Villanova vs. North Carolina A&T Preview
Written by David Szczepanski on October 7, 2023
After a difficult loss last week against Albany, Villanova attempts to get back on track with a win against North Carolina A&T.
It was no secret that the Villanova offense really struggled last week. Connor Watkins threw for 198 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted twice. The Wildcats also fumbled the ball six times and lost the football on three of those six plays. The rushing attack was also limited by Albany’s defense as Villanova combined for their lowest number of rushing yards in a contest this season with 71 yards. The Wildcats will try to put last week’s game in the rear-view mirror, and the good news for Villanova is that North Carolina A&T is off to a 1-3 start this season.
North Carolina A&T
Through their first three games of the season, the Aggies finished 0-3 and only scored 8.3 points per game. However, North Carolina A&T scored 28 points in their last contest against 2-3 Norfolk State to win their first game of the season, 28-26. In that win against Norfolk State, North Carolina A&T heavily depended on their running game. The Aggies combined for 275 rushing yards led by Kenji Christian (15 carries-118 yards). Aggies’ QB, Kevin White, completed six of his ten passes for only 98 yards, but carried the ball 11 times for 115 total yards. White, a freshman for North Carolina A&T, started in his first collegiate game last Saturday. In terms of defense, North Carolina A&T has allowed at least 26 points against all four of their opponents this season and has allowed 30 points or more in two of those games. This will also be North Carolina’s second home game of the season and its first since Saturday, September 9th.
Keys to the Game for Villanova
Villanova will have to take care of the football by limiting turnovers this week to defeat North Carolina A&T. The Wildcats will need QB, Connor Watkins, to have a more effective passing game. When Watkins struggles passing the football, the Villanova running game loses its effectiveness and explosiveness. Villanova ran the ball 29 times last Saturday, but 12 of those carries were by Watkins. DeeWil Barlee had 71 yards, but just nine carries. Watkins will probably look more to WR, Jaaron Hayek, in today’s contest. Hayek had six receptions last week, but Albany did an excellent job of limiting Hayek to just 35 yards. In addition to taking care of the football, the Wildcats also need to play a much better second half of football. After keeping it close at halftime last week, the Wildcats did not score in the second half and Villanova’s defense allowed 14 points in the 4th quarter.
Info about Today’s Game
Today’s game will begin at 4pm at Truist Stadium in Greensboro, NC. The Wildcats look to improve to 4-2 on the season. At 3-2, Villanova currently sits tied for 7th place in the CAA. They will face CAA conference leader, Elon, next week at Villanova Stadium. WXVU will have complete coverage of Villanova vs. Elon next Saturday beginning at 12:30pm with kickoff at 1pm.