Wildcats Fall to No. 8 West Virginia 48-21 in Season Opener
Aug. 30, 2008
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.--Against a nationally-ranked FBS opponent, Villanova (0-1) executed its game plan for much of the first half before succumbing to one of the most powerful offenses in the nation in a 48-21 defeat at the hands of No. 8 West Virginia (1-0) on Saturday afternoon before 60,566 at Milan Puskar Stadium. The Wildcats outgained the Mountaineers by a 399-354 edge in total offensive yards and won the battle of possession time in the game.
Junior Antwon Young threw for 218 yards and rushed for a touchdown and Villanova ran in all three of its scores on the afternoon. Sophomores Aaron Ball and Chris Whitney each rushed for a touchdown as well and the Wildcats finished with 133 net rushing yards.
Villanova ate up more than 11 minutes on the clock in the first quarter and held West Virginia off the scoreboard until there was just 2:04 left in the period. After the Wildcats drove to the Mountaineers 19-yard line, Young was sacked on third down for an initial loss of 15 yards. He fumbled on the play and Mortty Ivy recovered the ball and returned it 30 yards to the Villanova 24-yard line to set up a score.
In the second quarter, Young's three-yard touchdown run with 6:47 to play in the half capped a 12-play, 80-yard drive and pulled the Wildcats to within 14-7. However, Alric Arnett caught his second touchdown pass of the game just over two minutes later and Pat McAfee kicked a 52-yard field goal as time expired to make the score 24-7 at the half.
White threw for a career-high five touchdowns and 208 yards while rushing for 63 yards. Arnett caught four passes and Jock Sanders had eight receptions for 62 yards and a pair of scores. The Mountaineers did the rest of their work on defense, recording six sacks to cause a loss of 42 yards.
Young finished 17-of-33 and also had two interceptions, while Whitney was 4-of-4 for 48 yards to go along with a late one-yard touchdown run with two seconds left in the game. Villanova drove 78 yards on 15 plays for its final points of the contest.
On the defensive side of the ball, senior Darrel Young led the Wildcats with nine tackles and sophomore Ross Ventrone had eight stops. Sophomore Frederick Maldonado had six tackles and also picked off a pass.
Villanova will now have a bye week before returning to action in its home opener against Lehigh on September 13 at 1 p.m.
NOTES: The Wildcats played against an FBS opponent for the 13th time since the program was restored in 1985 ... Villanova is 2-11 in these games, with the wins coming against Rutgers (2002) and Temple (2003) ... Today's game marked the first of the 13 meetings in which the Wildcats faced a nationally-ranked opponent.