Daniel Smith threw a go-ahead 57-yard touchdown pass to Rayjoun Pringle with 2 minutes, 54 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Cole Bunce kicked three field goals, and No. 11 Villanova upset No. 3 James Madison, 28-27, on Saturday.
The win is the first in Harrisonburg, Va., for the Wildcats (4-1, 2-0 Colonial Athletic Association) since 2009.
The victory snapped a number of active streaks that the Dukes carried into the game.
James Madison (4-1, 2-1) entered the game having won 15 straight games against CAA teams (including the playoffs) and had won 14 consecutive regular-season conference games. The Dukes had also won their last 19 games at home, including the last 12 by 14 or more points.
From a statistical standpoint, James Madison had outgained 21 straight opponents before Villanova finished Saturday’s game with an edge of 388-339 in yards of total offense.
Smith was 16-of-26 for 258 yards and a touchdown to go along with rushing for 35 yards and another score.
Running back Justin Covington ran for 86 yards and a score. Pringle finished the day with eight catches for 132 yards and a TD, his third career 100-yard receiving game and second in as many games.
Linebacker Forrest Rhyne had a monster game with a career-high 20 tackles, which could be a school record.
The last Wildcats player to even approach 20 tackles in a game was Brian Hulea, who had 19 stops during the 2003 and 2005 seasons. Immediate research following the game was unclear whether or not 20 tackles is a school record. Two other players also reached double-figure tackles: linebackers Qwahsin Townsel and Mike Ruane each had 11.