August 31, 2007

Game 1: Scouting Villanova

The Maryland Terrapins will open their 115th season of football Saturday at 6 p.m. at Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium against what is expected to be an overmatched Villanova team.

No matter the expected result, every game features some degree of intrigue and this one is no different.

TT breaks down the 2007 season opener:

Series History

Terps lead 8-2, including a 7-3 win in 1980, the last meeting.

What you need to know about Villanova

Under the best of circumstances, the Wildcats, a member of the CAA, would be an extreme long shot to upset the Terps, but August camp was far from ideal. Villanova, coming off a 6-5 season, has already lost three starters for the season due to injury, and has at least one more that won't play Saturday.

Wildcats coach Andy Talley estimated his team is a week behind schedule due to the injuries and with a pair of true freshmen slated to start on the offensive line, his team's task will be Herculean.
Despite having lost a projected starting defensive end (Damien Kelly) and safety (Kallse Cook), defense is expected to be Villanova's strength, especially early as the line takes time to gel.

Historically, Villanova has played reasonably well when stepping up to face I-A competition, going 2-9 since it reinstituted football in 1985. The Wildcats, who defeated Rutgers in 2001 and Temple in 2002, have lost by an average margin of 15 points, including last year's 38-16 defeat loss at Central Florida.

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