#12 Villanova Starts Fast, Beats Bucknell 55 – 3
September 11. 2021 –
The Villanova Wildcats offense and defense worked in tandem to post a 55 – 3 win in the home opener at Villanova Stadium. When the defense handed the ball back to the offense the Wildcats posted scores eight times.
“I was really excited about our start,” said Villanova Coach Mark Ferrante. “The offense moving the ball. The defense getting turnovers and giving us great field position. Just another overall good team win. We played with great effort and enthusiasm.”
In their first four offensive possessions Bucknell was either stopped or turned the ball over. Villanova turned those into points. The trend was started early when Wildcats defensive back Christian Bedford intercepted his fourth pass of the season. Nova made the Bison pay for that mistake by going on a 2-play, 28-yard drive in 1:07. Quarterback Daniel Smith scored on a one-yard run to open the scoring.
That was the first of 6 straight possessions that resulted in five touchdowns and a field goal and a 48 – 0 lead at intermission.
Wide Receiver Jaaron Hayek caught a touchdown pass from Smith for the second score. Smith would find Jaquan Allen with a 10-yard scoring strike to make the score 21 – 0. Early in the second quarter Smith threw a scoring toss to Rayjoun Pringle to start a run of 24 second quarter points. Pringle had another touchdown reception from 49-yards. Bedford took a 19-yard pass interception to the house. Will Bartel added a field goal.
In the third quarter Nova scored on a touchdown by Jalen Jackson scoring from 5 yards out. Bucknell got their points on a Ryan Schatzel 35-yard field goal. Nathan Fondacaro ended to scoring splitting the uprights from 26-yards.
Smith had a very efficient day getting three touchdown passes on 6 completions. Two other Wildcats quarterbacks saw game action. Connor Watkins, Matt O’Connor and Smith combined for throwing 145 passing yards.
Villanova rushed for 233 yards led by Jackson with 70 and TD Ayo-Durojaiye posted 65 yards. Justine Covington added 59 rushing yards. Pringle caught 3 passes, 2 for touchdowns, for 69 yards.
The Villanova defense held Bucknell to 89 total yards of offense, 68 through the air. Bedford picked off 2 passes.
“Two more interceptions by Christian Bedford, one being a pick-six,” Ferrante said. “That’s nice when points go on the board when the offense is on the sidelines.”
For the season the defense has forced more turnovers (8) that surrendered points (6).
All 75 players got into the game.
Villanova (2 – 0) prepares for its CAA opener facing the Richmond Spiders on Saturday at Villanova Stadium. The game will be an interesting challenge for the Wildcats.
“The challenge is always going to be can we execute consistently and error free,” said Ferrante. “I’m happy to get out of the two non-league games the way we did. We got out pretty healthy as well. We’ll enjoy it for twenty-four hours, then get ready for CAA play next week vs. Richmond.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian