Villanova, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Villanova quarterback John Robertson says the Wildcats thrive on playing from behind.
They faced their biggest deficit of the season in the FCS playoffs Saturday, but rallied to beat Liberty, 29-22, behind Robertson's TD pass and run in the fourth quarter of their second-round matchup.
The sixth-seeded Wildcats (11-2) will host Sam Houston State (10-4) in the national quarterfinals next weekend. Sam Houston went on the road to upset third-seeded Jacksonville State on Saturday.
Villanova faced a 13-0 deficit in the second quarter and was behind the Big South Conference co-champion 22-14 entering the fourth quarter.
"We have been bred for a competitive game for 60 minutes and we talked about that as a football team all week," Villanova coach Andy Talley saidd. "Having been in the playoffs as many times as we've been, you know that the team you are going to play is going to be there. They���re going to be there a lot and you just have to make sure you can come up with the plays you need to make in the critical parts of the game, but especially in the last quarter."
Robertson connected on a 70-yard bomb to Kevin Gulyas to pull Villanova within 22-20 with 13:17 left to play. Robertson then ran in the two-point conversion to tie the game.
After Villanova stopped Liberty (9-5) on a three-and-out Robertson took the Wildcats on an 18-play, 84-yard march and ran in the winning touchdown from 1 yard out with 1:12 remaining.
Robertson also scored from 3 yards out in the second quarter and finished with 100 yards on 18 carries. He added 217 passing yards for the second-place team in CAA Football and now has 10,273 total yards in his career - a Villanova record.
Kevin Monangai carried the ball 20 times for 102 yards. Villanova had a 447-246 advantage in yards.
Liberty quarterback Josh Woodrum scored on a 1-yard run and Nick Newman had a 58-yard fumble return for a touchdown. John Woodrum kicked three field goals, including a 50-yarder - his fifth of the season from at least that distance.
The visiting Flames appeared in the playoffs for the first time this season. They defeated another CAA team, James Madison, on the road last Saturday.