Cutting turnovers turns Wildcats’ fortunes

Villanova quaterback John Robertson turns the corner after receiving a block from Kyle Wallace on Saturday. (Marc Narducci/Staff)

Villanova’s football team has won three games in a row following a 41-10 opening loss to Temple. In those three games, the Wildcats have committed zero turnovers.

Think there is a correlation?

The running game has been consistently strong, going over 200 yards in each of the first four games and in Saturday’s 24-8 win over Penn, redshirt freshman quarterback John Robertson had his best passing game, 13 of 20 for 213 yards, one touchdown and no interception.

The true key is that the Wildcats aren’t beating themselves.

Robertson hasn’t thrown an interception in 81 attempts. The only interception was thrown by former starter Chris Polony in the opener against Temple.

The Wildcats have gone long stretches where the offense has stalled, including in the win over Penn. Villanova led just 10-0 in the first half.

“I was hoping we could have a little better than 10 points, knowing the nature of this game and how it is always close at the end,” Villanova coach Andy Talley said.

Still, the defense was dominating and even though the offense was sputtering, Penn wasn’t able to create any turnovers.

In the early part of the season, this has been among the most pleasant surprises and a major reason Villanova, at 3-1, has surpassed last year’s win total.

Last year Villanova was 1-3 in its first four games and had 11 turnovers.

In this case, the statistics don’t lie and the ability to play relatively turnover-free has been the biggest difference between the beginning of this season and last.

- Marc Narducci