Friday, December 17, 2010

Villanova Turns Over Chance to Defend National Championship

Eastern Washington University advances to its first FCS championship game as they defeat the Villanova Wildcats 41-31.  Villanova turned the ball over 6 times, but still put up a fight as the game came down to the wire.  Two key fourth down conversions fueled the Eastern Washington Eagles, as they finished off the Wildcats with a late 23 yard touchdown pass from Bo Levi Mitchell to Greg Herd.

Mitchell had a great game for the Eagles, throwing for 292 yards and 4 touchdowns, but perhaps the most impressive stat was his completion percentage of 71%.  Freshman running back Mario Brown, making just his second start of his career, rushed for 104 yards as he kept Villanova's front line on their heels with his quickness.  Brandon Kaufman had 8 catches for 135 yards, as 76 of his total yards came on a touchdown pass from Mitchell.

Villanova struggled most of the game to string together a few drives, but every time Eastern Washington scored, Villanova seemed to have an answer.  Despite having some success in the second half, the six turnovers proved to be too crucial for the defending national champions.  Matt Szczur did not have the same impact as he had the last two weeks and finished his Villanova athletic career watching from the sidelines as he was injured on a hard collision.

Angelo Babbaro returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, but Eastern Washington answered with a quick touchdown.  Two consecutive Villanova offensive drives were stalled by fumbles in Villanova territory in the first quarter, but the Wildcat defense responded by holding the Eagles to two field goals.  Eastern Washington will play the winner of the Delaware and Georgia Southern.

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