Sep 1, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT
CAA Football will chronicle all 10 of its programs each weekday leading up to the 2010 season kickoff Thursday, Sept. 2. Using the league’s preseason poll as a guide we will work our way up to the league favorite. Check back each day for information on your favorite team.
Today’s squad: The Villanova Wildcats
Expectations cannot be any higher as the Villanova Wildcats prepare for the 2010 season. The Wildcats are coming off the best season in the 112 history of the program. After winning the 2009 FCS National Championship, Villanova will have a huge target on its back as the Wildcats try and defend their title.
At quarterback, Villanova returns first team All-CAA senior signal caller Chris Whitney. During his Wildcat career, Whitney has led Villanova to a 25-5 record, two NCAA playoff appearances and the 2009 FCS National Championship.
Villanova returns one of the most dynamic players in the country in wide receiver Matt Szczur. For his efforts last year, Szczur was a first team All-American, the CAA Offensive Player of the Year, the CAA Special Teams Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player of the FCS National Championship game. He has been named the 2010 CAA preseason Offensive Player of the Year, in addition to being named to the Walter Payton Award Watch List.
The Wildcats have great depth at running back and return their top two backs from last season. Fifth-year senior Aaron Ball leads the way in the backfield for the ‘Cats. Fellow fifth-year senior Angelo Babbaro will also see significant action in the backfield.
Led by senior tackle Ben Ijalana, the Wildcats return three of their five offensive linemen. Ijalana, who has started every game of his career, will once again anchor the line. Ijalana is a legitimate pro prospect who has earned first team All-CAA honors the last two seasons. He was also a first team All-American in 2009.
On defense, Villanova returns one of the best linebackers in all of FCS football in senior Terence Thomas who was a first team All-CAA selection last year, as well as a second team All-American. Thomas, who has started every game of his career, was named the 2010 CAA preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
In the secondary, Villanova returns four of its five starters. The senior safety duo of John Dempsey and Fred Maldonado will anchor the Wildcat secondary.
Here is your chance at winning a mini-helmet of the CAA Football Team corresponding to the day in the 10T/10D series. Follow CAA Football on Twitter and @reply us with your answer or go to CAAFootballblog.com and hit the comment link to file your answer and keep checking back to learn if you’re the winner. Prize packs will be awarded to the first correct response!
10T/10D TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Villanova head coach Andy Talley is the all-time league leader for conference wins as a head coach. How many league wins has Talley amassed at Villanova?
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