When Andy Talley talks to his Villanova Wildcats about having the makings of a championship team, they’d better listen. After all, he’s been there, done that.
In fact, he still has a few players left from ‘Nova’s 2009 FCS National Championship squad.
“I come out and look at the trophy, see that picture and you wonder if we’re ever gonna be there again,” said Talley, whose No. 5 ranked team opens the season Saturday against Boston College. “I think this team we have right now can be a good challenger. But you need a lot of luck. You need to stay healthy. And the big thing is to be able to win the close games.”
One thing those championship Wildcats and this year’s model have in common is a top-notch quarterback. John Robertson went from benchwarmer to FCS Freshman of the Year in 2012 after throwing for 1,965 yards and 14 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,021 yards and 14 more scores.
“He is brimming with confidence, and really perceived as the leader of the team,” said Talley, who has 17 starters back from last year’s 8-4 squad. “I think the team pretty much knows that we are going to hang our hat on him.”
And they can all draw inspiration from that 2009 team that went 14-1.
“Six of us who are seniors were all on the team,” said tight end Joe Price, who redshirted that year. “We saw it happen. Villanova can win a national championship. But you can’t really look down the road. Just execute on gameday and take it game by game. Put yourself in position to make the playoffs.”
It all begins Saturday against a familiar foe. Old Temple coach Steve Addazio will be patrolling the BC sideline.
“They could come in and change their scheme on us, but Steve Addazio’s teams haven’t been passing-type teams,” said Talley. “I suspect playing an FCS school their concept is, ‘We’re gonna mash these guys and wear ’em out.'”