Oct. 16, 2010
ORONO, Maine--Senior quarterback Chris Whitney (Warminster, Pa.) passed for over 300 yards for the first time in his career and No. 6 Villanova (4-2, 2-1 CAA) came out of its bye week with a 48-18 win over Maine (2-5, 1-3 CAA) at Alfond Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Whitney threw for three touchdowns and ran for two others as the Wildcats won for the fifth straight year in their first game following a bye.
On the first Villanova possession of the game, Whitney led a 97-yard drive which he finished off on the 12th play with a one-yard scoring run. Later in the first quarter, Whitney hit senior running back Angelo Babbaro (Canfield, Ohio) for a 63-yard touchdown reception to put the Wildcats ahead 14-0.
The two early scores set the tone and Villanova stretched the margin to 27-3 at halftime and 34-11 by the end of the third quarter. When all was said and done, Whitney wound up going 20-of-25 through the air for a career-high 322 yards and three touchdowns, while running nine times for 37 yards and two scores. He had a knack for the big play as well, making the long touchdown pass to Babbaro and later topping that with a 73-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Dorian Wells (West Covina, Calif.) for another score.
As a team, the Wildcats racked up 559 yards of total offense, did not turn the ball over and turned three turnovers by the Black Bears into 21 points. Villanova held the ball for more than 33 minutes, including more than 19 minutes in the second half to thwart any chances of a long-shot comeback attempt by Maine.
Wells had seven receptions for a career-high 111 yards and junior wide receiver Norman White (Hammonton, N.J.) caught six passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. Those two, plus Babbaro and sophomore wide receiver Mikey Reynolds (Moorestown, N.J.) each had a touchdown reception in the game. White closed out the first half with an 18-yard catch for a score and Reynolds caught a 14-yard pass from junior quarterback Christian Culicerto (Charlotte, N.C.) in the fourth quarter.
Even with its best passing game of the season, the Villanova ground game didn't miss a beat. Senior running back Aaron Ball (Los Angeles, Calif.) ran 14 times for 61 yards and five different players gained at least 23 yards rushing. Babbaro had five carries for 48 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter.
On the other side of the ball, the Wildcats defense put extreme pressure on quarterback Warren Smith of the Black Bears, forcing him into an interception and a fumble. Smith completed 18-of-31 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown.
Senior safety John Dempsey (Secane, Pa.) had a team-high eight tackles for Villanova, while senior defensive lineman Thomas Weaver (Irvington, N.J.) had four stops and a forced fumble. Senior linebacker Terence Thomas (Plainsboro, N.J.) and sophomore linebacker Devon Bridges (Upper Marlboro, Md.) each tallied a fumble recovery.
Homecoming Weekend is now on tap for the Wildcats, who will host James Madison next Saturday at 3:30 p.m.