Villanova and Colgate kicked off the 150th season of college football with the country’s first game and the ‘Cats certainly started on the right foot, notching a 34-14 victory on the road against the 13th ranked team in the FCS.
The game started with a rather uneventful first quarter, but the Wildcats lit up the scoreboard with four touchdowns in the second quarter alone. Within two minutes from the start of quarter number two, Villanova scored the country’s first offensive and defensive touchdowns. An 18-yard Jalen Jackson touchdown reception started the scoring and was followed by a pick-six from junior Jaquan Amos on the following Colgate drive. Then, Changa Hodge and Andrew Perez would both catch touchdowns to complete the scoring burst.
In addition, the defense played very well, keeping Colgate off the scoreboard until the third quarter, when Colgate scored a 10-yard touchdown pass. Colgate would score just once more in the game with a fourth quarter touchdown strike. Junior linebacker Forrest Rhyne led the team with 8 tackles, and junior Malik Fisher made an impact with a sack and a forced fumble. In addition, Amos had both a fumble recovery and a pick-six. Drew Wiley and Aaron Seigle also both had solo sacks.
The seven-candidate pre-season quarterback competition ultimately narrowed down to junior grad transfer Daniel Smith, from Campbell University. Smith started under center and wowed in his Villanova debut throwing three touchdowns. He completed 14 of his 29 passes and threw for 201 yards, while also racking up 37 rushing yards and leading an offense with just four returning starters.
The game also marked the debut for two new coordinators on Mark Ferrante’s staff – Chris Boden on offense and Ola Adams on defense.
The ‘Cats have the week off this upcoming Saturday, but will have their home opener Sept. 7 against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.