With the 2015 college football season right around the corner, the Villanova University Wildcats offered the media a preview of this year’s team on Thursday August 13, 2015 during their annual media day. The Wildcats are coming off of a very successful 2014 season which saw them finish ranked 7th nationally (with an 11-3 record overall, 7-1 in CAA league play) and reach the quarterfinal round of the NCAA playoffs.
The 2015 team, which is ranked 4th nationally in the preseason FCS rankings, returns 14 starters and 32 letterwinners from last year’s team. Key returnees include QB John Robertson (who won the Walter Payton award as the top player in the Football Championship Subdivision), Linebacker Don Cherry (a nominee for the Buck Buchanan award as the top defensive player in the FCS), Gary Underwood (an outstanding running back), and Reggie Paris (an outstanding defensive lineman). The Wildcats are attempting to replace several major contributors from the 2014 team including wide receiver Poppy Livers, tight end Earnest Pettway, running backs Kevin Monangai (now on the Philadelphia Eagles roster) and Austin Medley, offensive linemen Vince Kowalski and Ross Hall, linebacker Joey Harmon, safety Joe Sarnese, and nose tackle Pat Williams.
Villanova held a spirited practice before allowing the media to interview Coach Andy Talley and a group of players. Independent Philly spoke with Coach Talley, John Robertson, Don Cherry and placekicker Steve Weyler.
Coach Talley told the gathered media that at this point in the preseason he feels more comfortable with the defense (than the offense). For the offense to be as successful as last year’s prolific group, the Coach believes he must find replacements for Kowalski and Hall on the offensive line and for Livers, the Wildcats leading receiver last year. Coach Talley said he thinks the punting game will be good and he is confident about Weyler being successful as the placekicker. In response to a question, Coach Talley singled out true freshman running back Jarrett McClenton as a player who will be part of the rotation if he stays healthy. The Coach also mentioned Bryan White as a potential contributor as a freshman.
The Villanova Wildcats open their season on Thursday, September 3 at the University of Connecticut. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30PM. The game will be televised on ESPN 3 and SNY. The Wildcats will play their first home game on September 19 when they host the Delaware Blue Hens.
[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]
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2015 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
|Date||Opponent / Event||Location||Time / Result|
|09/03/15||at UConn||Hartford, Conn.||7:30 p.m. ET|
|09/12/15||at Fordham||Bronx, N.Y.||6:00 p.m. ET|
|09/19/15||vs. Delaware *||Villanova, Pa.||12:00 p.m. ET|
|09/24/15||vs. Penn||Villanova, Pa.||7:00 p.m. ET|
|10/10/15||vs. William & Mary *||Villanova, Pa.||12:00 p.m. ET|
|10/17/15||at Albany *||Albany, N.Y.||3:30 p.m. ET|
|10/24/15||at Towson *||Towson, Md.||7:00 p.m. ET|
|10/31/15||vs. Maine *||Villanova, Pa.||7:30 p.m. ET|
|11/07/15||at Rhode Island *||Kingston, R.I.||12:30 p.m. ET|
|11/14/15||vs. Richmond *||Villanova, Pa.||3:30 p.m. ET|
|11/21/15||at James Madison *||Harrisonburg, Va.||12:00 p.m. ET|