VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Monmouth's defense rose to the occasion in the final three minutes Saturday, stopping Villanova on downs as the Hawks held on to win 20-9 in the teams' first meeting ever.
Villanova (0-3) had pulled within four points, 13-9, after tackling punter Ryan Mohr in the end zone for a safety and took possession on their own 46 with 2:54 left to play. After forcing Villanova to punt, a 44-yard touchdown run by Balial Sloan El with 1:12 to play sealed the win for Monmouth.
Monmouth (1-1) had gone ahead 13-7 on Eric Spillane's second of two field goals with 11:34 left in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks passed effectively, and receiver Mitchell Pollard made seven catches for 118 yards, both career highs. They also dominated in the red zone, scoring on all three of their trips.
Hawks' quarterback Kyle Frazier threw for one touchdown and 220 yards.