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Stony Brook at Villanova at a glance

Following the bye week, Villanova looks to rebound from its first loss of the season, at James Madison.

Villanova receiver Zac Kerxton (82) is taken down by Maine defensive Joshua Huffman on Sept. 28, 2019.
Villanova receiver Zac Kerxton (82) is taken down by Maine defensive Joshua Huffman on Sept. 28, 2019.Read moreLOU RABITO / Staff

Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Villanova Stadium

TV/radio: FloFootball; ESPN-AM (610)

Records: Villanova 6-1 overall, 3-1 Colonial Athletic Association, Stony Brook 4-3, 1-2 Colonial Athletic Association

Coaches: Villanova, Mark Ferrante (16-13, third season); Stony Brook, Chuck Priore (career 127-78, Stony Brook 88-69, 14th season)

Last meeting: Sep. 29, 2018, Stony Brook, 29-27

Series: Stony Brook leads, 2-1

Things to watch

All signs point to this week’s offense going through quarterback Daniel Smith. Villanova has won on the ground this season, ranking third in the Colonial with an average of 182.5 rushing yards per game. But after losing leading running back Justin Covington for the year to an ACL injury, the Wildcats have an uncertain backfield rotation set to face a Stony Brook defense that ranks third in the conference in run defense, holding opponents to an average of 127.6 yards per game. Expect Smith to look for junior Changa Hodge, who had two touchdowns in Villanova’s loss at James Madison, and freshman Jaaron Hayek in the air. The pair lead the team in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns.

Stony Brook’s three-headed ground attack of Ty Son Lawton, Isaiah White and Seba Nekhet, each of whom have more than 375 rushing yards, ranks second in the Colonial with 235.3 yards per game (James Madison leads with 236.6). Running the ball, especially with dual-threat quarterback Tyquell Fields, who has the fourth-most rushing yards on the team, has been a successful formula. But Villanova ranks second in the Colonial in run defense and last in pass defense. Teams have beaten the Wildcats in the air, so Fields, who is 77-of-151 for 1,436 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions on the season, will have to take shots for the Seawolves to win on the road.