Villanova/Elon Post-Game Notes
Oct. 28, 2017
- Villanova falls to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in conference play with its second straight loss. The outcome snapped a three-game home winning streak and is only the 13th loss in the last 52 on-campus home games over the last nine seasons.
- Prior to today’s loss, the Wildcats had won their past three Homecoming Weekend games. Villanova is now 34-19 all-time in Homecoming Weekend contests. In addition, the Wildcats had won 13 of their previous 16 games when coming off a bye week.
- Villanova is in the midst of the most difficult part of its schedule. This is the second straight game that the Wildcats have played a top-10 opponent, and Villanova is slated to play another contest versus a ranked team next week when it faces Richmond.
- Freshman quarterback Kyle McCloskey became the Wildcats first true freshman in six years to start under center. He played turnover-free football in his first collegiate start, going 9-of-20 through the air for 137 yards and two touchdowns in addition to rushing for a team-high 65 yards on 19 carries.
- Junior running back Aaron Forbes had the best receiving day of his career with five receptions for 74 yards, including a 42-yard catch for a touchdown in the first quarter. The number of receptions and his total receiving yards are both new career highs.
- Senior cornerback Trey Johnson registered his second interception of the season and the fourth of his career, while sophomore Dage Davis had his first career interception in the game. The two forced turnovers put Villanova back in the plus column in turnover margin for the season. In eight games, the Wildcats have forced 17 turnovers while committing 15 themselves (plus-two margin).
- Villanova has scored 10 touchdowns that came as a direct result of the 17 turnovers it has forced this season. Those 10 scores include three defensive touchdowns and seven offensive scores that came on the ensuring Wildcats possession after the defense forced a turnover. After the interception by Davis in the first quarter of today’s game, Villanova scored the first points of the contest two plays later on Forbes’ long touchdown reception.
- Senior safety Rasaan Stewart and junior linebacker Jeff Steeb tied for the game high with 11 tackles apiece. It is the first time in his career that Stewart has reached double digits in tackles, while Steeb had 10+ total stops for the second time this season and the third time in his career.
- The streak of nine straight games in which the Wildcats defense held the opposition to fewer than 100 rushing yards came to an end, as Elon ran for 117 yards on 36 carries. Villanova had given up fewer than 100 yards on the ground in every previous game this season, as well as in two playoff games last year. Entering the game, the Wildcats led all of FCS in rushing defense with an average of 49.3 yards allowed per game.
- Senior punter John Hinchen had another strong game and averaged 45.9 yards on seven punts. He amassed 321 total punting yards, and in his last two games has punted 15 times for a total of 692 yards. Five of the 15 attempts have traveled longer than 50 yards. Hinchen began the day ranked 10th in the nation in punting average for the season.
- Redshirt freshman Nowoola Awopetu, a backup defensive back, returned kicks for the first time in his collegiate career and had two kickoff returns for 97 yards. His 65-yard return in the fourth quarter was the longest kick return by a Villanova player since an 85-yard return by Joe Sarnese against Fordham in 2012.