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Cats Take the Bite Out of the Spiders

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Chris Whitney celebrated his birthday in winning fashion as the #5 Cats improved to 6-2, 4-1 by defeating the #14 Richmond Spiders 28-7 in front of an estimated 7,000 fans at Villanova Stadium. All America Matt Szczur, the Wildcats’ best player, again watched from the sidelines, nursing an ankle injury suffered on the opening kickoff of the Penn game on September 25th.

Whitney, who tallied 116 rushing yards on 11 carries and connected on 9 of 16 passes for 78 yards, opened the scoring on a 45 yard run with 5:46 remaining in the first quarter. Four minutes later, Whitney connected on a five yard touchdown pass to Norman White. Late in the second quarter, James Pitts intercepted on Richmond’s 41 yard line, setting up an Aaron Ball run for a 27-yard touchdown that put the Cats up 21-0 at the half.

Richmond (4-4, 2-3) was held to 231 yards of total offense and struggled against Nova’s outstanding rushing defense, which limited Richmond to only 59 yards on the ground. In a second quarter series that set the tone for the game, Nova's defense held the Spiders on four attempts from the one yard line. Richmond’s lone score came with 3:26 remaining in the third quarter on a one yard run by Kendall Gaskins. Whitney closed out the scoring with 6:20 remaining in the game, connecting with Chris Farmer on a three-yard touchdown pass.

Villanova takes its three-game winning streak on the road next Saturday as they travel to Kingston to play unranked Rhode Island (2-3, 3-5).

Press Coverage

Independent Philly: "Cats Squash Spiders in Halloween Weekend Contest"

Philadelphia Inquirer: "Villanova Defeats Richmond, 28-7," including video highlights

Delco Times: "Whitney Makes It Happen for 'Nova"

CS Top Ten: Villanova stands to gain ground in this week's FCS Poll as two top-five teams lost this week. How impressive was it that William and Mary played North Carolina close before losing 17-21 (North Carolina rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to win)? ranks North Carolina #48 in the FBS. By comparison Temple is ranked #42. Nova fans still feel the sting of losing the seaon opener to Temple in a game that Nova controlled most of the way and should have won. Applying the transitive property (W&M and Nova both lost in the closing minutes to comparably ranked FBS teams, but W&M defeated visiting Nova in their head-to-head match), William and Mary likely will hold their ranking edge over Nova. However both teams should move up one slot with the loss by #3 Stephen F. Austin. Here's the complete FCS Top Ten Saturday's game results:

#1 Appalachian State defeated Furman (37-26); #2 Jacksonville State DNP, #3 Stephen F. Austin lost to Texas State (24-27), #4 William and Mary lost to North Carolina (17-21); #5 Villanova defeated Richmond (28-7); #6 Delaware DNP; #7 Montana lost to Weber State (21-30), #8 Eastern Washington defeated Portland State (50-17), #9 New Hampshire DNP and #10 Wofford defeated Citadel (35-0).