PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Villanova Wildcats will play their home finale on Saturday afternoon, hosting William & Mary in Colonial Athletic Association action.
The Wildcats picked up their first CAA victory of the season this past Saturday as they rolled Richmond on the road, 45-21. The victory improved the Wildcats to 4-5 (1-5 CAA).
“Our defense made a ton of plays,” Villanova head coach Mark Ferrante said. “We had seven total turnovers. One was a special teams turnover on a muffed punt, but the other six came from our defense, five of which were interceptions. And two of those interceptions by (sophomore defensive back) Nowoola Awopetu were returned for touchdowns.”
Ferrante says they did a lot of things well in addition to forcing all those turnovers.
“We ran the ball well,” he said. “We converted on third down on offense well. We maintained the ball. We were able to keep our defense fresh and keep them off the field.”
True freshman Qadir Ismail started at quarterback against Richmond and threw for 132 yards and a touchdown with an interception. He was playing in place of Zach Bednarczyk, who is dealing with a shoulder issue. It looks like the arrow is pointing towards Bednarczyk returning to action against William and Mary, but a final decision won’t come until the team sees how he feels in pregame warm ups.
William and Mary comes into Saturday 3-5 (2-3 CAA).
“They’re good,” Ferrante said. “Coach (Jimmye) Laycock is the senior leader in this league. He’s been in the league for a long, long time. They’re always going to be a well-disciplined team and so on.
“It looks like on film they are pretty solid up front on defense,” he added. “It looks like they’ve had some similar things on offense that we’ve had. They’ve played three different quarterbacks over the course of the season.”
Saturday’s game kicks off at 1 p.m.
Follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleon1060.