PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Villanova Wildcats will play their home opener on Saturday night as they welcome the Lafayette Leopards to the Main Line.
The Wildcats are 1-1 on the season after stepping up a level and losing a tough battle to Temple last Saturday at the Linc, 16-13. Villanova was down 13-0 late in the third quarter, but the Wildcats roared back to tie the game at 13, before Temple put together a late drive to kick what proved to be the winning field goal.
“Our guys didn’t give up,” Villanova head coach Mark Ferrante tells KYW Newsradio. “They kept competing all the way through, had that real good comeback to tie it up with 3 1/2 minutes to play. I just feel that we came out there thinking that we could hang with them physically. Our guys kept being very persistent and resilient and even though we got down by 13, they didn’t fold the tent. Just kept coming after it. So, real pleased with the effort, the enthusiasm and the tenacity that our team left on the field.”
Villanova quarterback Zack Bednarczyk had a big game in the loss to the Owls. The junior finished 27 of 41 throwing the football for a career high 382 yards and a touchdown. He did not throw an interception.
Ferrante is looking forward to his team playing its first game of the season at Villanova Stadium.
“It’s going to be Family Weekend, so that’s always a great crowd,” he says. “It’s an evening game so our guys, for whatever reason, you’re playing under the lights that’s just a little added hype to it if you will.”
Lafayette will bring an 0-2 record into this game. The Leopards lost on the road to Monmouth to open the season, 31-12. Last week, Lafayette fell to Sacred Heart, 38-24.
“Coach [John] Garrett is the new head coach,” Ferrante says. “He’s starting a freshman quarterback (Sean O’Malley). I’ve noticed on the depth chart, at least the one we received from them, I think they could have as many as nine starters back on defense. But I think he has two of those guys that started last year in back-up positions right now. So he’s probably still trying to put his team together and figure out the positions and what he’s going to do with his personnel.”
O’Malley has thrown five touchdown passes so far this season but the Leopards haven’t been able to compliment him with a running game. Lafayette has a total of just 39 yards on the ground after two games.
Last season, Villanova beat Lafayette up in Easton, 31-14.
Saturday’s game gets underway at 6:00pm.