‘Cats Routed by JMU, 37-0


Courtesy of JMU Football Twitter Page

‘Cats Routed by JMU, 37-0

Kevin Gamgort

On Saturday, the Villanova Wildcats fell to JMU 37-0, dropping their third straight game and falling to 3-4 on the season.  

Let’s take a look at the good, bad and the ugly. 

The Good – Defense

In a game where the Wildcats were dominated in all facets of the game, the Wildcats defense was a lone bright spot. Against a stout JMU offense, the ‘Cats defense was able to hold JMU, a team that’s averaged 426 total yards per game to just 302 yards of offense. With two touchdowns going against the special teams unit, Villanova’s defense only gave up 23 points. They held JMU quarterback Ben Dinucci to 171 passing yards with an interception and a touchdown. The leading rusher for JMU also only ran for 62 yards. In a tough first half, where JMU controlled all aspects of the game, the Wildcats only trailed 16-0 due in large part to stops from their defense. The Wildcats were also put in a variety of tough situations defensively from both their special teams and offense units. However, for the most part, they were able to hold limit the JMU offense. The defense was most certainly not the problem today.  

The Bad – Offense

From the start of the game, the Villanova offense never seemed to click. With starting quarterback Zach Bednarczyk out again with an injury, sophomore quarterback Jack Schetelic was given his second consecutive start at quarterback. In the prior week against Maine, he struggled mightily going 12/25 with 95 passing yards and two interceptions in a 13-10 loss. Schetelic continued to struggle in this contest and was pulled from the game at the beginning of the second quarter for senior wide receiver and one-time quarterback Adeyemi DaSilva. This substitution did not seem to make a difference as the ‘Cats continued to struggle to move the ball. Schetelic returned to play quarterback at the end of the game and finished 7/13 for 71 passing yards while DaSilva went 4/5 for 23 passing yards. On the ground, Aaron Forbes led the ‘Cats with 45 yards on 16 carries, averaging just 2.8 yards per carry. For the first time this season, the Villanova Wildcats were shut down on offense. Since Bednarczyk went down with an injury, the ‘Cats have lost back-to-back games and posted under 100 total passing yards in each contest. Villanova hopes to get Bednarczyk back in the next contest, as they continue to struggle offensively with his absence. 

The Ugly – Special Teams

It was a rough day for the Wildcats special teams unit, who continued to put the rest of the team in tough situations. 

It started when Villanova had downed JMU at their own 21, but the play was called back due to an illegal formation. Red shirt senior Jimmy Moreland blocked the next punt and the Dukes recovered it. Luckily, the Villanova defense held JMU on the next drive. 

Down 16-0 early in the third quarter, punter Nathan Fondacaro booted a perfect 51-yard punt to down the Dukes inside their own 10-yard line. Yet again, another illegal formation was called on VU, and they were forced to re-kick. On the second punt, D’Angelo Amos returned it 89 yards for a touchdown to give JMU a 23-0 lead. 

To make matters worse, Amos did it again. This time, returning the punt for an 81-yard touchdown to give JMU a dominant 30-0 lead. 

It was an inexcusable effort from the Villanova special teams unit, who had two illegal formations take away good punts and turn them into a block and touchdown.  

With six players out today for the Wildcats, including captains Zach Bednarczyk and Jeff Steeb, it was clear that their presence was missed in a contest against one of the top teams in the FCS.  

With this loss, the Wildcats fall to 3-4 and 0-4 in CAA play. The Wildcats have a bye week coming up and will enjoy getting a quick break from the game in the meantime.  

“We have a bye week next week, so hopefully we’ll heal up, not only physically but mentally, and we’ll come back and get ready to go to work,” head coach Mark Ferrante said. 

Villanova returns to action on October 27th, in a home contest against New Hampshire at Villanova Stadium. Kick-off is set for 2 pm, and the game will mark Villanova’s Homecoming weekend.