Football dealt two tough losses

Dave Pedra

This past weekend Villanova kicked off its football season away at Rutgers only to have it returned on them 93 yards for a touchdown.

The Wildcats started their season off down a score 11 seconds into the game courtesy of Rutgers’ Willie Foster and would never take the lead. Villanova answered two possessions later when quarterback Marvin Burroughs connected on a 32 yard touchdown pass to John Dieser.

Right then and there the Scarlet Knights sent a signal to the ‘Cats by blocking the point after. Rutgers went on to score 31 unanswered points, snapping a six game losing streak dating back to October of 2004. After Rutgers blew a 20 point lead to Illinois last weekend, they were out to earn a win and they won big.

Rutgers amassed only 96 yards rushing for the game, which was one of the only categories in which they beat ‘Nova.

Villanova led with 28 first downs, 444 yards of offense, 359 of those yards were through the air. Yet Rutgers defense proved to be the deciding factor, recovering a fumble and only allowing the ‘Cats to score on three red zone chances.

A loss to any program on opening day is upsetting, but for Villanova Coach Talley and his team this one was especially painful. In addition to the defeat, Villanova lost its starting quarterback Marvin Burroughs to injury probably for the season. Team Doctor William Emper told, “Marvin has sustained a broken arm… [And] it would appear that [he] will be out for the season.”

Losing Burroughs is a huge dilemma for the Cats considering his performance last year. Burroughs Started all games last year as a sophomore and totaled 2,486 passing yards, ranking him 9th all-time for ‘Nova quarterbacks.

His stats before he was taken out of the game were a respectable 16-for-22 for 150 passing yards and one TD. Talley replaced the injured Burroughs with Frank Jankowski who did his best in his first taste of college action, throwing 17-for-32, for 204 yards. Jankowski, a sophomore from Berwick, Pa. was red-shirted in ’03, and with the emergence of Burroughs last year rode the bench until now. Jankowski now has the opportunity to showcase his talents but has to be nervous for his first home game this weekend against the tough defense of Northeastern. He was sacked twice in his limited playing time last weekend but hopefully playing against the home crowd this parent’s weekend will inspire an uplifting performance, as he will need the confidence in the weeks to come.