Location: Villanova, PA
Coach: Mark Ferrante (10-12), 3rd Season at Villanova
Stadium: Villanova Stadium (Capacity 12,000)
135th: Division I
2018 In A Sentence: 2018 started with a bang for Villanova with a win over FBS Temple. The Wildcats looked like contenders in not only the CAA, but the entire FCS with a 3-1 start, but then the wheels fell off. Nova lost five of their next six games before winning the annual Battle of the Blue game against Delaware.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: Despite dealing with a number of injuries throughout his college career – which seems to be the refrain for any Wildcat player over the last few years – DB Rob Rolle put together a nice college career. Prior to injuries ruining his junior year and again affecting his senior campaign, Rolle was a DB that other quarterbacks avoided like the plague.
Key Player:DB Christian Benford picked up right where Rolle left off. The 2018 CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year had 49 tackles and five interceptions as a freshman. Benford hauled in three interceptions in one game against Richmond. He is one of the top DBs in the CAA and should do nothing but improve.
Fearless Prediction: Villanova has been besieged by the injury bug over the last few years, causing them to fall short of expectations. The Wildcats look like a mid-pack CAA team with the potential to jump up and surprise an expectant foe in an upset – if, for a change, they can stay healthy.
Jamie is a proud 2002 graduate of James Madison University. He’s witnessed the growth of the program from no one in the stands in 1998, to the hiring of Mickey Matthews, to the 2004 National Championship, to the 2008 team, to the struggles in the early 2010s, and finally the rebuild under Mike Houston. He also allegedly really enjoys Washington, DC-based Stanley Cup winners.
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