What Villanova players, coach said about their loss to Penn State football
Penn State Nittany Lions football turned in a 38-17 win over Villanova on Saturday at Beaver Stadium.
For the Nittany Lions, it was a comfortable victory, but the Wildcats still acquitted themselves well in defeat.
Villanova head coach Mike Ferrante and two Wildcats players met the media postgame to give their thoughts on the game.
Here are three takeaways from what they had to say:
1. An update on Tyler Will's condition
There was a scary scene inside Beaver Stadium at the beginning of the second half, when Villanova's Tyler Will took an impact to the head on kick coverage and remained down on the field for several minutes.
He was carted off and brought to a local hospital for precautionary reasons. They diagnosed him with a concussion there, but the positive news was that he was able to move and was alert.
Ferrante had another positive update postgame.
"He's doing OK, from everything we've heard," Ferrante said. "We actually hear he might be coming back and joining the team to come home with us, so that'll be huge if that's true."
2. Playing inside Beaver Stadium
Penn State coach James Franklin said he didn't feel like the moment was too big for Villanova, and the Wildcats agreed.
They did not feel overwhelmed by playing in front of such a large crowd.
Wildcats quarterback Daniel Smith said the leaf-blowers Villanova used to simulate crowd noise in practice this week were louder than the 105,000-plus inside Beaver Stadium Saturday.
"I've been here before, but, playing on the field, it didn't feel any different," linebacker Forrest Rhyne said. "The field is 120 yards and it's 53.5 wide. I'm more focused on what's going on on the field, but it was definitely an awesome experience being able to play in front of this many people."
3. Stopping the Penn State rushing attack
The story of the day from a Penn State perspective was the Nittany Lions' inability to get their ground game going.
Penn State ran for just 80 yards on the day on 34 attempts for an average of 2.4 yards per carry. At halftime, that number was 1.1
"We thought coming in that they were just going to run their base stuff that they had been running," Rhyne said. "I'm not surprised. What player would I be if I said I thought they were going to rush for 200 yards on us? We think that we're the No. 1 rush defense in FCS and that's how we played."
Surely this was a major confidence boost in that regard for the Wildcats, though?
Well, no. According to Rhyne, this is a group that has believed in itself for a long time.
"We've had that confidence," he said. "This is the same starting [front] six that we've had for two years and we've always been stout against the run. Our defense is build to stop the run. To stop the run is the standard. It's what you're supposed to do."
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