‘Cats host Towson during homecoming

Villanova (4-3, 1-3) will take on Towson (3-3, 0-3) this Saturday. The Wildcats and Tigers are both at the bottom of the Atlantic 10 South Division. Towson, however, has won two of their last three games as Villanova has lost two of their last three games.

Offense: These two teams are as similar as it gets on offense. Both the ‘Cats and the Tigers are near the cellar in the Atlantic 10 when it comes to points per game, averaging near the 20s. Both teams, as well, had an offensive explosion last week scoring in the 40s.

Towson and Villanova each use a multi-back running system and neither is primed to have a 1000 yard back. Villanova’s Terry Butler is the best out of both teams with seven touchdowns in seven games, and a 4.2 yard per carry average. Towson’s lead back, Kerry Miles, was red-shirted last season after appearing in nine games as a true freshman in 2002. Miles has six touchdowns in six games, but averages only 46 yards per game. The Tigers other back, Josh Corle, has numbers similar to Butler, but has only played in three games.

Villanova emerges as the leading team when putting the ball in the air, compared to Towson. ‘Nova quarterback Marvin Burroughs has the third best completion percentage in the A-10, and has a 12-7 touchdown to interception ration. Although there is no single wide receiver that seems to be a break out player, the ‘Cats have seven receivers that average 10 yards a catch. J.J. Outlaw, has five receiving touchdowns and 789 all purpose yards so far this season. Towson’s quarterback, Andrew Goldbeck has thrown six picks in six games for the Tigers with only three touchdowns. Senior split end Will Marcus, who was expected to be the go-to-guy this season, has only 11 receptions.

Edge: Villanova

Defense: The Tigers and the Wildcats both strive on defense, holding opponents to an average of 18 and 22 points per game, respectively. Towson has the best pass defense in the A-10, while ‘Nova has the best run defense.

The Tigers have forced twelve picks this year and allow an average of only 100 passing yards a game. Last week Towson held Bowie State to zero net passing yards. That’s just plain impressive. The Tigers defense also has 12 sacks this season. The Wildcats give up over 200 yards a game in the air and have only five interceptions thus far. The highlight of the pass defense, is that the ‘Cats have 22 sacks in seven games, and constantly pressure the opposing quarterback.

Against the run Towson is the second worst in the A-10. They gave up 183 rushing yards to Bowie, 13 more than their season average. The Wildcats love to face the run. In seven games the ‘Cats have given up 624 yards, that’s an average of 89 yards per game! ‘Nova has three players with over 30 solo tickets and seven with over 30 total tackles this season. Jamil Butler and Darrell Adams have combined for 16 tackles for a loss totaling 66 yards and nine sacks.

Edge: Even

Special Teams: Special teams is a hard part of the game to figure out with out watching every game for each team. Allante Harrison is the Tigers main return-guy. He’s averaging 9.3 yards per punt return, and 17.8 yards per kick return. The Wildcats have two main return-men. Outlaw is averaging 9.7 yards per punt return, while Moe Gibson is averaging 21.8 yards per kick return.

Each teams place kicker seems to be equal. ‘Nova’s Adam James is 2-3 and has hit one from 41 yards. Tigers Stephan Toth is 3-5 and has also hit one from 41 yards. Both James and Toth handle the punting duty for their teams as well. Toth averages 35.4 yards a punt, and James averages 38.4 yards per punt. Each punter has had one blocked.

Edge: Even

Outcome: The Tigers should shut down the ‘Cats passing game, however Outlaw and Gibson should have career days. Villanova’s defense should be too much for the Tigers. Their passing games is weak as is, and ‘Nova’s run defense is too strong for any of the three backs Towson uses. As long as the right Villanova team shows up. ‘Nova by 14.