Villanova Hosts LIU With Postseason Looming

HIGHLIGHTS: Richmond vs Villanova

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Villanova’s best start in 16 years preceded a difficult and injury-plagued three-game losing streak. But after rallying in the fourth quarter for a hard-fought win in Week 11 against Richmond, the Wildcats have an opportunity to build a new streak just in time for the postseason.


Who: Long Island (0-8) at No. 13 Villanova (7-3) 

When: Friday, Nov. 15, 7 p.m. ET 

Where: Villanova Stadium; Villanova, Pennsylvania

Watch: LIVE on FloFootball


'Nova's regular-season slate winds down with an out-of-conference matchup ahead of Rivalry Week’s Battle for the Blue. Villanova hosts an opponent that, just a season ago, did not exist. 

OK, that’s not entirely true. The current Long Island Sharks were the LIU Post Pioneers in Division II. The program was merged into the LIU Brooklyn athletic department, joining the former Blackbirds teams in the Div. I Northeast Conference. 

The Sharks’ historic, transitional season underscores the challenges of Div. I. A year ago, LIU Post was preparing for the Div. II Playoffs. This year, Long Island heads into its final two games seeking its first-ever Div. I win. 

Getting Started With Defense

Long Island’s biggest challenge in its first Div. I season has come on offense. The Sharks average just 10 points per game, playing primarily NEC counterparts. A run game that averages just 1.7 yards per carry should find it difficult establishing much of anything against a linebacker corps with Drew Wiley and Forrest Rhyne. 

Struggles in the run game lend to longer down-and-distance on third-down situations -- and at a 33.39 conversion rate, Long Island’s is the worst such rate of any offense Villanova has seen this season. 

If Villanova can get Long Island off the field early into possessions from the outset, Friday can be a short night for the starters. That’s a good thing for a team with a rivalry game and playoffs ahead, and a thin roster that’s been grinding through the Colonial Athletic Association schedule much of the year. 

Stay Out Of The Backfield

Although Long Island has had its struggles getting into the win column, the Sharks have gotten into opposing backfields effectively. In particular, the duo of Ramshar Clarke and Abel Joseph combine for 21 tackles for loss. With 62 team tackles for loss in eight games, Long Island ranks in the top 20 of the FCS. 

Conversely, the Villanova offensive line has done an excellent job stopping penetration despite seeing some of the best pass-rushers in college football. Last week, the Wildcats limited Richmond’s dynamic duo of Kobie Turner and Maurice Jackson to just 0.5 TFL each. 

In that important win for its postseason outlook, Villanova also rushed for 5.8 yards per carry. That’s the best rushing performance the Wildcats have had since losing Justin Covington to injury. With DeeWil Barlee and dual-threat quarterback Dan Smith both exceeding 100 yards, and TD Ayo-Durojaiye making it three primary ball-carriers around or above six yards per carry, Villanova looks poised to pop some big runs against a solid defense. 

Early Big Plays

After games against Stony Brook and Richmond went down to the wire, some breathing room for the Wildcats would be beneficial ahead of the playoffs. In addition to the defense shutting down Long Island early, look for Villanova’s offense to come out firing straight out of the gate. 

Smith’s primary target, Changa Hodge, is one of the most dangerous big-play receivers in the CAA. A quick turnaround from a change-of-possession into a quick strike for a score could be just what Villanova needs to get the ball rolling on Friday night -- much like it did in a rout of Maine earlier this season.   

Big Tens Opts For Conference-Only Football Schedule This Fall

The Big Ten Conference announced on Thursday that it if the league is able to participate in fall sports, it will move to conference-only schedules in those sports.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Towson's Rob Ambrose Continues To Lead By Example Throughout Pandemic

Stare Into The 'Soul' Of Towson Football

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Social media too often is an outlet for negativity in sports – but also has the capacity for good. Towson head coach Rob Ambrose knows both sides of these communicative platforms. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Shane Simpson Looking Strong In Recovery

During the third game of the 2019 season against Maine, Towson standout running back Shane Simpson suffered a season-ending knee injury. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

We Stand With You

The events of the last week have been tremendously painful to us all.

CAA Has 21 Players Recognized On HERO Sports Preseason FCS All-America Team

CAA Football had 21 players from nine different teams recognized on the 2020 HERO Sports Preseason FCS All-America team that was released on Thursday afternoon.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

5 CAA Teams Ranked In HERO Sports Preseason FCS Top 25 Poll

Five CAA Football teams were ranked in the HERO Sports FCS Preseason Top 25 poll that was released on Wednesday, which was tied for the most teams of any conference.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

The Iowa Way: NFL Pro Bowler Kreiter Talks Wrestling, Ferentz & Much More

Casey Kreiter might just be the perfect emblem for FloSports.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Youth Sports Leaders Form PLAY Sports Coalition

PLAY Sports Coalition Press Release

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

CAA Draft Roundup: Ron'Dell Carter, Aaron Parker Among UFAs To Sign

The football world may never again experience an NFL draft like the 2020 edition. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

URI's Coulter, JMU's DiNucci Selected In The 2020 NFL Draft

A pair of CAA Football players were selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, marking the 15th consecutive year that the conference has had multiple players chosen.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In