Considering the number of questions, Villanova could not have gotten off to a better start to its 2018 football season.
Most important for the Football Championship Subdivision Wildcats was pulling off a 19-17 victory over Football Bowl Subdivision Temple on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in the last game between the local rivals for the foreseeable future.
Still, journeys begin with a first step, and, for the Wildcats, their first possession to start the game set up everything that followed, both against the Owls and in how they want to play the rest of the season. On that drive, quarterback Zack Bednarczyk, who missed the final six games of 2017 because of injury, marched the Wildcats 70 yards in eight plays that culminated with a one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ryan Bell, who had missed the final seven games of 2017 because of injury.
It probably wasn't as easy as it looked, but it was just the tonic needed for a Villanova team that had suffered devastating injuries to several key players last year.
"That was the first time going live for me since last [September]," said Bednarczyk, who completed 29 of 40 passes for 254 yards with three touchdowns. "I loved that the first touchdown was to Bell because that was how we started last year.
"It just gave us a lot of confidence that we could hang with [Temple]."
The Wildcats also had touchdown drives of 76 and 80 yards in their first upset over an FBS opponent since beating Temple in 2009.
"Anytime you get a win over an FBS opponent, that's big," Villanova coach Mark Ferrante said. "We say it's not about who our opponent is but how we play. But to get this one against a local team in Philadelphia, it's just sweet right now."
Through rehabilitation of injured players, spring practice when everyone looked healthy and then training camp, the Wildcats thought they could bounce back from a 5-6 season.
Nothing, however, is known until kickoff against the first real opponent. Things came into place for Villanova on the first play, when senior running back Aaron Forbes, one of the fortunate players to not get hurt last season, ran for 18 yards.
Forbes finished with 111 yards on 16 carries and 'Nova rushed for 151 yards.
Because of graduation, the wide receiving corps had just one player – Jarrett McClenton – who had 10 receptions in 2017 and none who had a touchdown catch.
Against Temple, five receivers combined for 15 catches, with McClenton and Brandon Chadbourn catching touchdowns.
"You go as your quarterback goes," Ferrante said. "[Bednarczyk] went pretty good today. Our guys up front were able to give him some quality time to get the ball down to targets. We were also able to run the ball."