The No. 12 Villanova Wildcats came off their bye week strong with a 26-7 win over the Maine Black Bears. Sophomore quarterback Zach Bednarczyk had the best game of the season, completing 22 of his 29 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns. The Wildcats did not rely on the rushing game much this week, only rushing for 94 yards on 36 carries. Senior quarterback Dan Collins had a very difficult day, completing only 11 of his 21 passes, being sacked three times, and throwing four interceptions. Next week, the 7-2 Wildcats will face the No. 5 James Madison Dukes. Here is the LWOS analysis of the Villanova win.
Breaking Down the Villanova Win Against Maine
As mentioned earlier, Bednarczyk had the best game of his season against Maine. His favorite target was Jarrett McClenton who caught six passes for 91 yards. Bednarczyk led Villanova to five scoring drives, two of which ended in short field goals. While Bednarczyk has been wildly inconsistent this season, a strong outing like this will be good to build confidence heading into the upcoming weeks. The Wildcats only have two more games to make adjustments before their FCS Playoffs start.
This week, the entire Villanova defense shined. The Wildcats were able to force four interceptions and sack the quarterback three times. Junior Rob Rolle led the way with two interceptions this week. Rolle had his second two-interception performance of the season, making his season total five now. Surprisingly, Tanoh Kpassagnon did not make much of an impact. He still leads the team and the CAA with 15 tackles for losses and 7.5 sacks. The Villanova defense has been one of the key reasons every week why they have had as much success as they’ve had, and will need to continue to do so in the upcoming weeks.
For the first time this season, the Wildcats were able to win without the use of their run game. The Wildcats have only been held to under 100 rushing yards twice this season, and both were disappointing losses. Maine does not have a very solid rushing defense, allowing the 78th least yards of 122 FCS teams. Sophomore Aaron Forbes led Villanova with 10 attempts for 23 yards. To make it worse, Forbes had a rush for 11 yards so without that attempt, he only had 12 yards on nine attempts. It’s not something that Head Coach Andy Talley should be worried about, but it is odd that he did not utilize the run game as much.
Overall this was a great game for Villanova. The offense played well, Bednarczyk looked confident, and the defense played lights out. Now the Wildcats will have to turn their attention to James Madison, who is currently fifth in the FCS Standings. The last time Villanova played a Top 5 FCS team, they were shut out 23-0.