Story and photo courtesy of Villanova Athletics
NORFOLK, Va. - Redshirt freshman quarterback John Robertson (Paramus, N.J.) turned in yet another incredible performance and Villanova (5-2, 3-1 CAA) ran amok against No. 3 Old Dominion (5-1, 2-1 CAA) and scored 38 unanswered points in a 38-14 rout at S.B. Ballard Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The running game was dominant again and the Wildcats held on to the ball for just short of 40 minutes while overthrowing the Monarchs, who were averaging over 56 points per game prior to today's contest.
Villanova stopped the vaunted Old Dominion offense by preventing them from gaining possession of the ball. Along the way to racking up more than 500 yards of total offense the Wildcats ran the ball 67 times and accumulated 376 rushing yards, with Robertson leading the way by producing one of the top rushing performances in program history. He ran for 189 yards, a school record for a quarterback, and also threw for 151 yards to finish the day with 340 yards of total offense. The first-year Villanova quarterback has now generated 765 yards of offense in the past two games.
The outcome of the game was not evident from the first three Monarchs drives in the first quarter. Old Dominion went distances of 88 and 80 yards, respectively, in less than two minutes on separate possessions and led the game 14-0 after scoring with 4:59 left in the opening period. Their next six drives resulted in five punts and a lost fumble and by that time - the end of the third quarter - the Wildcats were firmly in control with a 24-14 lead.
Robertson was joined in going over 100 yards on the ground by sophomore running back Kevin Monangai (Roseland, N.J.), who achieved the feat for the third time this season. Monangai carried the ball 26 times for 118 yards and a touchdown, while sophomore running back Austin Medley (Franklinville, N.J.) ran 12 times for another 53 yards.
With just 25 seconds left in the first quarter junior kicker Mark Hamilton (Gaithersburg, Md.) kicked a 26-yard field goal to get Villanova on the board. Five minutes into the second period Robertson threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Norman White (Hammonton, N.J.) and the Wildcats pulled to within 14-10 at halftime.
Robertson finished the day 10-of-18 through the air for 151 yards and White led the Wildcats receiving corps with three receptions for 85 yards and the one big score.
In the third and fourth periods Robertson had three separate touchdown runs to turn the tide for good. He scored on carries of 25 yards and 15 yards, respectively, less than three minutes apart in the third quarter and Villanova took the lead for the first time at 17-14 on his 25-yard run just 3:42 into the second half.
Monarchs quarterback Taylor Heinicke completed 16-of-32 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns. He hit Nick Mayers for a 17-yard touchdown less than two minutes into the contest and then connected on a 47-yard scoring strike to Kirk Spellman nine minutes later.
The defense for the Wildcats was only on the field for 20 minutes in the game and did their best to disrupt Old Dominion when they got the chance. Senior cornerback Eric Loper (Sicklerville, N.J.) had an interception and a fumble recovery while also breaking up two passes and Villanova recorded six tackles for loss and three sacks for the day.
Saturday afternoon's game was the first this season for the Wildcats against a nationally-ranked opponent and Villanova passed the test with flying colors. Next week the Wildcats go back on the road to face Georgia State on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.