The #5 Villanova Wildcats survived a late rally on the road to defeat William & Mary 35-28. The win improves the Wildcats to a conference leading 3-0 against CAA teams, and an undefeated 6-0 on the season.
The Wildcats were led again by quarterback Daniel Smith, who threw for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns on the afternoon. Backup freshman running back Dee Will Barlee also had a huge game with 52 yards and a touchdown on the ground, along with reeling in his only catch for the game winning touchdown. His fellow freshman Jaaron Hayek led the Wildcat receiving core with 6 catches for 83 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Villanova had led the game for most of the first half. The FCS’s leading rusher, Justin Covington, had 53 yards and the team’s first touchdown before suffering what appeared to be a minor injury late in the first quarter. Covington was held out of the rest of the game, although he returned from the locker room to watch from the sidelines. In the second half, William & Mary clawed their way back into the game, and kept finding a way to tie the game up. But Villanova finally pulled ahead for good with under 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter. The Wildcat Defense was able to hold the Tribe to an incomplete pass on 4th down with the game on the line, and Villanova was able to send out the victory formation for their sixth win of the season.
Villanova will have their toughest test of the season when they take on #2 James Madison next weekend.