Here are my thoughts:
- Villanova is coming off a much needed bye week in which they were able to rest some players who were hurt including starters Marquis Kirkland and Brian Brannigan and second string running back Angelo Babbaro. Richmond demolished CAA minnow Towson last week to continue their winning ways. It is imperative that The 'Cats do not come out flat on Saturday because they are playing a team that at the vey least is their equal.
- In order to win, Villanova must establish a running game against a stout Richmond defense. Villanova is leading the CAA in rushing offense but Richmond is second in the league in rushing defense so something must give. I expect the coaching staff to attempt to run out of multiple formations and run the ball with as many different players as possible.
- Chris Whitney has been outstanding this season both running and passing the football. Through eight games he only has two interceptions (one was a desperation heave) and he is leading the team in rushing. He has to be on his game again this saturday because Richmond's defense is the real deal. He also needs to be kept off his ass which means he has to get rid of the ball in a hurry and the offensive line needs to protect him.
- On defense Terrence Thomas, Tim Kukucka and company need to make Richmond Quarterback Eric Ward feel uncomfortable like they did in last year's victory on the Main Line. If he doesn't have time to throw, it takes pressure off the secondary and makes it easier to stop Richmond Running Back Justin Forte who is the CAA's leader in Rushing.