp with the Washington Redskins.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Villanova Football season countdown: 76 is for...

 

Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Vince Kowalski

Offensive Tackle: 2011-Present

Originally an undersized offensive tackle who has grown into his body and stepped up his game in each of his three seasons on the Main Line. Kowalski is a sure thing to start at one of the offensive tackle positions for a fourth consecutive season.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Patrick Tiernan caps sensational freshman season with All-America finish


Freshman distance ace Patrick Tiernan has run in three NCAA Championship races and has been an All-American in all three. The Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia native has also improved on his result in each of the three races. In the NCAA Cross Country Championships, he finished fifth, in the NCAA Indoor 5K, he finished 7th, and today in the outdoor 5K, capping off one of the greatest freshman season in Villanova history. Tiernan's time of 13:31.25 surpassed his previous outdoor personal best by more than 25 seconds, his overall personal best by six seconds, and passed Villanova legend and NCAA Champion Bobby Curtis to become the second fastest Villanova runner in history in the 5000 meters, behind former world record holder Sydney Maree and no one else.

Tomorrow evening, Emily Lipari, Angel Piccirillo, and Jordy Williamsz will

Villanova Football season countdown: 77 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Mike Tesei


Defensive Tackle: 1999-2003
A player who played in the era of Westbrook and Gordon, Mike Tesei finished his career at Villanova in 2003 with more than 140 career tackles and 12 career sacks, including six in his redshirt freshman season of 2000 which isn't bad for a defensive tackle. Surprisingly for such a symmetrical number, 77 doesn't have much of a recent history for Villanova.

Only 11 weeks left.

2014 player wearing this number: None (as of yet)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

NCAA Championship: Lipari, Piccirillo, Williamsz all advance to NCAA finals

 Emily Lipari

After a first day that saw Villanova great Sam Ellison miss making out on his final NCAA Championship final, the Villanova track and field team did demonstrably better on Thursday, with all three competitors on the track advancing to their event final. In the women's 1500, Emily Lipari won her heat to qualify for the final, and Angel Piccirillo finished fifth in the same heat to automatically qualify for the final as well. In the men's 1500, Jordy Williamsz finished second in his heat behind NCAA legend Lawi Lalang to automatically qualify, putting an All-American (actually Australian) cap to his fine outdoor season.

In the field, Elbert Maxwell finished 21st in the long jump on a cool day which was not conducive to the long jump at all.

Tomorrow evening on ESPNU, Patrick Tiernan will race in the men's 5000 meters, an event that was won by Villanova great Bobby Curtis in 2008.

Villanova Football season countdown: 78 is for...

 

Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Jake Prus

Offensive Line
 
2012-Present
  
After redshirting as a freshman and seeing time as a reserve as a sophomore, Prus will likely battle with fellow redshirt sophomore Brad Seaton for the open offensive tackle position.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Villanova Football season countdown: 79 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Offensive Tackle: 2008-2011

A gifted offensive lineman who played at a high level when he was able to play, but unfortunately, his career was derailed by the fact that he suffered two season ending knee injuries and was not able to play out his full four years of eligibility as a result. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Villanova Football season countdown: 80 is for...

Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Lincoln Collins

Wide Receiver: 2013-Present

Wide receiver out of Boston College High School in Massachusetts. Redshirted last season, but will try to make it onto the field in 2014.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Villanova Football season countdown: 81 is for...

 

Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.    

Earnest Pettway

Tight End: 2011-Present

A native of Long Beach, California, and a product of Long Beach Polytechnic High School, rising junior Earnest Pettway has been Villanova's starting tight end since the middle of his freshman year, the disastrous 2011 season. Since then, Pettway has caught 34 balls for 297 yards and scored four touchdowns. Since I think that Villanova will be throwing the ball more often this season, I expect Pettway to be a bigger part of the offense.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Villanova Football season countdown: 82 is for...


Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.   

Chris Farmer

Tight End: 2006-2010

After spending two and a half years as a defensive lineman, Chris Farmer was moved to Tight End at the middle of his sophomore season in special packages. By the time that he was a junior, the tall, long-armed Farmer was number one on the Villanova depth chart at tight end. In all, Farmer started two full seasons at tight end and scored three touchdowns, including one in the 2009 National Championship game against Montana.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 83 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past.a Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.   

Zach Ugarte

Punter: 2006-2009

The last player of consequence to wear number 83, started at punter his freshman, sophomore, and the beginning of his junior year until Joe Marcoux, and eventually Dominic Scarnecchia took over the reigns.  The number is worn by wide receiver Anthony DeCamillo now.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 84 is for...

(he wears 84 now)

Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past.a Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.   
 
Morgan Craig

Tight End: 2011-Present

After starting his freshman year, Craig fell to second (or third) on the depth chart his sophomore and junior years. A fine blocker, but not as dynamic of a pass catcher as his teammate Earnest Pettway.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 85 is for...

Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past.a Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.   

Kevin Gulyas

Wide Receiver: 2012-Present

PA state record holder who inexplicably got zero scholarship offers. As a sophomore, Kevin Gulyas got much more playing time as a freshman, emerging as one of John Robertson's favorite targets. Expect him to build on that as a junior.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 86 is for...


Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past.a Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.   

Matt Chila

Tight End: 2000-2003

After a breakout junior season in 2002 where he caught 48 balls for 514 yards with five touchdowns, Matt Chila was looking like a possible NFL player, having already secured invites to multiple postseason all-star games. Unfortunately, seven games into his senior season in 2003, he injured suffered a knee injury that was described by Tony Moss in his book A Season in Purgatory as "So gruesome that few who witnessed it could stomach recounting the tale," and as a result missed the rest of his college career. This injury was the turning point of a disastrous season which saw Villanova get off to a torrid start, winning their first six games, only to lose four of their final five games. This collapse coincided with the loss of Matt Chila.

So yeah, Matt Chila could ball.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 87 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past.a Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.   

Clay Horne

Wide Receiver: 2011-Present

In the summer of 2011, I went to a Villanova football practice expecting to watch Norman White dominate. Well, White was in a boot with an injury that would eventually sideline him for the entire season, so Clay Horne, then a freshman with only a few days on campus took most of the snaps in White's stead and dominated, making five or six ridiculous catches, and absolutely abusing the Villanova defensive backfield. So, naturally, I expected that Horne was going to dominate. Well, not quite, because Villanova couldn't complete a pass in 2011, and by 2012, Norman White was already back, so Horne has taken a bit of a backseat. In the spring of 2013, he was named the offensive most improved player of spring practice.

After making over eight catches in his first two seasons, Horne caught 14 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown last season, good for fourth on a team that didn't throw the ball very often. Will Horne break out in 2014?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ryan Arcidiacono owns internet troll



The funny thing is that according to his bio, he's only a junior in high school.

Villanova football season countdown: 88 is for...


Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past.a Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.  

Reggie Paris

Defensive End: 2011-Present

A smallish convert from linebacker, Reggie Paris was a rotational member of the Villanova defensive line as a redshirt freshman in 2012 before becoming a starter in 2013. Is the team's top returning defensive end and is a sure thing to start. In 2013, Paris had 28 tackles, four tackles for loss, one and a half sack, a pass deflection, a blocked kick, and oddly, one punt return for 15 yards.Will be looked on next year to be the team's top pass rushing option.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 89 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past.a Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.  
 
Chris Polite
 
Wide Receiver: 2002-2006
Note: Chris Polite wore 7 when he was a senior, further throwing my list into a whack.
 
Of all the Villanova football games I have been to in my life, there are a few that stand out. One of those games is against Penn at Franklin Field in 2006, Villanova's first win while I was attending school there. During that game, Chris Polite caught a 57 yard touchdown on an absolute bomb from Marvin Burroughs. Villanova wound up holding on and winning that game 27-20, and finished the season 6-5 after beginning the season 0-3, which I think was the real catalyst to the playoff runs that would begin in 2008, and culminate with the 2009 national championship, as there was a core of freshmen on that team who saw a lot of playing time.