After getting an overtime win over Towson last week, the Villanova Wildcats jumped up five spots in the latest FCS Coaches Poll. Next up is another Colonial Athletic Association challenge, with the No. 16 Maine Black Bears coming to town.
Maine has had a mixed bag of results this season, starting out 2-2. The Black Bears have wins over Colgate and Sacred Heart, but losses to FBS Georgia Southern and conference foe Towson.
The difference in the game could come down to the stars at the skill positions. Villanova running back Justin Covington leads all of FCS in rushing yards with 556 yards, while Maine wideout Earnest Edwards is coming off a week where he entered the end-zone three times.
Here’s everything you need to know about this week’s big FCS match-up.
Villanova vs. Maine: Preview, how to watch
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. EST | Live Stats
Where: Villanova Stadium in Villanova, Pennsylvania.
Watch: John Fanta and Steve Pinone have the call for FloSports.
Junior Justin Covington leads @NCAA_FCS with 5️⃣5️⃣6️⃣ rushing yards in the first four weeks of the season‼️ @jcov3_ rushed for over 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ yards in all 4 games this year. 👀#TapTheRock pic.twitter.com/mVfdKQzrcA— Villanova Football (@NovaFootball) September 24, 2019
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After four straight losses to Villanova, Maine beat the Wildcats last season, taking a 13-10 victory on Oct. 6, 2018 in Orono, Maine. For the win, Kenny Doak kicked a 52-yard field goal as time expired. Maine’s defense was strong, forcing a fumble and picking Villanova off twice. Jo Fitzpatrick rushed for 73 yards and the Black Bears lone touchdown.
FCS RANKINGS: The Top 25 polls for Week 5
|8/13||Rankings (STATS FCS/Coaches)||12/16|
|12||All-time series wins||10|
|5-6||2018 Record||10-4 (FCS semifinals)|
|12||FCS Playoff Appearances||8|
|1 (2009)||FCS National Championships||0|
|73rd (195.0)||Passing offense (yards per-game)||11th (326.0)|
|12th (255.8)||Rushing offense (yards per-game)||91st (105.8)|
|20th (19.8)||Defense (points allowed per-game)||48th (26.5)|
- Maine will be looking for its first road win over Villanova since 2013.
- Villanova has the best red-zone offense in the country, scoring on all 14 attempts with 12 touchdowns and two field goals.
- Maine senior Earnest Edwards was named STATS FCS Special Teams Player of the Week after he returned two kickoffs for scores last week. His 198 return yards were a school record.
- The Maine-Villanova series dates back to 1988.
- Maine has the second best passing offense in the CAA (326 ypg) while Villanova has the second-worst passing defense in the league, allowing 252 yards per-game.
- Maine quarterback Chris Ferguson is fourth in the nation in passing yards with 1,275 so far this season. That mark also leads the CAA.
- Villanova enters the game with the best scoring offense (42.2 ppg) and the second-best scoring defense (19.8 ppg) in the CAA.
- Maine’s passing defense ranks 11th in the country, allowing 152.8 yards per-game.
- Villanova quarterback Daniel Smith is second in FCS in passing touchdowns with 13.