In their third straight game against a Patriot League opponent, Villanova smothered the Bucknell Bison 45-10. This marks the first time the Wildcats have started the season 3-0 since their 2010 National Championship season.
Villanova started off hot with a 34 yard pick-six from Jaquan Amos just twenty seconds into the game, his second pick-six of the season already and the ‘Cats third straight game with an interception returned for a touchdown. Junior quarterback Daniel Smith threw his first interception of the season after the ‘Cats defense forced a punt, giving the Bison good field position. However, Bucknell had to settle for a 23 yard field goal but their junior kicker Ethan Torres missed the pooch-kick.
Late in the first quarter, the ‘Cats defense came up big again and stopped Bucknell on fourth-down in the red zone. Justin Covington opened up the following drive with a 64 yard run that was capped off with a 23 yard touchdown toss from Smith to Todd Summers, his second catch of the season and second touchdown of the season.
The Wildcats kept the foot on the throttle, punching in two more scores in the second quarter, courtesy of a 3 yard run from Smith and another toss from Smith. The ‘Cats also grabbed another interception, this one from senior Drew Wiley. They enjoyed a 28-0 lead going into the half.
‘Nova got the ball to start the second half and Covington had another spectacular run of 42 yards to get the drive started. Smith finished off the drive with his third touchdown pass of the game, this one to Dez Boykin. After the teams punted a few times, the Bison were finally able to find a score after Torres knocked down a 37 yard field goal. The ‘Cats only needed one play to score on the ensuing drive as the freshman DeeWill Barlee took his third rushing attempt of the year 78 yards to the house and gave Villanova a 42-3 lead.
Villanova pulled most of their starters in the final quarter of action and Bucknell added a touchdown to make the final score 45-10.
QB Daniel Smith finished a modest 12-23 with 109 yards but tallied up 3 TDs on the night. Summers lead Villanova receivers with 38 yards and also added a touchdown. Most of the ‘Nova offense came on the ground, as Covington had 124 yards on only 7 attempts and Barlee had 86 yards on only 5 attempts. Villanova as a team averaged an impressive 7.1 yards per rush throughout the night.
Defensively, the ‘Cats held Bucknell to a 41% pass completion but still let up 225 passing yards. They were a force in the trenches as the Bison only accounted for 46 total yards on the ground. They kept their turnover streak going as the grabbed two interceptions and forced out 3 fumbles, but didn’t recover any.
Villanova starts CAA football action next week as they travel to No. 8 Towson (3-0) for a 6 PM matchup.