Wildcats hope to get back to winning ways this weekend

James Evans

Coming out of the bye week, the 11th ranked Villanova Wildcats will try to regain some of their confidence, as they host a very good No. 12 William & Mary team.

William & Mary come into the game riding a current five-game winning streak and are coming off a very convincing win against Atlantic 10 rival Northeastern. With the win, William & Mary has separated itself from the middle of the pack in the Atlantic 10 standings and is now seated in the upper echelon of the conference along with Maine and Massachusetts. ’Nova finds itself in a very crowded second group of teams that all still have a slight chance of winning the Atlantic 10 title.

Both teams have been offensive juggernauts this season.

’Nova comes into the game with an average of 27 points per game while William & Mary comes into the game with a very convincing 31 points per game mark.

Also, in each of the last four games between these two teams, the winner has amassed at least 40 points.

However, ’Nova has ended up on the losing side of the score the last three times these teams have meet.

If the Wildcats want to win this game, they will have to look to their defense.

’Nova comes into the game sporting one of the best defenses in all of Division I-AA, holding opponents to only 12 points per game. On the other hand, William & Mary’s defense is nothing to boast about. Its opponents have lit them up for an average of 24 points per game.

’Nova’s defense will be put to the test against talented Tribe quarterback Dave Corley who was awarded Offensive Player of the Week honors last week, as he was 19-for-28 and threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns.

’Nova also has to watch out for William & Mary’s running back Jonathan Smith.

Smith won Offensive Player of the Week accolades two weeks ago when he accumulated over 198 yards on 32 rushes and scored a touchdown.

However, the ’Cats have one big offensive weapon to combat William & Mary’s one-two punch of Corley and Smith: signal caller Brett Gordon. Gordon is considered to be one of the tops quarterbacks in all of Division I-AA football.

Though it’s early in the season to call a game do-or-die, if ’Nova wants to compete for the Atlantic 10 title they will be forced to win their remaining games.

The Wildcats will also have to hope that top teams Maine and Massachusetts, who they have already lost to this season, lose at least three games in the division if they hope for a shot at the title.