Though his team played its best game of the season on Saturday in a losing cause against the Colonial Athletic Association's preseason favorite, Villanova coach could not be satisfied with the 200 total yards the Wildcats wound up with in the 20-16 loss to visiting William and Mary.
Talley is playing his third quarterback in this young season, and the current starter, redshirt senior Christian Culicerto, made only his second career start against one of the best defenses the CAA has to offer.
Culicerto hardly played badly. He completed 15 of 24 passes for 132 yards, with one interception and one touchdown pass. His counterpart, William and Mary's Michael Graham, was 13 of 24 passing for 171 yards, with one interception on no touchdown passes.
On one second-quarter play, Culicerto had a receiver wide open on the left side of the end zone _ "Nova had fooled the Tribe with a play where Culicerto handed the ball off and then got it back _ but the quarterback never saw the open man.
Villanova trailed 14-13 at intermission, and 17-16 going into the fourth quarter.
``To win the game, make the play," said Talley, whose team finished with 68 yards on the ground in 25 attempts. ``Our inexperience goes down to the quarterback. Christian is a first-year player at quarterback, and the game became a game where you could no longer have a quarterback just manage the ball. You need a quarterback to win the game. Christian has not been in enough of those situations against a defense like we played against in William and Mary."
Talley, who had the luxury of a veteran team the past couple of years _ the Wildcats won the Football Championship Subdivision title in 2009 _ is now fielding one of the youngest teams of his 27-year tenure.
``When it comes down to the hard-core end of the game, it's always good to have maturity and older guys," Talley said. ``But we're a football team that needed this experience. It's good if you can win at the same time. But I think this game was a sign of progress. We're getting better. I couldn't ask our team to play any better than it played. We played as hard as we could. William and Mary is a very good team, and to take them down to the wire was a tough assignment for our team. But this is a good team to coach and a good group of guys."