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Temple Owls vs. Villanova Wildcats preview: An annotated conversation

September 1, 2011  |  By Benjamin Miraski

This preview is another in the series of posts that I will be doing over at Hustle Belt this season.

The college football season kicks off tonight, and the MAC takes center stage with four games. All but one of these games is against a team from the Football Championship Subdivision, and so chances are that the league will come away with at least three wins tonight (mostly because Ball State doesn't play).

The earliest game on the schedule features the battle for the Mayor's Cup in Philadelphia between the Villanova Wildcats and the Temple Owls.

Nova received an invitation to join the Big East over the offseason, but because there were questions about where it would play its home games (the current Villanova Stadium doesn't seat the required number of fans), the Cats missed the deadline to officially apply and begin the transition. This first game of the year which the two teams have split over the past two season has become a measuring stick for just how good Villanova is compared to the teams the next league up.

To preview this game, Geeves and I sat down for a short conversation (as if we truly knew anything) and provide some annotation to keep you the fans up on the relevant information (as if we again truly knew anything).

bmiraski: It's going to be a little bit of a downer game because Villanova lost a bunch of players to graduation - but it's still the only measuring stick it has from season to season.

Geeves: I feel weird to say this, but graduation shmaduation. It's still 'Nova. They're seriously considering the leap to FBS for a reason.

[Nova didn't just lose a lot to graduation, they pretty much have a brand new team when it comes to production. In the FCS, they ranked 123rd in terms of returning rushing, passing, and receiving yards, and tackles from the top 22 defensive players. The Wildcats will have a new quarterback (the three on the roster have a total of six career passing attempts), and have to replace 86 percent of their yards on the ground from last year. The defense is a little better, but they lost 61 percent of their tackles to graduation.]

You can read the full conversation and preview at Hustle Belt.


Posted September 1, 2011 1:30 PM

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