Towson found itself in the daunting position Saturday of scrambling to find healthy bodies against Colonial Athletic Association foe Villanova, which was charged after last week's victory over the then-No. 1 team in the Football Championship Subdivision.
The No. 3 Wildcats kept the momentum going by routing the Tigers, 49-7, before an announced 5,339 in the final home game at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
Towson is 2-8 overall and 1-6 in the conference heading into Saturday's regular-season finale at James Madison.
"I don't care how mismatched you are ever, quitting is not an option," first-year Towson coach Rob Ambrose said. "If you don't want to fight the fight, then you don't get to wear the jersey. I don't care if we are playing Alabama. If they're the guys dressed up on the other side of the line of scrimmage, then we're going to fight to the end. If not, then you are not playing football here. That's just the way it is."
Villanova has the league's top running attack, led by quarterback Chris Whitney, who averages 63.2 yards per game. The Wildcats (9-1, 5-1) gained 430 total yards, including 282 on the ground on 46 carries.
Whitney completed six of seven passes for 93 yards with two touchdowns before heading to the bench with a 28-0 lead and more than eight minutes left in the second quarter. Backup quarterback Antwon Young had 92 yards on five carries with an 82-yard touchdown.
One week after ending then-No. 1 Richmond's 17-game winning streak with a one-point victory, Villanova wasted little time pouncing on the Tigers. The Wildcats scored on all five of their first-half possessions. Towson struggled to move the ball and had just 17 yards on 15 carries, and trailed 35-0 at the break.
"We were coming off a very emotional game against Richmond, so I wasn't sure how much energy we would have," Villanova coach Andy Talley said. "We had enough energy today. We made some big plays. Towson comes after you a lot defensively."
The Tigers have been hampered by injuries all season. Ten offensive linemen have started at least one game. Starting quarterback Peter Athens suffered a season-ending knee injury against Delaware on Oct. 17. Backup Brian Potts, a redshirt freshman, completed 21 of 31 passes for 177 yards and an interception.
Villanova did not punt until 13:38 remained in the third quarter, and Dominic Scarnecchia kicked his first attempt 61 yards. Four minutes later, Young ran 82 yards - the longest rush of his career - to increase Villanova's lead to 42-0.
21 14 14 0-49
0 0 7 0- 7
First quarter Vill-Ball 8 run (Yako kick), 10:02. Vill-Whitney 13 pass from Szczur (Yako kick), 5:40. Vill-Reynolds 17 pass from Whitney (Yako kick), :26. Second quarter Vill-White 24 pass from Whitney (Yako kick), 12:25. Vill-Ball 4 run (Yako kick), 4:47. Third quarter Vill-A.Young 82 run (Yako kick), 9:22. Vill-Doss 13 run (Yako kick), 8:12. Tow-Dameron 1 run (Magas kick), 2:47. A-5,339.
First downs 22 15
Rushes-Yards 46-282 31-48
Passing 148 177
Cmp.-Att.-Int. 11-14-0 21-33-1
Return Yards 39 0
Punts-Avg. 2-50.0 7-32.0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-0
Penalties-Yds. 2-20 4-41
Time of poss. 28:43 31:17
Rushing-Villanova, A.Young 5-92, Szczur 4-44, Doss 10-41, Ball 8-34, Adeyemi 5-23, Whitney 4-21, Babbaro 3-8, C.Johnson 1-7, Wells 1-7, Canci 1-5, L.Jackson 1-3, Team 3-(minus 3). Towson, Dameron 19-40, Potts 10-7, T.Chroniger 2-1. Passing-Villanova, Whitney 6-7-0-93, A.Young 4-6-0-42, Szczur 1-1-0-13. Towson, Potts 21-31-1-177, Peterson 0-1-0-0, Team 0-1-0-0. Receiving-Villanova, White 2-42, Szczur 2-20, Harvey 1-18, Reynolds 1-17, Farmer 1-15, Whitney 1-13, Predatsch 1-12, Wells 1-9, Miles 1-2. Towson, Cegles 8-64, Ryan 4-31, Moore 4-27, Godlasky 2-31, Dameron 1-10, Tongu 1-9, Newsom 1-5.
TOWSON @JAMES MADISON
Saturday, 3 p.m.
Radio: 1570 AM