Unlike the FBS, which schedules years in advance, the FCS typically schedules much later. The Villanova football schedule for 2017 was released last week and it already looks like a large task. Villanova finished the 2016 season ranked 13th in the FCS Rankings. Here is a copy of the 2017 Villanova football schedule.
|9/02/17||@ #18 Lehigh|
|10/14/17||@ #1 James Madison|
|11/04/17||vs #8 Richmond|
|11/11/17||@ Rhode Island|
Villanova Football Releases Schedule
First-year head coach Mark Ferrante will have his work put out for him in the very first few weeks of the season. Villanova begins the year on the road against No. 18 Lehigh, who they barely escaped with a late touchdown to win 26-21. The Wildcats will then travel to face Temple in their first meeting since 2012. After getting their FBS opponent out of the way, the Wildcats still have one more non-conference opponent before they face eight conference teams in nine weeks. During conference play, Villanova will have to travel to face the 2016 FCS Champion James Madison Dukes and host the No. 8 Richmond Spiders. Overall, it will not be as easy as the 2016 schedule was, which will make Ferrante’s transition even that much harder in his first season.
Early Road Games may hurt Villanova
One of the hardest things about Villanova’s schedule is how top-heavy it is. The Wildcats will travel in four of the first five weeks, including Lehigh and Temple in the first two weeks. This may result in a slow start for the Wildcats which could make players lose confidence in the first-year coach. Even after a slow start, it may not get much better for Villanova. While they host four of the next six games, they have to travel to face the reigning champions and host Richmond. After losing NFL caliber players in Tanoh Kpassagnon and Austin Calitro, Villanova may very easily be in danger of a losing season if the defense doesn’t gain momentum.
Villanova is coming off of a strong 9-4 season in Andy Talley’s final season at Villanova. However, after some key losses on defense and multiple road games early on, the Wildcats may be in danger of falling hard in 2017. Mark Ferrante will need to make sure his team is mentally ready for a very difficult season if he wants to avoid Villanova’s first losing season since 2011.