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Early surprises in CAA square off

Villanova, PA (Sports Network) - Villanova and Richmond meet on Saturday for the 31st time in a series which dates back to 1955.

This year's contest has a little more interest because each team has taken a big step in what was thought to be a rebuilding season. Through the season's first five games, Villanova has exceeded and Richmond matched its win total from last year.

After an early 0-1 start, Villanova has won four straight games and has a chance to remain perfect in CAA play, having already defeated Rhode Island and Maine. Coach Andy Talley's squad, which was 2-9 last season, has had success thanks to its conference-leading run game.

Three Wildcats are in the top 10 in rushing in the CAA, led by conference leader Kevin Monangai (102.8 ypg)

Under first-year head coach Danny Rocco, Richmond looks like a completely different team compared to last year's 3-8 squad which was winless in CAA play. The Spiders have opened the start with a 3-2 mark and quarterback John Laub has played very well in his first year as a true starter.

Richmond is 1-1 in the conference after a late rally last week came up short at Old Dominion.

Villanova has a 21-9 series advantage.

Saturday's game kicks off at 6 p.m. ET

10/05 05:03:13 ET