Villanova football improved to a 3-0 record Saturday evening after steamrolling Bucknell (0-3) 45-10 at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. The Wildcats took firm control of the game in the first 22 seconds, after junior cornerback Jaquan Amos intercepted just the third pass of the game for a pick-six. From that point on, the ‘Cats never looked back, completing a dominant effort both offensively and defensively.
Junior graduate transfer quarterback Daniel Smith continued to impress, throwing 12-of-23 for 109 yards and connecting with junior tight end Todd Summers, junior wide receiver Changa Hodge and sophomore wide receiver Dez Boykin for three touchdowns. Smith notched 28 yards on five carries and recorded his second rushing touchdown this season.
Other offensive standouts included junior running back Justin Covington and freshman running back DeeWil Barlee. Covington tallied an impressive 119 years on just seven carries, including a 64-yard run in the first quarter that led to the Wildcats’ second touchdown. Saturday also marked Covington’s third consecutive 100-yard game. Meanwhile, Barlee shone in the third quarter with a 78-yard scoring run.
Villanova’s defense gave an equally impressive performance, holding the Bison to just 46 rushing yards on 29 carries. In fact, the defense held Bucknell to zero points until the end of the third quarter, when Bison kicker Ethan Torres made a 37-yard field goal.
The only other time Bucknell got on the board was with a one-yard rushing touchdown from Lotan Bitikofer, which cut Villanova’s lead to 32 points with 7:36 left in the fourth quarter.
Amos’ pick-six in the first quarter, the fourth of his career, marked Villanova’s third defensive touchdown in as many games. Amos continued to come up big throughout the rest of the game, recording seven tackles.
Other impressive showings from the defense included sophomore cornerback Elijah Trent’s team high nine-tackles (one of which was for loss) and three pass breakups, as well as junior defensive lineman Malik Fisher’s third sack of the season. Fisher has had a sack in four consecutive games and five of his last six appearances, which date back to last season.
In its first three games, all of which against Patriot League teams, Villanova has outscored its opponents, 117-34. The ‘Cats hope to continue this success next Saturday at 6 p.m. when they open conference play against Towson.