Coming off its first loss of the season and in the midst of a quarterback controversy, no one could tell how No. 7 Villanova would play Saturday in Richmond.
‘Nova, with a decisive 42-13 win, improved their overall record to 7-1 and 5-1 in the Atlantic 10 conference. Freshman quarterback Marvin Burroughs, who came on to play for Joe Casamento last game, got the start and proved that he has the ability to lead Villanova to a win. Burroughs completed 15 of 19 passes for 245 yards and threw five touchdown passes.
But the second half was Burroughs’ breakout party, as he completed all eight of his pass attempts for 158 yards and hurled four of five touchdowns, earning him Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honors. Teammate Allyn Bacchus received this honor in the second week of the season against Temple.
The defense once again held down its opponent, allowing the Spiders to score only 13 points, giving up 364 yards, 157 in rushing and 207 in passing. The Spiders were only able to convert on two of four in the red zone, while ‘Nova converted on all five attempts.
Brian Hulea again led the Wildcats in tackles with 18 stops, while Bacchus was second with 11. Other big contributors were Jamil Butler and Greg Bishop, who both had sacks. Ryan Breeden and Zachary Ingram came up with the two biggest defensive plays of the game.
After a Burroughs pick, the Spiders drove the ball inside the ‘Cats’ 10 and were on the verge of taking the lead when Breeden recovered a fumble by Richmond running back David Edwards. Burroughs found Phil DiGiacomo with the eventual game winner on the ensuing ‘Nova drive, completing a three-yard touchdown pass to put the ‘Cats up 14-3.
‘Nova’s running attack, which has had its troubles this year, finally got its feet moving this past weekend. The ‘Cats were led by tailback Martin “Mo” Gibson, who rushed 16 times for 87 yards, including a touchdown. Terry Butler also contributed with 54 yards on nine rushes, including a catch for 24 yards. Burroughs spread the ball around impressively to all his wide receivers, as seven different players had at least one reception.
The receiving core was led once again by John Dieser, who had four receptions for 26 yards, including two touchdowns.
Anthony Wright and JJ Outlaw also had three catches. Wright finished the game with had 27 yards and a touchdown and Outlaw totaled 76 yards.