VILLANOVA, PA. 10/26/2013 – For those who like offense, seeing teams run up and down the field scoring points, this was the game those fans would like. The 18th ranked Villanova Wildcats totaled 386 yards of offense. #11 Maine had more gaining 536. The Black Bears took a 23 – 14 halftime lead. The Wildcats rallied to get to within 2-points, but despite a record-setting performance from sophomore quarterback John Robertson Villanova fell to Maine 37 – 35. The frustration of losing close games continues for the Wildcats who have lost games of three, one, and two points this season.
“We played a hard as we could,” said Talley.
“You put 35 points on the board, you should win. You have got to win the close games. You have got to win the close games to be a factor in the CAA. Right now we have won one close game and lost two.”
Each team was led by their signal caller. Robertson set a record running for 214 yards becoming the first player in Villanova history to run for more than 200 yards ion consecutive games. Robertson also surpassed 1,000 yards rushing for the second consecutive season. The Paramus, NJ native scored 4 rushing touchdowns including runs of 41 yards, 8 yards, 4 yards, and a 5 yard run that got Villanova to the final score with 4:17 remaining to play. Robertson also threw for 121 yards completing 13 of 22 passes and a touchdown of 23 yards to junior wide receiver Poppy Livers. As a team Villanova gained 265 yards on the ground. Robertson says the key for his record-setting performances is simple.”Credit the offensive line, they’re setting me up great,” said Robertson.However, Maine quarterback Marcus Wasilewski and the Black Bears offense performed better. While Villanova marched on the ground, Maine got their yards predominantly in the air. As a team Maine gained 337 of their 536 yards passing. Wasilewski completed 28 of 34 passing attempts including a touchdown pass of 51 yards to wide receiver Damarr Aultman, who caught 6 passes for 86 yards, and 5 yards to Arthur Williams. Wasilewski, a native of Kulpmont, PA. also ran for 86 yards and a touchdown. His favorite targets were wide receivers catching 7 balls each. Justin Perillo had 94 yards and John Ebeling got 62.It was the efficiency of the Maine offense that proved to be the undoing of Villanova in this game. The Black Bears scored on their first six possessions to take their largest lead at 30 – 14 with 11:10 to play in the third quarter. Maine was good on 13 of 19 Third-Down Conversions which allowed for 13 plus more minutes in time of possession. Maine also had 75 offensive plays compared to 54 for Villanova. That was the telling statistic.
“The time of possession was huge today,” said Wasilewski. “The reason for those extra plays was that we executed. Give us those plays and we don’t execute, they don’t matter that much because our defense is back on the field against a high-powered Villanova offense. We took one play at a time and did the best we could.”
“When you leave the defense on the field for an inordinate amount of time, you’re going to wear down,” Talley said.
Villanova falls to 4 – 4 on the season, 3 – 2 in conference. Maine improves to 7 – 1 and stay unbeaten in the CAA at 4 – 0. The Wildcats play their next two games on the road at James Madison and Rhode Island. The Wildcats need to get past the frustration of losing close ones.
“It’s tough,” said Robertson. ” We have to find a way to get those two points, three points back, and get a few points at the end.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian