Villanova looked like a well-oiled machine with tons of veterans and few weak spots, at least in the first week of the season.
This Saturday at Lehigh, folks will be able to see for themselves the progress that has been made since Cahill’s hiring last December.
Since I can’t do anything half-assed, here’s a detailed Lehigh fan’s guide to the Mountain Hawks’ 2023 non-conference opponents. There’s no easy win penciled in here, as you will see.
In front of 6,101 enthusiastic fans, many of them students, the No. 5 ranked Villanova Wildcats did what was expected of them, running out to a big lead en route to a 45-17 victory.
When I look at Lehigh’s 2022 season opener this weekend at Villanova, I see the ingredients of a possible rivalry, but the truth is, the game between the Mountain Hawks and Wildcats is not a rivalry.
This game will mark the second matchup between SDSU and Villanova on the gridiron. The first meeting also took place in the postseason, with the Jackrabbits pulling out a 10-7 victory on a late field goal in 2016 in a game played at Brookings.
Villanova has never lost to a Patriot League school in the postseason; one of their victories came against Holy Cross in their national championship season in 2009 by a 38-28 score.
If you weren’t following the key FCS Playoff matchups last week involving the playoffs, boy did you miss out!
This was unquestionably “hard reset” week for the Top 25 as this was the first real slate of games that changed the way people thought about their ballots.
Villanova RB Justin Covington ran 18 times for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 51 yard power run in the second quarter, as the Wildcats cruised to a 47-3 win over Lehigh at Murray Goodman Stadium.
Lehigh will need all the home field advantage it can – Villanova is ranked 16th in the STATS FCS Top 25 and 15th in the FCS Coaches’ Poll.
Villanova has, in recent memory, battled two things: the injury bug and the ill-timed loss. They always have the talent to be one of the top teams in the CAA and FCS, but injuries derail them or they lose to a team they shouldn’t. They’ll need to avoid that this fall.
James Madison/Richmond was postponed this week “due to CoVID protocols at Richmond”, according to James Madision’s official release, and Delaware/Albany was cancelled due to Albany suspending their spring season due to a very large number of injuries. This leaves two games on the CAA schedule this weekend.
William & Mary at James Madison is postponed this weekend, but there are still five games on the schedule to enjoy.
As chaotic as last week was, this week was as docile. The highest ranked team from last week’s College Sports Journal top 25 that lost was #13. We do have a new #1 team here at College Sports Journal this week.
As we enter the third week of the Spring season, the full CAA will join the fun with five games this weekend.
As expected there was a bunch of movement this week. The biggest shock is the one everyone has been talking about: North Dakota State not only lost, but lost big. It still remains to be seen how the Bison will wind up this Spring, but last week was their worst game in almost a decade.
The CSJ writing staff answer the questions many of us have about the beginning of this unprecedented FCS season.
Three players were selected as CSJ’s Preseason Players of the Year on Offense, Defense, and Special Teams. These awards went to Villanova QB Daniel Smith on Offense, Citadel LB Willie Eubanks III on Defense, and Monmouth WR/KR Lonnie Moore IV on Special Teams.
This Spring, the CAA teams will play six conference games and can schedule up to two non conference games. There will only be 11 of the 12 teams taking the field as Towson has opted out of the Spring season.
The Patriot League Office announced on Monday guidance regarding the 2020 fall competition, a list of principles to “guide the development of a Patriot League 2020 Athletics Plan.”
Of our preseason poll last year, only 6 of the top 10 teams made the playoffs. 13 of the full 25 played past Thanksgiving. Its 2020, the year of complete chaos.
When the bracket was released last Sunday, many fans pointed to the Villanova/Southeastern Louisiana as the most potentially entertaining game and the one most likely to see a lot of scoring. The two teams did not disappoint, scoring a total of 89 points in a 45-44 Lion win that went down to the very last minutes of the game.
Are the Wildcats just a streaky team? Can they continue their hot streak into the playoffs? A matchup with a strong Southeastern Louisiana Lions team will certainly test Villanova on both sides of the ball.
The CAA has its champion. James Madison handily defeated Richmond and claimed the outright CAA title. Joining the Dukes in the playoffs should be Villanova, Albany and Towson who each have seven division one wins on the season.
We are down to the last two weeks of the regular season. In the CAA, James Madison is a playoff lock and will claim the outright conference championship with another win. The Dukes should also slide into the seeds when the playoff bracket is released on November 24. Villanova is probably also solidly in the field. From there, its anybody’s guess what other CAA teams will be included on Selection Sunday
At this point the CAA could have five teams get into the FCS Playoffs, or they could have two. Its going to be a tense last three weeks.
One of the wildest endings to a game this year happened last week between Stony Brook and Villanova. Villanova held a 35-20 lead with five minutes remaining only to see Stony Brook roar back with 16 points to win on a Nick Courtney field goal as time expired. As a result, the CAA is a huge jumble, as it seems to be every year.
Entering week 9, James Madison is the only CAA school remaining without a conference loss. However, there are five teams with only one conference loss. Of the twelve CAA teams, there are nine teams that could still make a run at a playoff berth.
Villanova and James Madison may have been caught looking ahead to their showdown last week, as both had to survive and win late. Take nothing away from Stony Brook and William & Mary, who gave those two teams all they could handle. The CAA title may well be on the line this week in Harrisonburg.
Villanova and James Madison appear to be on a collision course for an epic showdown next weekend after both posted impressive victories over ranked teams last weekend. The winner of that game on 10/12 will be in the CAA driver’s seat. But neither can get too far ahead of themselves since both of them have tough games this week.
A week ago, UC Davis was being lauded for giving top-ranked North Dakota State a true run for their money at their place. Last week, thanks to a sneak Grizzly attack, Aggie fans have to wonder whether they can still make the playoffs.
Villanova showed that they are not to be forgotten in the CAA race in 2019. The Wildcats went toe to toe with the best offense in the conference – Towson – and came away victorious. Daniel Smith has been spectacular through four games with 13 touchdowns passing and four more rushing. Most teams in the CAA are getting into conference play from here on out so the path to the playoffs is going to start to clear up.
Towson showed they aren’t going away in the CAA and FCS race. The Tigers easily beat Maine by 22 points last week. In the only other CAA matchup, Elon picked up its first conference win, cruising by Richmond. In a couple more weeks, conference play will be in full swing. But for this week there are only two conference matchups while James Madison plays an interesting out of conference contest at Chattanooga.
Week two brought a mixed bag of results. The highlight of the weekend was the triple OT thriller in Meade Stadium that saw Delaware outlast the host Rhode Island Rams. That game set the stage for what should be an excellent season of conference matchups.
The Villanova Wildcats (2-0) surged to a 17-3 halftime lead over Lehigh, and ultimately cruised to a 38-10 win on Saturday evening on the Main Line.
It was a game where the Mountain Hawks (0-2) would make way too many mistakes to pull off the upset on the road of a nationally-ranked FCS football team on the road.
30. 33. 38. 35. 26. 35. 31. No, that’s not a high school locker combination, or a quarterback audible. Those are the point totals Villanova were able to exact on Lehigh during their last seven meetings on the gridiron, all Wildcat victories. The Mountain Hawks have played the Wildcats seven times in the last eleven.
The CAA had a solid showing on opening weekend with all its teams combining to go 7-1 against FCS opponents. The lone loss was suffered by Elon to nationally-ranked North Carolina A&T, 24-21, on a 52 yard field goal as time expired. Against an FBS school, James Madison gave West Virginia all they could handle before ultimately falling to the Mountaineers. On to week two where the CAA faces four more FBS teams and a couple of strong non-conference games.
The CAA had an excellent regular season in 2018 culminating with a record 6 playoff berths. However, once they got there, everyone except for Maine fell flat. The Colonial again looks strong with most every team feeling like they have a shot at the playoffs.
Colgate’s 2018 defense was one of the most suffocating defenses in recent memory. The Raiders allowed a total of three touchdowns in conference play, two of which were scored by Holy Cross in the first week of the season.
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.
James Madison at Villanova When: Saturday, October 13, 1:00PM Where: Villanova Stadium, Villanova, PA TV/Streaming: Fox College Sports Atlantic, Fox Sports Go (subscription req’d) James Madison Dukes James Madison is coming off of their first conference and home loss of the Mike Houston era. The Dukes never got into a rhythm against Elon and gave.
Villanova at Stony Brook When: Saturday, September 29, 6:00 PM Where: Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium, Stony Brook, NY TV/Streaming: Fox College Sports Atlantic/Fox Sports Go (subscription req’d) Villanova Wildcats Villanova enters this game 3-1 on the season after handily defeating Bucknell last week 49-7. The one loss, however, is a conference loss to Towson. Villanova.