After an 0-2 start that threatened their season, Villanova has rebounded to win three straight games, including Saturday's come-from-behind 20-16 victory over the William & Mary Tribe. Now, things get much tougher for the Wildcats as they travel to Johnny Unitas Stadium to face the #3/2 Towson Tigers.
Here's what 'Nova needs to do to hand Towson their first loss of the year.
1. Slow down Terrance West
We all know he's going to carry the ball 25+ times for Towson, and we all know he's going to get some yardage, and probably a touchdown or two along the way. But Villanova will have no chance to winning if West dominates the game. He's averaging almost 148 yards rushing per game, and has hit paydirt 15 times already in 2013.
Unfortunately, West hit his stride last week against New Hampshire, going for 238 yards and 3 touchdowns in a Tigers rout. Villanova's run defense has greatly improved since the team made a switch to a 4-3 front, and Andy Talley will likely load up after he called West the best running back int he country.
Joey Harmon and Don Cherry will likely need to have big games if West is to be corralled.
2. Let Robertson loose
Much has been made of John Robertson's greater role in the rushing game during Villanova's three-game winning streak, and rightfully so. Just a sophomore, he's still prone to errors in judgment in the passing game, and he's claimed his running game gives him the confidence to set up the aerial attack.
Kevin Monangai looks to be hitting his stride at the right time and Austin Medley has picked up the production as well - but it all starts with #19 and his ability to beat the defense with his legs.
3. Quiet the crowd early
Unitas Stadium will be rocking in front of a national audience, but Towson has started slowly two weeks in a row, and Andy Talley will let his team know about it. The Tigers, and their fans, will be amped up but they have been susceptible to slow starts in their last two victories against Stony Brook and New Hampshire.
The 'Cats are hungry to prove they are the cream of the crop in the CAA, and should come out of the gates with a lot of energy. A quick start with a couple of big plays could settle the crowd down, and nullify the biggest intangible in Towson's favor.
What are your keys to a Villanova victory on Saturday night?
More from VU Hoops:
- Villanova vs. Towson: Game Time, TV, Radio Schedule and more
- FCS Top 25: Villanova Jumps to #15
- CAA Coaches Call recap: Villanova fought hard, but has to step up this week
- Villanova Football: William & Mary Highlights
- Villanova vs. William & Mary final score: Cats stay perfect at home with 20-16 win