#rv/rv Delaware (7-3, 5-2 CAA) at Villanova (4-6, 2-5 CAA)
📅  Saturday, November 18, 2017
🕖  1 p.m. EDT
📍  Villanova Stadium - Villanova, Pa.
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GAME PREVIEW: Blue Hens Look to Finish Regular Season Strong, Turn the Tide in Villanova Series

VILLANOVA, Pa. -- The 51st edition of the annual Battle of the Blue football series between the University of Delaware and Villanova University resumes this Saturday at Villanova Stadium as the Blue Hens (7-3, 5-2 Colonial Athletic Association) look to keep their strong playoff hopes alive against a Villanova team that has stumbled of late under first-year coach Mark Ferrante.

Delaware, winners in five of its last six games, including a 22-3 win over Albany last Saturday, looks to pick up a win in the regular season finale and be virtually assured of its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2010. Every CAA team that has won six games in league play since 2013 (and 34 of the last 36 teams since 2006) has advanced to the tournament.

Villanova (4-6, 2-5 CAA), which advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament a year ago and finished with a 9-4 mark, has struggled of late and enters the game having lost four straight, including a 20-6 setback at Rhode Island last week.

The Blue Hens will also be looking to turn the tables in this historic rivalry that began in 1895. Villanova has won five straight meetings and 10 of the last 11 matchups, including a 41-10 win at Delaware Stadium a year ago. Delaware will be looking to down the Wildcats for the first time since 2011 and for the first time at Villanova Stadium since 2005.

Defense has been the name of the game for both teams this year. Delaware ranks in the top four among CAA teams in nearly ever defensive category while Villanova leads the CAA and ranks third nationally in rushing defense, allowing just 71.7 yards per game, while ranking No. 3 in the CAA and No. 9 in the FCS in scoring defense (17.0 points per game).

BATTLE OF THE BLUE
Delaware’s fiercest rivalry, Delaware and Villanova will once again plays for the Battle of the Blue Trophy this week. The winner will receive the Battle of the Blue Trophy which made its debut in 2007.

The ball features both team’s logos and school colors with Villanova on the left half of the ball and Delaware on the right side. A base lists each year’s game score. The winning team will receive the trophy and display it on campus until next year’s game.

DELAWARE-VILLANOVA SERIES
• This week’s game marks the 51st meeting all-time since 1895 with Villanova holding a 28-21-1 edge
• Villanova has won five straight and 10 of the last 11 meetings, including three straight come-from-behind victories between 2013-15, including a 35-34 victory at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. in 2013, a 35-28 win at Delaware Stadium in 2014, and a 28-21 victory at Villanova Stadium in 2015
• Villanova won last year’s game by a 41-10 score at Delaware Stadium
• Villanova leads the series 14-10 in games as the home team
• Villanova had won five straight games before Delaware’s 26-16 win in 2011 in the first-ever football game played at PPL Park (now Talen Energy Stadium). The win streak was the longest for either team since Delaware won six straight in 1990-95.
• Villanova is the only Delaware CAA opponent that has defeated the Hens five straight times
• Delaware’s last win in the series was the 26-16 victory in 2011 in Chester, Pa. Delaware last won at Villanova Stadium in 2005 (38-13)
• Four of the gamess in the series - all since 1994 - have gone into overtime (Villanova leads 3-1)
• Nearly half of the games (25) have been decided by a touchdown or less and 33 by 10 points or less
• With each team having a new head coach in 2017 (Danny Rocco at Delaware; Mark Ferrante at Villanova), this week’s game will mark the first in the series since 1965 that did not have legendary head coaches Tubby Raymond (Delaware) and/or Andy Talley (Villanova) on the sidelines

Click HERE for complete game notes.

MEDIA INFORMATION: Contact Scott Selheimer | selheime@udel.edu | Office: 302-831-8007 | Cell: 302-562-5129