Villanova got out to a lead early with a field goal, but in a game where the lead changed five times, Villanova got caught with the hot potato at the end of regulation. The 16-20 loss put Villanova's record down to 1-4 with an 0-2 record in CAA play.
The Cats started strong, driving downfield early in the first quarter to score a field goal. That was matched just before the end of the quarter by a 1-yard Jonathan Grimes rushing touchdown to give the Tribe the lead again.
Christian Culicerto answered that touchdown with one of his own early in the second quarter, tossing a 15-yard touchdown pass to junior wideout, Dorian Wells. That lead wasn't built to last, however, as Grimes would sprint 22 yards with the ball about 5 minutes later for the second William & Mary touchdown. Villanova would score on another field goal before the half to go into the locker rooms down by one point, 13-14.
Grimes finished the game with 137 yards on 31 carries and scored two touchdowns.
Villanova only ran 14 plays in the second half, while William & Mary kept the chains moving and the Villanova defense on the field. It was remarkable then, that Villanova was able to hold the Tribe to just two field goals in the last two quarters.
Despite being so ineffective, the Wildcats had a chance to win the game late in the 4th quarter. Down by 4 points, Culicerto helped the 'Cats offense get deep into Tribe territory, all the way to their 24 yard line. An ineffective running game forced Culicerto to make plays and he did well on that drive until deciding to make a tough pass into coverage on 4th and two.
Culicerto finished the game with 132 yards passing, one touchdown and one interception. He completed 62.5% of his 24 pass attempts. True-freshman Jamal Abdur-Rahman was the top runner in an otherwise ineffective rushing game, with 43 yards on 4 carries (10.8 yards per carry). In the passing game, Dorian Wells again lead the way with 59 yards on 6 receptions.
On defense, Jerry Rice Award candidate, Dillon Lucas, was again among the top performers. A fellow freshman linebacker, Joey Harmon, however, had the defensive play of the game when he grabbed a tipped pass for an interception.
That turnover cost Villanova the ball and, ultimately the game. With three minutes left, the W&M offense was able to run enough time off the clock to end the game and secure their 4-point win. Their first in conference play, and their first victory at Villanova Stadium since 2000.