Villanova vs. Elon Recap | Wildcats rush for 440 yards
Written by David Szczepanski on October 16, 2023
Villanova’s running game excels to defeat CAA’s best, Elon, 21-0, on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Villanova Stadium. At kickoff, the temperature was 50 degrees with rain showers and 15 mph wind gusts. Coach Ferrante and Villanova completely focused their gameplan on running the football. The Wildcats combined for 440 rushing yards led by freshman Isaiah Ragland with 126 yards. Ragland played most of the first and fourth quarters of this game. Ragland has played in three games this season, but he reached double digit carries for the first time in his collegiate career. Wildcats’ QB, Connor Watkins, also succeeded in the rushing attack with 13 carries for 125 yards. Jalen Jackson had 17 carries for 83 yards and TD Ayo-Durojaiye scored all three touchdowns in this game for Villanova. According to Villanova Football’s Twitter, the Wildcats rushed for over 400 yards in a game for the first time since 2009 against Northeastern.
In terms of Villanova’s passing game, Connor Watkins was just 3-10 for 36 yards and one interception. Antonio Johnson led the Wildcats in receptions with two for 32 yards. Jaaron Hayek also registered a reception in the game for four yards. The Wildcats fumbled the football three times, but only lost possession on one of those plays on a turnover by Jalen Jackson.
Brendan Bell and the Wildcats’ defense
In addition to the running game’s tremendous day, the Wildcats’ defense looked phenomenal and shut out the Elon offense. It was the first time that Elon has been shut out this season and it was the first time that the Phoenix scored less than 14 points in a game this season. Brendan Bell led the Wildcats defense with numerous key defensive stops, including stopping star Phoenix’ RB, Jalen Hampton. Hampton was held to ten carries for just 19 yards. Elon’s running game had just 53 yards over 25 carries for an average of 2.1 yards per carry.
Elon’s Game Stats
The Phoenix used two quarterbacks on this rainy Saturday. Elon did not start QB Matthew Downing, who received most of the playing time at QB this season. Justin Allen was 4-11 with 40 yards for Elon at quarterback. Elon also used Will Lankford at quarterback on multiple snaps. Lankford ran seven times for 16 yards and threw the football just two times, including one completion for six yards. Elon’s offense was limited to 99 total yards. The Wildcats played a complete game of football. They started off the game with two rushing touchdowns and added to their lead in the third quarter.
CAA Standings + Villanova vs. Stony Brook Info
With their win on Saturday, Villanova is now 5-2 overall and 3-1 in CAA play. They are tied for second place in the CAA with Richmond and Elon. Delaware leads the CAA with a 3-0 record after their win against North Carolina A&T. With a bye week this weekend, Villanova now prepares for their matchup against Stony Brook next Saturday at Villanova Stadium. WXVU will have coverage of the game beginning with pregame coverage at 1:30pm. Kickoff is scheduled for 2pm.