Villanova vs. Stony Brook Preview: Wildcats Open Spring Season


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Villanova vs. Stony Brook Preview: Wildcats Open Spring Season

Nick France, Staff Writer

Villanova will begin its spring football season this Saturday as they travel to take on the Stony Brook Seawolves. It will be the first game of Villanova’s season, in an unprecedented spring football season for the FCS. They will play six games within the North division in the CAA, and fight for a playoff spot in a reduced FCS Championship. 

Last season, the Seawolves finished 5-7. After starting the season 4-1 with their only loss to Utah, they finished the season 1-6. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, that one win was over them in a 36-35 upset at Villanova Stadium. Even within that 1-6 span, Stony Brook still looked impressive in their losses. They took national runner-up James Madison to overtime in a 45-38 loss, and lost three of those games by just one touchdown. 

Stony Brook returns with much of their front seven, including star defensive tackle Sam Kamara. Kamara was a second team All-CAA member in 2018, and then named to the preseason All-CAA in 2019. However, after a season-ending shoulder injury, he missed most of the 2019 season. He was granted a waiver to return for his fifth and final year, and will undoubtedly be one of the biggest impact players in the conference. 

On the offensive side of things, the continued development of quarterback Tyquell Fields will be what decides the Seawolves’ season. Fields played his first full season as a starter last year, with six of his games having more than 200 passing yards. However, with the talent level of the offenses in the CAA’s top teams like James Madison and Villanova, Fields and his receiving corps will have to take the next step to keep up. Their strong run game is led by Ty Son Lawton and Saba Nekhet, who both finished with more than 500 rushing yards last year. 

Villanova returns team leader Daniel Smith, who is undoubtedly the best quarterback in the conference. That alone will allow them to be a serious competitor within both the conference and the national championship picture. They finished 8th in the country and 2nd in the conference in scoring offense, putting up 37.3 points a game. With Smith returning and another year under offensive coordinator Chris Boden, the offense should continue to impress. 

Coach Ferrante returns for his fourth season as Villanova’s head coach, after breaking a streak of two consecutive 5-6 records by finishing 9-4 last year. “The strength of our team, I think, is our maturity, our veterans and our senior leadership,” he told KYW Newsradio this past week. “As far as offense, defense, special teams — I hope we’re solid in all three phases.” 

The game against the Seawolves begins at 12pm on Saturday, at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.