VILLANOVA, Pa. (CBS) – It’s been rough sledding so far in 2011 for the Villanova Wildcats.

Last week’s 47-17 loss to New Hampshire dropped them to 1-5 on the season, and it doesn’t get any easier on Saturday as the Wildcats travel to Harrisonburg, Va. to battle #13 James Madison.

A positive for the Wildcats, however, is starting quarterback redshirt freshman Dustin Thomas, who hasn’t played since suffering a separated left (non-throwing) shoulder in a loss to Towson back on September 10th.  He is set to return to action against the Dukes, according to Wildcats head coach Andy Talley.

“So we feel like we really have a chance to be competitive with our starting quarterback back, and more importantly (we want) to get him four or five weeks of experience as we finish up the season,” Talley told KYW Newsradio.

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Thomas is 21 for 38 throwing the football this season, for 193 yards.  He has thrown three interceptions, and has yet to throw a touchdown.   Thomas has also rushed for 68 yards and a score.

James Madison is 4-2 on the season, 2-1 in the CAA, and Talley says they pose a challenge.

“JMU is a speed team — they always have been.  They have a lot of terrific, outstanding skill players.  And they run the football as well as anybody in the country.”

The Dukes average 241 yards per game on the ground.

Kickoff is set for 1:30pm on Saturday.

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060

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