The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

One of the smallest quarterbacks in Division I-AA is putting up huge numbers this season.

Five-foot-ten, 185-pound Villanova quarterback Brett Gordon has been lighting up defenses this season.

The fifth-year senior currently leads the Atlantic 10 in passing yards, completions and touchdown passes and had led the Wildcats to a 5-1 record.

Gordon arrives at Franklin Field tonight on one of the hottest streaks in the nation, having been named Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Week twice in a row.

In Villanova's victories against James Madison and Hofstra, Gordon threw for 655 yards and eight touchdowns while completing 71.7 percent of his passes.

Gordon has played himself into contention for the top individual honor in Division I-AA, the Walter Payton Award.

Last week, he was placed on the "Payton Watch" list, which tracks the division's top 16 performers. He is one of six quarterbacks on the watch.

Wide receivers Chas Gessner(Brown) and Carl Morris (Harvard) are the only two Ivy players on the Payton list.

Despite his gaudy numbers, Gordon is far from a physically gifted quarterback. It's Gordon's deceptive skill that the Quakers are focusing on as they ready for tonight's game.

"Basically he's not the type of kid who is overly fast, he doesn't have a rifle for an arm," Penn co-captain linebacker Travis Belden said.

"But what he's got is he always makes the right decision."

Gordon has made the right choices all season long. He has completed at least 61 percent of his pass attempts in every game this season and has compiled a 149.2 quarterback rating.

This is no surprise given his performance last season, when he was rated at 149.7 and became the second field general in Villanova's history to clear 3,000 yards through the air. Four Wildcats receivers have more than 20 receptions this year, and a remarkable eight are in double digits.

This is the same number of double-digit receivers that Villanova produced all of last season -- spelling a very balanced passing attack.

"He really seems to spread the ball around quite a bit," Belden said. "There's not really one guy we can focus on. When we can't pick one guy, we know it's going to be a challenge."

Adding to Gordon's mystique is the fact that he is the third member of the Gordon family to stand under center for Villanova. His grandfather, Andrew, (1946-48) and father, Drew (1969-71), both played quarterback for the Wildcats. In fact, his father Drew ranks 10th all-time in career passing yards for the Wildcats with 2,293.

Not to diminish his father's accomplishments, but Brett has amassed over three times more passing yards (7,131).

Brett Gordon's comfort in the Wildcats pocket and his quick release will make it extra difficult for the Quakers to try to pressure Villanova's prolific passer.

"If you watch film, he really does not hesitate on where the ball should go," Penn coach Al Bagnoli said.

"The ball comes in his hands, the ball gets out of his hands -- they've got very few sacks and the primary reason is him."

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.