COMPLETE COVERAGE OF SATURDAY'S HOMECOMING GAME AGAINST ELON
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VILLANOVA, Pa.--Fresh off a bye week, No. 13 Villanova (4-3, 2-2 CAA Football) will return home to host No. 10 Elon (6-1, 4-0 CAA Football) in a clash of nationally-ranked conference opponents presented by the Villanova School of Business on Saturday afternoon. It is Homecoming Weekend on campus and the Wildcats will be looking for their fourth straight victory in the annual Homecoming game. The contest will mark the first-ever visit by the Phoenix to Villanova Stadium.
Saturday's game will air live on Nova Nation All-Access with Varun Raghupathi and Steve Pinone on the call. The broadcast can be seen online at villanova.com with a College Sports Live subscription. The game will also air on the radio at 610 Sports WTEL-AM with Ryan Fannon and Kevin Reilly, and streaming audio of the broadcast can also be heard online. Tickets, parking and other related day of game information can be found at the top of this release.
In addition to Homecoming Weekend, the football game will also be the Wildcats annual Military Game and all active military and veterans will receive complimentary tickets to the game. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats early for a special pre-game march and ceremony honoring Villanova's service men and women. Other pregame activities include the Wildcat Walk which will take place at 1 p.m. The band, cheerleaders, dance team and twirlers will lead the football team through the A-2 parking lot on the way to their locker room in the Andrew J. Talley Athletic Center.
After playing seven straight weeks to open the 2017 season, including five times on the road, the Wildcats got a much needed breather last weekend. Villanova has won 13 of its last 16 games coming off a bye week and is also 34-18 all-time in Homecoming games. Regardless of the date, the Wildcats have also won 39 of their last 51 on-campus home games in the friendly Villanova Stadium confines.
This week marks the third time this season and the second straight game that Villanova will play in a Top 25 showdown. Since becoming an FCS member in 1985, the Wildcats are 17-11 at home against top-10 ranked foes, and the team will try to cool off an Elon squad which has won six straight games since a season-opening loss to FBS member Toledo.
Freshman quarterback Kyle McCloskey (Fort Washington, Pa.) is expected to make his first career start on Saturday afternoon. He played the second half at No. 1 James Madison two weeks ago in his first collegiate game action and led Villanova with 43 rushing yards on 16 carries in the game. He also completed 2-of-7 passes for 15 yards with a touchdown and an interception, with redshirt freshman tight end Todd Summers (Murrysville, Pa.) catching a four-yard touchdown pass.
The calling card for the Wildcats all season has been the team's defense, particularly against the run. Villanova leads the FCS and is one of just five teams at all levels of college football that are allowing fewer than 50 rushing yards per game this season. In their first seven contests, the Wildcats have limited their opponents to a total of just 345 rushing yards and averages of 49.3 yards per game and 1.7 yards per carry. Senior linebacker Ed Shockley (Millville, N.J.) has led the charge with the team's rushing defense, as 40 of his team-high 58 tackles on the season have come on rushing attempts.
Saturday's opponent, the Phoenix, has engineered an impressive turnaround from last season when they finished 2-9 and lost their final seven games. Freshman quarterback Davis Cheek is on the watch list for the Jerry Rice Award and has thrown for 1,193 yards with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions this season. Elon averages 24.0 points and 368.9 yards of total offense per game while giving up 25.6 points and 389.9 yards of total offense to the opposition. Villanova faced the Phoenix for the first time ever last year and tallied a 42-7 victory in North Carolina.