Villanova and Appalachian State aren't quite mirror images. But they're close.

Mountaineers coach Jerry Moore, with 226 victories, is ranked second on the Football Championship Subdivision career victory list for active coaches. Wildcats coach Andy Talley (215 wins) is fifth.

In addition, the teams boast electrifying playmakers in Appalachian State's DeAndre Presley and Villanova's Matt Szczur. And the winner of Saturday's much-anticipated matchup has a legitimate shot to win the national championship.

In a battle of FCS superpowers, the second-ranked Mountaineers (10-2) entertain the 10th-ranked Wildcats (8-4) in a noon contest at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone, N.C.

"We have a lot of respect for Coach Moore and his staff and the football players there," Talley said. "They come to play. We come to play."

Finally healthy, Villanova resembles the team that was picked in the preseason to win a second consecutive FCS title. Appalachian State has shown glimpses of the Mountaineer squad that won an unprecedented three consecutive titles in 2005, '06, and '07.

Like Villanova, Appalachian State utilizes the multiple spread offense. Unlike the Wildcats, the Mountaineers have Presley running it.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound junior quarterback is a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, which goes to the FCS player of the year.

"He is so fast," Talley said. "If you don't have him taken care of, he can run the field on you and have a field day."

A first-year full-time starter, after replacing two-time Payton award winner Armanti Edwards, Presley is the fourth player in FCS history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards.

The Southern Conference offensive player of the year completed 216 of 347 passes (62 percent) for 2,738 yards and 21 touchdowns to go with eight interceptions. He has compiled 1,444 yards and 21 touchdowns on 233 carries. The Mountaineers are averaging 35.2 points and 428.3 yards of total offense.

In Villanova, they'll face the nation's eighth-ranked scoring defense (17 points per game). The Wildcats are also ranked seventh in rushing yards allowed (98.4) and 14th in total yards allowed (306.1).

Offensively, Villanova will be led by Szczur, a senior wideout/Wildcat quarterback.

In his second game back after missing six games with a left high-ankle sprain, the 6-foot, 200-pounder caught a career-high 11 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed nine times for 68 yards.

But unlike last week, Szczur and company face an Appalachian State team that is 17-6 in home playoff games. Villanova, however, is just 1-6 in road playoff games.

Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 610-313-8029 or kpompey@phillynews. Follow him on Twitter @pompeysgridlock.