A second straight cliff-hanger loss put Villanova's playoff chances in a precarious position. The Wildcats fell to 4-4 and 3-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association while Maine improved to 7-1 and 4-0.
Villanova's three FCS losses have been by a combined six points.
"Kind of what you see is what we are right now," said Villanova coach Andy Talley. "You've got to be able to win the close games to be a factor in the CAA."
Robertson, who had 406 rushing yards in his previous two games, picked up where he left off, gaining 70 rushing yards on 'Nova's first drive, including a 59-yarder and a 5-yard scoring run.
"John played fabulous," Talley said of Robertson, a sophomore who has 620 rushing yards and 10 TDs in Villanova's last three games, and went over 1,000 rushing yards for the second straight season. "He's really a one-man wrecking crew. . . . I feel bad he has to run for 200 yards just to keep us in the game."
Villanova played without one of its great offensive threats, wide receiver Jamal Abdur-Rahman, out with a knee injury. That makes two starting wideouts out for the Wildcats, in addition to two starting linebackers and a safety.
Whether the missing defenders could have made a difference is an open question, now moot. Talley talked about how his defensive coordinator pleaded for somebody to make a play. Early on, Maine riddled Villanova's pass defense and didn't punt until late in the third quarter. The Bears proved unstoppable in the opening quarter, taking a 17-7 lead while running up 208 total yards. Wasilewski racked up 121 passing yards in the first quarter.
For the game, Wasilewski also ran 20 times for 86 yards, which made him the star of the game, despite Robertson's 214 rushing and additional 121 passing yards. Between them, they accounted for a combined 758 total yards. Wasilewski just had the better supporting cast.
Afterward, Cosgrove lauded the toughness of his QB from Kulpmont, Pa.
"Coal region, baby," Wasilewski said.