Villanova Football To Host Bucknell for Family Weekend

Billy Vinci

Villanova football suffered its first loss of the new season, 45-35, at the hands of  Towson Saturday. The Wildcats will attempt to bounce back this week as they remain at home to take on Bucknell.  

Bucknell has struggled thus far this season and is 0-3. The Bison fell to Villanova’s fellow CAA member William & Mary, 14-7, in their season opener, before losing to Sacred Heart, 30-14. Last week, Bucknell lost to the University of Pennsylvania, 34-17. The Bison are led by head coach Joe Susan, who is in his ninth season with the team.

Junior John Chiarolanzio starts at quarterback for the Bison. Through three games, the New Jersey native has gone 39-70 (55.7%) through the air for 247 total yards. Chiarolanzio has not thrown a touchdown pass yet this season, but he has thrown three interceptions. There is a chance the Wildcats do not face Chiarolanzio, however, but could see sophomore Logan Bitikofer lead the offense. Bitikofer replaced Chiarolanzio during the Penn game and threw for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman running back Jared Cooper is the Bison’s biggest offensive weapon. The West Chester, PA native has averaged 5.5 yards per carry and 7.8 yards per reception through the first three games of his college career.   

The Bucknell defense has struggled through the first three games, letting up an average of 340 yards of offense per game. Cornerback Bryan Marine is one of the leaders of the Bison defense. The senior has caught two interceptions, has two pass breakups and is second on the team with 25 tackles. The front seven for the Bison has been able to get pressure on the opposing quarterback, as six different players have picked up a sack this season. 

This is the first time the Wildcats will face off against the Bison since 2005, but the 26th time in the school’s history. Villanova leads the all-time series 12-11-2. Despite coming off a rough first loss, the Wildcats are in a good position to rebound on their home field.