Villanova: “Best Game of the Season”
Head Coach Jimmye Laycock credited the Tribe’s 31-24 win against previously top ranked Villanova to an electric start and a solid team effort.
“Saturday was probably our best game of the season in total play,” Laycock said. “The big part of the game was the way we started and played with the energy and excitement and quickness and speed really kind of set the tone for the game and we were able to build on that.”
The Tribe benefited from breakout performances on both sides of the ball. In his first career start at the College, junior quarterback Mike Paulus completed 20 of 28 passes for 211 yards. Junior running back Jonathan Grimes bounced back from a limited outing against Maine to score three touchdowns on 83 yards rushing.
Meanwhile, the defense was led by the inspired play of senior cornerback Ben Cottingham who notched 11 tackles, two of which were for a loss. The spark of the game came from sophomore middle linebacker Dante Cook who intercepted a pass on a fourth down play late in the second quarter and returned it 84 yards for a touchdown. Cook was named CAA Co-Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts.
Villanova Odds and Ends
With its victory against Villanova, the College was able to break some nagging streaks against the Wildcats while continuing other ones.
The Tribe defeated Villanova for the first time in seven meetings. Cook’s interception in the second quarter also ended a four game streak in which the Tribe had been unable to force any Wildcat turnovers.
Meanwhile, the College was able to extend what is now an eight game winning streak at Zable Stadium. They will seek to continue that streak this week.
Looking Forward: An Eye on the Rams
This Saturday, the Tribe will continue its conference schedule against Rhode Island (2-2, 1-0 CAA). Although unranked, the Rams defeated CAA powerhouse New Hampshire earlier this season to carry a 1-0 record in the conference. Laycock believes they are a different team from what they were last year, when the College claimed a 39-14 victory in Kingston.
“We played them last year,” Laycock said. “But they are an improved team. They play hard and as we know in this league you better play hard.”
Injury Status Report
Senior quarterback Mike Callahan and senior wide receiver Cam Dohse will not play this week due to ongoing injuries.
Laycock said that while it is tough to be certain who will be able to play on Saturday on Tuesday, senior punter/kicker David Miller is unlikely to go this week. In response, freshman Drake Kuhn will assume kicking duties while sophomore Tyler Bailey will be the College’s punter.
According to the depth chart, senior linebacker Evan Francks will not start and will be replaced by sophomore Jabrel Mines.