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FOOTBALL GAMEDAY PREVIEW: MONMOUTH AT VILLANOVA

Updated: September 16, 2011 - 5:32 p.m. (ET)
Monmouth Sports Information

Monmouth University (0-1, 0-0 NEC) at Villanova University (0-2, 0-1 CAA)
Saturday, September 17, 2011; 3:30 p.m.
Villanova Stadium, Villanova Pa.

Radio Coverage:
Shore Sports Network, WOBM 1160AM and1310AM, shoresportsnetwork.com
                         Matt Harmon (Play by Play); Eddy Occhipinti (Color Analyst)
Ticket Info:
For tickets call (610) 519-4900 or visit www.villanova.com for more information

Directions to Villanova University
    For Directions to Villanova University visit
http://www.villanova.com/ot/dir-campus/nova-dir-campus.html#facilities

A look at the game:
Monmouth and Villanova come into today's game looking for their first wins of the 2011 campaign.  The Hawks suffered an opening week setback to Lehigh by a score of 49-24 at home while the Wildcats have dropped games against FBS opponent Temple and CAA rival Towson University.

The MU offense, averaging 24 points per game (second in the NEC), got off to an impressive start against Lehigh, driving the length of the field on its first possession to take a 7-0 lead.  The Mountain Hawks, ranked 13th at the time, rattled off 21 unanswered points at two separate runs in the game to solidify the win. Three different MU running backs scored touchdowns while the revamped o-line allowed just one sack.  On the defensive side of the ball the Hawks forced two turnovers that led to MU points but allowed five scoring plays of 20+ yards in the loss.  

Villanova dropped it's season opening game against Temple in the Mayor's Cup then fell to Towson last weekend after committing three turnovers that led to 17 Tiger points.  The Wildcats are 0-2 for just the second time in the 27 years that two-time National Coach of the Year Andy Talley has been head coach.  Villanova, whose spread offense put up 360 yards against TU, will be without starting quarterback Dustin Thomas (separated shoulder) and All-CAA wideout Norman White (out for year).

The coaching matchup:
Kevin Callahan is in his 19th season at Monmouth as the Hawks' head coach. Callahan owns a 104-81 career coaching record, all with Monmouth. Callahan is one of 23 head coaches in the FCS with over 100 career victories.  The only coach in Monmouth history, he has led the Blue & White to five Northeast Conference championships, in 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2006. Callahan has earned NEC Coach of the Year accolades in 1998, 2003 and 2006. Prior to arriving in West Long Branch, Callahan served as defensive coordinator at Colgate for eight seasons and at Wagner for three years. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Albany (1977-79) and Syracuse (1980) before becoming a Seahawk assistant in 1981.

Heading up the Wildcats is veteran coach Andy Talley, who begins his 27th season as the program's coach.  Talley, they program's all-time winnningest head coach, owns an impressive record of 188-109-1 at 'Nova.  Throughout his time at Villanova, he has guided the Wildcats to nine NCAA playoff appearances, five conference championships, three Lambert Meadowlands Cups, three ECAC Team of the Year awards, three national semifinal appearances and the 2009 National Championship. Prior to his first year in 1985 (rebuilding a 'Nova program that was cut in 1980), Talley had stops at St. Lawrence, Brown, Middlebury, and Springfield College.  He is a 1967 graduate of Southern Connecticut, where he played defensive back.

Inside the MU-Villanova series:
Today is the first meeting between the Hawks and the Wildcats

Monmouth Against the CAA:
Today's contest is the lone game for the Hawks against a team currently from the Colonial Athletic Association. The Blue & White is 2-14 all-time against current teams from the CAA, with eight of those games against Towson University, but none while it was a member of the conference. Monmouth's two wins against the conference came against the Tigers in 2001 and Old Dominion in 2009.  Monmouth dropped games against Maine and Old Dominion at home last season, the last current members of the CAA it played.

Did You Know?
The combined 2010 record of Monmouth's first five opponents (Lehigh, Villanova, CCSU, Robert Morris and Colgate) was 42-18. Leading up to today's game those teams are currently 2-7.

MU Football Social Media Links:
MU Football on twitter: www.twitter.com/MUHawksfb
MU Football on facebook: www.facebook.com/MUfootball
MU Athletics on YouTube: www.youtube.com/monmouthawks

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