Though his team came out with a victory over Penn Satruday night at Franklin Field, Villanova coach Andy Talley said on Monday that the Wildcats still have a long way to go.
'Nova defeated Penn, 30-21, in a game that was closer than the final score would indicate. It gave the Wildcats their first win of the season after three losses.
``We are not a very good football team," Talley said.
'Nova's lead over the Penn going into the fourth period was 23-14, but when Quakars quarterback Billy Ragone connected with wide receiver Ryan Calvert for a 10-yard touchdown, the Wildcats lead was slashed to two points with 10 minutes, second left to play.
With the score the same, Penn took over possession at its own 4-yard line with 2:21 remaining. The Quakers reached the 17 before 'Nova defensive back Ronnie Atkins intercepted a Ragone pass and took to the end zone from 26 yards with 12 seconds showing on the clock.
``The interception was really critical at the end of the game," Talley said. ``We were fortunate."I sure didn't want to see Penn get in field goal range and put one in at the end."
The victory was 'Nova' second in a row against Penn where an interception return for a score played heavily into the outcome. And for the second straight year, Wildcats defensive back James Pitts burned the Quakers for one.
His 56-yarder last season with 2:29 left clinched a 22-10 victory for 'Nova. On Saturday, Pitts went 26 yards for a touchdown that increased the Wildcats lead from 16-14 to 23-14.
``That was two guys swinging to end, and we were fortunate to come up with a play at the end," Talley said. ``I sure wish Ronnie had just taken a knee so we could end the game.
With its nonleague games now out of the way, 'Nova will go into its Colonial Athletic Assocciation schedule full-time. In their only CAA outing to date, the Wildcats went down 31-10 at Towson on Sept. 10.
Next up is a game against visiting William & Mary on Saturday.
``Now with league games for the rest of the season, I shudder to think about having to play William & Mary, New Hampshire and James Madison back-to-back-to-back," Talley said.