The 5th ranked Villanova Wildcats, coached by Andy Talley, entertained the 14th ranked Spiders of Richmond, coached by first year Head Coach Latrell Scott, in a key Colonial Athletic Conference game on Saturday. The Cats were 3-1 in the CAA coming into the game while the Spiders had a 2-2 mark in league play. Overall Villanova leads the series with Richmond 20-9.
The Wildcats came into the game riding a 14 game home winning streak. Nova last lost at home on October 25, 2008 when James Madison completed a hail-mary pass on the final play of the game to win 23-19.
Led by senior QB Chris Whitney, Villanova got on the board with just under six minutes to go in the 1st quarter, scoring on a 45 yard touchdown run by Whitney. The drive covered 87 yards in 10 plays. Whitney’s 45 yard run matched the longest of his career. Nick Yako converted the extra point to make it 7-0 Villanova.
Nova scored again on its next drive on a 5 yard pass from Whitney to Norman White. It was the fifth straight game in which White has caught a touchdown pass. The highlight of the drive was a 36 yard run by Whitney which put him over the 100 yard rushing mark in the first quarter (5 carries for 103 yards).
Richmond then mounted a drive from their own 30 to the Villanova 1 yard line but failed to score on four straight plays. On fourth down Marquis Kirkland and Eric Loper stuffed Richmond RB Tyler Kirchoff to force a turnover on downs.
The Wildcats then extended their lead to 21-0 at the 2:51 mark of the 2nd quarter on a 28 yard burst by Aaron Ball. The drive was set up by an interception from Nova cornerback James Pitts.
Whitney ended the first half with over 100 yards rushing and completed 6 of 11 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown.
In the 3rd quarter, Richmond scored on a 1 yard plunge by Kendall Gaskins. The touchdown was set up by a 32 yard completion from QB (and punter) Nick Hicks to Tremayne Graham. The drive covered 58 yards in 6 plays.
Villanova failed to gain a 1st down on its first four possessions of the 2nd half. The Wildcats regained the ball when Rakim Cox batted down a pass behind the line of scrimmage; John Dempsey recovered the ball and ran it back to the Richmond 12 yard line.
Several plays later, Whitney threw a 3 yard touchdown pass to TE Chris Farmer to put the Wildcats up 28-7 which proved to be the final score.