PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It will be a showdown of two Colonial Athletic Association powers on Saturday in Harrisonburg, Virginia as #11 Villanova visits the #1 team in FCS, James Madison.
The Wildcats improved to 4-2 (2-1 in the CAA) last weekend with a resounding 31-0 home win over Maine.
“I was really pleased with the performance that our guys put out on the field, in really all phases of the game,” Villanova head coach Mark Ferrante tells KYW Newsradio. “But the biggest effort came from our defense. If you are allowed to get six turnovers in your favor and only give up one, chances are you’re going to win that game.”
The Wildcats have lost quarterback Zach Bednarczyk for the season to a knee injury, so redshirt freshman Jack Schetelich made his first start in the win over Maine and threw a touchdown pass and also ran for a score.
“Jack is a cool customer,” Ferrante says. “He has great composure on the sideline. He doesn’t get too excited over the good stuff and he doesn’t seem to get too down over the bad stuff. He has a good grasp of the offense. He’s a redshirt freshman, he’s not a true freshman, so he’s learned the offense over the last year [while serving] in the back-up role, so he’s been in the meetings and learning as the back-up guy, not getting a ton of reps in practice prior to Zach’s injury, but now he’s getting all the reps.”
James Madison is not only #1 in the country but the Dukes are also the defending national champions in FCS. JMU is 5-0 (2-0 in the CAA). One of their wins came on the road against FBS East Carolina (34-14). They average 41.8 points per game.
“What makes their offense go, like most good offense, is the quarterback,” Ferrante says. “Bryan Schor, he’s won a national championship, he’s been there before.”
Schor has thrown 12 touchdown passes this season while completing 69% of his passes. He has also run for a couple of scores. The defense for JMU is allowing just 11.6 points a game.
“They are just an all-around good team and they’ve got it going in a great direction right now,” Ferrante says.
Last year, the Wildcats lost to JMU at Villanova Stadium, 20-7.
Saturday’s game will kickoff at 3:30pm.