PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Villanova will return from a bye week on Saturday to host Elon in a Colonial Athletic Association match-up.
The Wildcats are 4-3 on the season (2-2 CAA) and head coach Mark Ferrante says they took advantage of having a week without a game.
“We had an opportunity to get some coaches on the road earlier in the week to do some recruiting last week,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “Then we had three practices which were shorter in nature, but very uptempo. So it was good to get some added reps, especially for some of the younger guys that we do have playing. We are going to get some of the [injured] guys back and hopefully the ones that have been playing, they feel a little more refreshed having done less during the course of the week and through the weekend.”
Prior to the bye, the Wildcats lost on the road to #1 James Madison 30-8 in a game that was much closer than the final score would indicate. It was 16-8 until the Dukes scored two late touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Jack Schetelich started that game at quarterback, but true freshman Kyle McCloskey took over the offense in the second half and led the Wildcats on their lone scoring drive.
“Kyle added a little bit of energy and added a spark to the offense,” Ferrante says. “So we’re going to give him the opportunity moving forward to get the start against Elon this week coming up.”
Elon is having an outstanding season. After going 2-9 in 2016, the Phoenix sit at 6-1 in 2017 and they are tied for 1st with James Madison with a 4-0 CAA mark.
“They are playing very consistently on both sides of the ball,” Ferrante says.
Amazingly, Elon’s largest margin of victory this season is just eight points (25-17 win over William and Mary).
“They played Rhode Island last week and it ended up 35-34,” Ferrante says. “Then earlier in the season they played Albany and it was a 6-0 game. They are just finding a way. The ball is bouncing their way, but you know what, I believe you’ll get those bounces when you’re playing well and playing hard and playing consistently.”
Last year, Villanova beat Elon 42-7 in North Carolina.
Saturday’s game at Villanova Stadium kicks off at 3:30pm.