Welcome to the first edition of a periodic question and answer series with a fan of a Villanova opponent. This week I interviewed Kristen, a University of Richmond sophomore majoring in International Relations and Leadership Studies. We discussed our schools, football, and mascots in preparation for Villanova’s Homecoming game against the Richmond Spiders tomorrow, which has big implications for CAA football:
Patrick: Villanova and Richmond seem to have a lot in common. Both won FCS Championships 6-7 years ago, together they are two of the smartest schools in the CAA, and both have been perennial football powers as of late. What else do you see in common between these two schools?
Kristen: Richmond and Villanova actually have quite a lot in common. They seem to attract a similar student looking for rigorous academics, small class sizes, and caring professors…and are most likely from New Jersey. Beyond that, both schools have small but thriving social scenes, with Greek life playing a role but not dominating, great sports teams, and a major city within driving distance. Not to mention the beautiful campuses!
P: St. Thomas of Villanova Church vs. Boatwright Library: who ya got?
K: I may be biased, but Richmond was ranked as the most beautiful liberal arts college in America this year…and the number of Instagram accounts dedicated solely to photos of our campus has to say something.
P: To say I was jealous that ESPN College GameDay came to a Richmond football game would be a vast understatement. What was your favorite part about that weekend?
K: My favorite part was the sign on GameDay that said “Daddy’s money can’t pay for wins here” The attention given to the FCS was also great.
P: Now for football. How do the Spiders plan to recover from the recent loss to UNH?
K: Relying on running back Jacobi Green to wear down the Villanova defense, if possible.
P: The headline match-up is undoubtedly Villanova’s defense, which has only allowed two touchdowns in the past four games, against Richmond’s offense, which is averaging 36 points a game this season. What will make the difference in this showdown and who wins it?
K: I think Villanova’s defense will be too strong for the Spiders. But the Spiders defense will be too strong for Villanova without your injured star quarterback. I predict a low scoring game that will come down to the last possession.
P: Which Spider makes the difference on Saturday?
K: Jacobi Green. Also shout-out to that kid DiAnthony who’s in my leadership studies class.
P: The implications of this game are sure to have profound effects on the CAA. Who wins on Saturday, and who wins the CAA next week?
K: I see Nova pulling off the upset in a tight game. But then Villanova beats JMU and Richmond beats W&M. Not sure who wins the league then because everyone would have 2 losses?
P: We’re both fans, so we can look beyond this game. What do you expect for the end-of-season rivalry game against William & Mary?
K: Never look past an opponent, even as a fan. Ever. And Richmond’s rival is not W&M, it is JMU, and the Spiders turned up for that game on national TV.
P: Any plans to adopt a better mascot than the spider?
K: The spider is here to stay, and we Richmond fans are happy for it! Apart from its uniqueness — we’re the only college or university in the world that cheers for the spiders — I’d argue that spiders are a lot more intimidating than cats. Besides, like 25% of colleges use “wildcat” as their mascot. How original. There’s even a name for fear of spiders – arachnophobia!
Thanks Kristen, and good luck to Richmond tomorrow. The game kicks off at 3:30pm at Villanova Stadium.