By Tony Moss
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Additional resources for A Season in Purgatory: Villanova and Life in College Football's Lower Class
There was no Vince Lombardi–like voice penetrating the spring air and making all who heard it stand up and take notice. Andy Talley was in charge of the Wildcat program, but few would have described him as larger than life. At 5 feet 6 inches with graying hair and round spectacles, the sixty-two-year-old Talley wouldn’t have looked out of place alongside the professors in the accounting or mathematics departments. That appraisal was just ﬁne with Talley, who didn’t ﬁt the stereotype of football coach, nor did he desire to.
But Dieser was lean and athletic and in shape, which is more than could be said for many of the team’s linemen. If ever a body was not built to run the regiment of 40-yard “gassers” that the coaching staff forced every player to endure during August two-a-days, it was that of Casey Cosgrove. ” The trainers watched Cosgrove like a hawk. Another nonspecimen was Alex Suder. Suder, who had missed the spring while on academic probation, had cleared up his problems in the classroom but was now facing battles in the lunchroom.
1 behind future nﬂ players in wide receiver Brian Finneran and running back Brian Westbrook. Finneran would win the Walter Payton Award, the i-aa equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. Talley would take home countless coaching awards, including the Eddie Robinson Award as i-aa Coach of the Year. Though the season would end in a bittersweet fashion, as Villanova lost a 37–34 heartbreaker at home to Jim Tressel’s Youngstown State team in the national quarterﬁnals, Talley was now in a position to remain at Villanova for the remainder of his career.