Courtesy of Richmond Athletics
- No. 14 Richmond limited No. 5 Villanova to just 55 total yards in the second half, and had two shots at making it a one-score game, but the Wildcats led 21-0 at the half and beat the Spiders 28-7 Saturday at Villanova Stadium.
A touchdown run by Kendall Gaskins capped a six-play, 58-yard drive with 3:26 left in the third quarter and trimmed to the Villanova (6-2, 4-1) lead to 21-7. The Spiders (4-4, 2-3) forced the Wildcats to three-and-outs on their next two possessions, but Richmond had both drives stall in enemy territory.
The Spiders, who have been in QB turmoil since the loss of starter Aaron Corp to a season-ending knee injury four weeks ago and back-up John Laub still out (wrist), saw true freshman Montel White start for the third-straight week Saturday. White, though, missed the second half after injuring his eye in the first half and punter Nick Hicks was called into action for the second time this season.
Hicks kept Richmond's scoring drive alive by executing a perfectly-designed fake punt and hitting CB Tremayne Graham for 32 yards down the sidelines on fourth-and-three at midfield. He followed that with an 18-yard strike to TE Kevin Finney before Gaskins carried the final yard for the TD.
Hicks finished the day eight-of-17 passing for 117 yards and an interception. White was three-of-eight for 51 yards and an interception in the first half. Tre Gray reeled in five catches for 62 yards.
The Spiders saw two early chances to jump on Villanova fall through their hands, literally. Brandon Scott had an interception go through his hands on Villanova's first play of the game. On their second drive, LB Eric McBride was not able to hold an interception, which could have been returned for a touchdown.
Not capitalizing on those two plays, Richmond not scoring after having the ball first-and-goal at the one and the elusiveness of Villanova QB Chris Whitney were the difference.
Whitney, who escaped Richmond tacklers all afternoon, racked up 116 yards rushing on 11 carries and scored on a 45-yard run to put the Wildcats on the board with 5:46 left in the first quarter.
After Villanova seized a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter, White marched the Spiders downfield, hitting Gray for completions of 20 and 12 yards, before Kevin Grayson hauled in a 19-yard pass down the near sideline. That gave Richmond a first-and-10 at the 11.
A run by Tyler Kirchoff gave the Spiders first-and-goal at the 1. Gaskins was then stopped twice, and on third-and-goal White had Gaskins open in the end zone but couldn't complete the play-action pass. Kirchoff lost his footing on the fourth-down play and the Spiders turned it over on downs.
White was intercepted on Richmond's next drive, and Villanova scored three plays later to make it 21-0.
Villanova, which won its 15th-straight home game, increased its lead in the all-time series with Richmond to 21-9 and has won three-straight.
The Spiders return home next Saturday to start a two-game stand at Robins Stadium. Saturday's game versus James Madison in the Farm Bureau Insurance Fall Classic kicks off at 3:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.