It would be easy for the Villanova football team to celebrate their historic win at fifth ranked Towson this Saturday. However, the No. 13 Wildcats will be afforded no such luxury, as they host No. 16 Maine this weekend. The Wildcats rose to No. 13 in the FCS Coaches Poll after a thrilling 52-45 victory that had to be settled in overtime. Villanova was able to hang with Towson behind quarterback Daniel Smith’s 279 passing yards and four passing touchdowns.
Villanova was down by three with less than two minutes remaining and drove all the way down the field. The drive ended with Drew Kresge kicking a 45-yard field goal with seven seconds left in the contest to tie the game and force the extra period. Towson won the overtime coin toss and elected to defend first. However, Villanova running back Justin Covington made the Tigers immediately regret their decision, as he broke a 23-yard run on the first play of overtime, setting up first and goal. The very next play, Smith punched it in for the score- his sixth total touchdown on the night. While it was a tough night for the ‘Cats defense, giving up five touchdowns total, they answered the bell in the clutch. In overtime, they forced a fourth and one from the seven-yard line and stopped the Tigers offense cold. It is the Wildcats first unbeaten start through four games since the 2009 national title winning team.
This Saturday will prove to be another test of Nova’s national title merit as they play host the Maine Black Bears on parents’ weekend. Maine is 2-2 on the year, with a loss to FBS competition, Georgia Southern, and a loss two weekends ago to the same Towson Tigers squad that Villanova defeated. Maine is led by a high-powered passing attack, where quarterback Chris Ferguson has had multiple 400-yard games and averages just under 320 yards a game. The Black Bears have struggled on the ground though, as starting running back, Emmanuel Reed only averages under 50 yards per game, and has failed to gain over 62 yards in a game this season. If Villanova is able to slow down Ferguson and make Reed beat them on the ground, the Wildcats magical start to their season should continue.