Football Blown Out by William & Mary, 45-12


Quinn Burns/Villanovan Photography

Villanova drops to 5-5 with the loss against William & Mary.

James Haupt, Staff Writer

After a tough loss to Towson last week, Saturday was more of the same for the Wildcats, as they fell, 45-12, to a tough William and Mary team. The Tribe lead the CAA with an overall record of 9-1 and a conference record of 6-1. 

With this loss, Villanova falls to a .500 overall record sitting at 5-5, and 3-4 against conference opponents, making them eighth in the CAA. This game also continued Villanova’s trend of losing away games as they have only won two of its six road games this season. 

The story of the day was the run game from William and Mary. The Tribe dominated with 371 rushing yards compared to Villanova’s 138. They ended up having seven different players run the ball for them, each being productive. The only player to average less than three yards per carry was a wide receiver who had two runs. 

Leading the way was running back Bronson Yoder with 133 yards on 14 carries. Not far behind him was quarterback Darius Wilson, who had 95 yards on eight carries. This running game ultimately led to touchdowns for Williams and Mary as they hit paydirt three times on the ground. 

Yoder got the scoring started with his six-yard touchdown run with 6:04 left in the first quarter. Wilson then got the second quarter started with a huge 55-yard touchdown run at the 8:56 mark. This was just one of four total touchdowns for Wilson as he threw for three as well. The last rushing touchdown was scored by Donavyn Lester in the middle of the third quarter when the game had already been decided. 

All this scoring was simply too much for Villanova to handle. The Wildcats didn’t score a touchdown until late in the fourth quarter, a garbage time 39-yard passing touchdown from quarterback Connor Watkins to freshman receiver Daniel Lopes. The only other source of points came from Villanova kicker Matthew Mercurio, who had two field goals and an extra point. 

Despite this poor scoring performance, some Villanova players got more of an opportunity this game. Lopes saw his first game action this season. He finished with two catches, his first two of his ‘Nova career, on four targets for 42 yards and the touchdown. This was good enough for second on the team in yards and third in receptions.

Dez Boykin led the way for the Wildcats with six catches for 110 yards, his best game by far this season. Promising freshman Eli Smith also got the chance to play more today as he had seven carries for 48 yards (6.9 YPC). This was the most touches he’s received this season and he made the most of it by having his best performance of the year.

The bright side of this game is that Villanova didn’t beat themselves, which has been a problem all season. It only had one turnover, coming from a Watkins fumble. William and Mary just dominated, but at the very least limiting turnovers prevented even more of a blood bath. This was a tough matchup for the Wildcats, and despite the loss they demonstrated their grit and perseverance by playing all the way through the end. 

Villanova faces Delaware at home next in what will be their last game of the year. Although they are out of the playoff picture, the Wildcats will play for pride against their top rival.