Villanova gets clawed up 34-0 by New Hampshire Wildcats
New Hampshire deals Villanova its fourth straight loss.
With a bye week coinciding with a fall break for the school, Villanova coach Mark Ferrante gave his players some days off and told them to get off campus and not think about the team's recent struggles.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, when they returned to campus, the woes were still there waiting for them.
Villanova gave up a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage against New Hampshire and then things really got bad.
New Hampshire hit Villanova much harder than the nor'easter did.
The Wildcats from New England got two touchdown runs from red-shirt freshman Carlos Washington Jr. and dealt the Wildcats from the Main Line their fourth straight loss with a 34-0 thumping Saturday at Villanova Stadium.
"I guess all I'll say after that one is I thought that after a bye week and getting some of our guys back, we would come out and perform a little better than what we did today," Ferrante said. "Obviously, we'll look at the films to make the corrections but it looks like fundamentally we just weren't on point.
"We obviously did not execute well enough and they just outplayed us, hence the score."
Washington, who was listed third on the depth chart for New Hampshire (2-6, 1-4 in Colonial Athletic Association), got the start and burst up the middle and ran 75 yards in 12 seconds on the first snap.
He also had a 16-yard touchdown run and rushed for 179 yards on 17 carries, which was more than the 118 yards he had totaled on 43 attempts in the first seven games.
"Coach was preaching all week, fast start, fast start," Washington said. "I knew we were going to start the game with a run play so I just wanted to give all I had. I saw an opening and just took off, it gave my team the spark we needed."
New Hampshire quarterback Trevor Knight, the preseason choice of Colonial Athletic Association offensive player of the year who has missed most of the season with an injury, didn't hurt Nova through the air but he did have touchdown runs of 11 and 7 yards.
The nightmare run for Villanova (3-5, 0-5) continues.
The Wildcats have now been outscored 71-0 in their last two games. Nova has not scored a point since the third quarter of the game against Maine on Oct. 6 – a span of nine quarters.
Nova was looking for the return from injury of quarterback Zach Bednarczyk to bring a spark back to its struggling offense.
Bednarczyk, who had been out since bruising his throwing shoulder against Stoney Brook on Sept. 29, started but simply was not the same player who was ranked as one of the top quarterbacks in FCS through the first 4½ games.
Bednarczyk completed 13-of -19 passes for 103 yards. Coming in, he had averaged 13.6 yards per completion and had completions of 90, 65, 62, 54 and 50 yards. Bednarczyk longest completion against New Hampshire went for 18 yards.
True freshman Qadir Ismail replaced Bednarczyk, who got reinjured. In his first action of the season, Ismail completed 3-of-12 passes for 48 yards and was sacked three times.
Because of new NCAA rules, Ismail can play up to four games and still be redshirted for this season so there was no harm in playing the son of former NFL receiver Qadry Ismail.
With the loss, Villanova is all but officially eliminated for consideration for the FCS playoffs. The Wildcats can still have a winning season, but will have to run the table against Richmond, William & Mary and Delaware.
For that to even be a possibility, the Nova first has to find a way to score again.