Villanova vs. New Hampshire Preview
Written by David Szczepanski on November 3, 2023
In the Battle of the Wildcats, Villanova travels to Durham, New Hampshire to battle New Hampshire in a CAA matchup on Saturday afternoon. Villanova comes into this game tied for third place in the CAA with a 4-1 record (6-2 overall) in conference play. However, due to Villanova’s loss to Albany, they are currently in fourth place, if the season ended today. New Hampshire has played a lot of close games this season, but heads into this game with just a 2-3 record in CAA play and 4-4 overall.
Max Brosmer’s Tremendous Play
New Hampshire is coming off an overtime loss to Rhode Island, 34-28, in a game where New Hampshire’s QB, Max Brosmer, threw for 456 yards. Brosmer, a junior from Roswell, Georgia, has been one of the best quarterbacks in the CAA this season. He has 2,690 passing yards with 23 touchdowns and two interceptions. Brosmer threw for 3,154 passing yards last season with 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Brosmer has five consecutive games with at least 300 passing yards and two touchdowns. He will run the ball at times, but his arm is tremendous and the big weapon for New Hampshire’s offense.
New Hampshire’s top receiver and running back is Dylan Laube. Laube has 130 carries for 536 yards and seven rushing touchdowns this season. He averages about four yards per carry. Laube also has 50 receptions for 603 yards and six receiving touchdowns. Laube is a dual threat and main target for Brosmer. WR Logan Tomlinson, a senior from Manchester, Connecticut, has 28 receptions for 401 yards and six touchdowns, including one last week against Rhode Island. Brosmer will also target WR DJ Linkins and TE Kyle Lepkowski, who both have over 25 receptions and 300 yards this season. New Hampshire has about six receivers that they will use frequently, including Laube.
New Hampshire’s Defensive Struggles
The main problem for New Hampshire this year has been their defense. In their last five games, this New Hampshire defense has averaged 32.4 points allowed. Although their offense is one of the best in the CAA, the defense for New Hampshire has struggled and let them down, especially in close games. New Hampshire lost to both CAA leader, Delaware, and Towson by four points or less in back-to-back weeks.
Villanova’s Keys to the Game
Villanova will have to take advantage of New Hampshire’s struggling defense as they did last week against Stony Brook. After struggling early, New Hampshire’s running defense has been better recently, but I would still expect Villanova to run the ball a lot, of course depending on the weather conditions in New Hampshire. The Villanova Wildcats have so many different running options, including Jalen Jackson and TD Ayo-Durojaiye. Jackson reached the 2,000-career rushing yard achievement last week and Ayo-Durojaiye has four rushing touchdowns in his last two games.
Connor Watkins threw for 361 yards last week, and I would expect him to target Jaaron Hayek again this week after Hayek had a great game against Stony Brook. Villanova has not played a close game yet this season, so they will have to be ready to potentially be locked in a close battle late for the first time. The Wildcats are the better team but having to travel to New Hampshire and possibly being in a close game late for the first time this season, could lead to some trouble for Villanova. However, I believe the Wildcats extend their winning streak to four games on Saturday against New Hampshire.
WXVU’S Live Coverage from New Hampshire
WXVU will have live coverage of tomorrow’s game from New Hampshire beginning at 12:30pm with the pregame show and followed by kickoff at 1pm.