Villanova vs. Towson Recap | #13 Wildcats improve to 8-2 led by Watkins and Pringle
Written by David Szczepanski on November 12, 2023
On Saturday afternoon, the Villanova Wildcats honored their senior players and their fans with a blowout win against Towson in the regular season home finale. #13 Villanova defeated Towson, 33-10, led by Connor Watkins and Rayjuon Pringle.
Villanova QB, Connor Watkins, was 15 for 25 with 299 passing yards and three touchdowns. Watkins had a majority of those passing yards in the first half before Villanova heavily utilized their running game in the second half.
Pringle’s Great Day
Rayjuon Pringle was the true star of the game for the Wildcats. Pringle constantly beat Towson defenders on his routes and ended the afternoon with five receptions for 180 yards. Watkins and Pringle connected for two touchdowns, including a 79-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Cats’ Rushing Attack
Prior to the game, it was expected that the Wildcats would take advantage of the struggling Towson run defense that averaged 190 rushing yards against this season. Villanova rushed for 255 yards on Saturday with most of those yards in the second half. Jalen Jackson led the Wildcats with 14 carries and 85 yards. TD Ayo-Durojaiye scored his fifth rushing touchdown in his last four games. Freshman Ja’briel Mace played most of the fourth quarter. He ended with 13 carries for 76 rushing yards. Mace provided a spark to Villanova’s offense on their last drive of the game but could not get into the end zone.
Towson’s Offensive Struggles
The Wildcats defense held the Tigers to just 68 total yards in the first half. Towson ended with 211 total yards of offense: 158 rushing yards and 53 passing yards.
Towson’s rushing attack was led by Chris Watkins and Devin Matthews. Watkins struggled for much of the first half, but after a solid second half and 75-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter, he finished with six carries for 90 yards. Devin Matthews rushed nine times for 52 yards on Saturday afternoon.
Tigers’ QB, Nathan Kent, never found a rhythm for the passing game. Kent was just 10 for 21 with only 53 yards. Towson did not have a passing touchdown. Carter Runyon was the most effective Tigers’ receiver with four receptions for 34 yards. Daniel Thompson IV was the only other receiver with more than ten yards. He finished with two receptions in four targets for 16 yards.
Strong First Half
The Wildcats had another dominant first half of football. Villanova scored 24 of their 33 points in the first thirty minutes of play. The Cats ended their scoring with a safety on Towson after a bad snap at the one-yard line.
Villanova’s Penalty Problems against Towson
Villanova struggled with penalties on Saturday against Towson. The Wildcats took a four-game winning streak into this game, and they played very clean games in victory prior to this game. They had 11 penalties for 77 yards. To beat Delaware, Villanova must play a cleaner game next weekend. The bye week could have also played a factor in the penalties, especially some of the false starts in the first quarter against Villanova.
In the second half, Villanova offensive lineman, Michael Corbi, was carted off the field with an injury.
Overall Standings + WXVU Goes to Delaware
Overall, the Wildcats have improved to 8-2 and 6-1 in CAA play. They have extended their winning streak to five games. Villanova remains tied for first place in the CAA. Villanova plays Delaware this Saturday at 1pm. WXVU will have live coverage beginning at 12:30pm with the pregame show followed by kickoff at 1pm from the University of Delaware.
Steve and I will break down this game vs. Towson and have an extended Delaware preview this Thursday on “Villanova Sports Talk.”