By Tony Moss
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Additional info for A Season in Purgatory: Villanova and Life in College Football's Lower Class
Young, an excellent golfer with a strong arm, was looking promising enough during drill work, but it quickly became apparent that he was not quite ready for the big time from a social standpoint. Young had little regard for locker room etiquette, and even less esteem for the leadership structure of the team. ” On another occasion, he had challenged one of the team’s other seniors to a ﬁght. ” Almost in a chorus, the group had identiﬁed Antwon Young as the potential problem child, a situation that Talley had seen coming from a mile away.
Villanova’s students and alumni may have been vaguely aware that the football team would open against i-a Rutgers on September 10, but until the program started competing on the gridiron against other Big East rivals like Syracuse and Pittsburgh, few outsiders would be going crazy assessing football’s spring development or recounting the sad tale of the past year and a half. Had any member of the program been driven by outside expectations, they would have found their motivation at a low ebb. For the most part, the members of the football team would be playing for themselves and their teammates.
In 2002, with expectations low following Westbrook’s graduation, the Wildcats jelled again. The season began with a 37–19 dismantling of Big East member Rutgers, and 5-foot-10 quarterback Brett Gordon placed the team on his narrow shoulders thereafter. The Cats found their way into the postseason, ﬁnishing 8-3 following a thrilling 38–34 win at Delaware in the regular season ﬁnale. Gordon guided Villanova to wins over Furman and Fordham in the ﬁrst two playoff rounds, and Villanova was in the i-aa semiﬁnals for the ﬁrst time in its history.
A Season in Purgatory: Villanova and Life in College Football's Lower Class by Tony Moss