A win over a ranked team paid off for Villanova in the national polls this week.
The Wildcats are up to No. 16 in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25, rising from 25th. They enter the FCS Coaches Poll at 23rd after receiving votes last week.
Villanova handled Rhode Island on Saturday, 35-9. URI had entered ranked 17th in the Stats Perform Poll and 18th by the coaches. The Rams (2-2) dropped out of the latter poll and sit 24th in the former this week.
Villanova put the shackles on the Rams at a rainy Villanova Stadium, holding them to 60 rushing yards on 28 carries and 241 yards of total offense while the Wildcats racked up 459. Connor Watkins ran for 113 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries. TD Ayo-Durojaiye added seven carries for 103 yards and a score, and DeeWil Barlee (Episcopal Academy All-Delco) rushed 16 times for 49 yards and a TD.
The Wildcats’ win came in the first of eight straight games against CAA opposition to complete the regular season. Next is a trip to Albany on Saturday (3:30 p.m.). The Great Danes (2-2) received votes in the Stats Perform Poll this week.
Villanova visits North Carolina A&T on Oct. 7 before entertaining Elon on Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. in Radnor.
The CAA is well represented in the Top 25 polls. William & Mary (No. 5 in Stats Perform/No. 4 in Coaches), Delaware (11/12) and New Hampshire (14/17) are included.
Villanova visits New Hampshire on Nov. 4 and travels to Delaware Nov. 18 in the finale. It doesn’t play William & Mary this season.
Source: Berkshire mont