| @Towson_FB - Villanova Preview
Courtesy: Mat Schlissel, TowsonTigers.com  
Release: 10/25/2012
Last year, Towson completed one of the great turnaround seasons in the FCS history, going from 1-10 in 2010 to 9-3 in 2011. The Villanova Wildcats are on their way to a strong season of their own, as they finished 2-9 (1-7 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)) in 2011 and are headed into Saturday's matchup with Towson at 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the CAA.
The #19 Wildcats, coached by Andy Talley (196-118-1) will host #23 Towson (3-4, 2-2) at Villanova Stadium from Villanova, Pa. in a very important CAA matchup. The game will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet at 3:30 p.m. Fans can listen to live audio on TowsonTigers.com.
Last season, Villanova was beset by injuries and inexperience. The Wildcats lead the series against Towson, 5-3, though the Tigers won at home last year, 31-10. That win was Towson's first against a ranked opponent since 2007 and broke a 14-game conference losing streak.
The Wildcats opened 2012 with a 41-10 loss at Temple, followed by a 28-13 home win over Fordham. On Sept. 15, they dominated Rhode Island, 31-10 and then defeated local rival Penn, 24-8, on the road. On Sept. 29, Villanova went up to New England and beat Maine, 35-14.
Villanova's only CAA loss took place on Oct. 6 at home when Richmond took home a 28-17 win. But the Wildcats bounced back in a big way, upsetting #3 Old Dominion on the road, 35-14. Last week, the Wildcats routed Georgia State in Atlanta, 49-24.
Villanova averages 29 points per game, allowing just 19 ppg. The Wildcats average 269.1 rushing yards per game and 435.2 yards per game overall. They also take care of the ball, turning it over just eight times this season (two fumbles) and forcing 11 turnovers in eight games.
On defense, Villanova ranks 19th nationally in FCS and leads the CAA in sacks with 21. VU allows 137.2 yards per game on the ground and 199.9 in the air.
Redshirt freshman quarterback John Robertson (6-1, 210) leads the offense. Robertson has thrown for 1,280 yards (eight TD, five INT) while completing 59 percent of his passes. Robertson also is an outstanding runner in the multiple spread formation. He is second on the team in rushing with 714 yards and also has nine touchdowns, averaging 6.2 yards per carry.
Sophomore Kevin Monangai (5-8, 200) leads the team in rushing with 791 yards, averaging 5.8 yards per carry with nine touchdowns. Sophomore Austin Medley (5-11, 195) adds speed and shiftiness, rushing for 293 yards and one touchdown.
At receiver, senior Norman White (6-4, 220) is considered one of the top receivers in FCS and was named second-team preseason All-American by The Sports Network. White leads the Wildcats with 30 catches for 415 yards and five TDs. Junior WR Joe Price (6-3, 200) gives the 'Cats another big receiver who can go vertical. He is second on the team with 19 catches for 391 yards (20.6 ypc) and two scores. Last year, he caught five passes for 46 yards against the Tigers.
Villanova also has a valuable tight end in sophomore Earnest Pettway, who has 12 catches for 107 yards and one score.
The offensive line is young but talented anchored by junior RG Josh Bucci (6-6, 330).
On defense, the 'Cats run a 3-3-5 scheme, and it's been very successful this season. Up front, junior nose guard Antoine Lewis (6-2, 290) anchors the run defense. Lewis is fourth on the team in tackles with 35, adding eight tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks living up to his billing as a preseason first-team All-CAA selection.
Junior DE Rakim Cox (6-4, 265) is the team's best pass rusher and leads the Wildcats with 5.5 sacks and also has four pass breakups.
At linebacker, senior Devon Bridges (6-0, 250) ranks third on the team in tackles with 46, leads them with 10.5 tackles for loss and is second in sacks with 4.5.
The secondary is led by two very good safeties in sophomore Joe Sarnese (6-0, 200) and senior Ronnie Akins (6-1, 205). Akins leads the team in tackles with 54, adding an interception. Sarnese is second on the team in tackles with 48 and two interceptions.
Senior cornerback Eric Loper (5-11, 190) is an experienced player who leads the team with three interceptions and 11 pass breakups.
On special teams, Sarnese averages 27.1 yards per kick return and sophomore Poppy Livers averages 13.1 yards per punt return. Junior Mark Hamilton handles both the punting and kicking duties. He averages 41.2 yards per punt and has made 5-of-7 field goals including a long of 41.

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