Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Is This Year's Defense Better Than it Was in 2009?

Following his team's 43-7 thrashing at the hands of Villanova, Towson head coach Rob Ambrose opined that he thought that this year's Villanova defense was better than the defense that helped carry The Wildcats to a national championship.  Making a convincing argument that this team's defense is better than last year's is a tough sell after only three games and only one against a CAA opponent, but I'll entertain the idea anyway. 

Reasons this defense could be better:
  1. Through two games against FCS opponents, VU is allowing only 23 rushing yards per game (when you include the Temple game, that number jumps to 56 yards per game.)
  2. Players like Rakim Cox, Antoine Lewis, Mario Johnson, Thomas Weaver, Keelan Malone, and Donald Davis have solidified what is arguably the biggest, deepest, and most athletic defensive line Villanova has seen in years despite injuries.
  3. Projected starter at defensive end Tamai Young still hasn't seen any action in a game.  This is big, because Young can play either end or nose tackle. 
  4. Pass defense, perennially an issue since Villanova instituted the 3-3-5 defense has been a strength, with corners Eric Loper and James Pitts playing very well for the most part. 
  5. Villanova has given up only one touchdown in two games against FCS opponents.
  6. Terence Thomas and Marquis Kirkland have matured as players and emerged as dominant defensive players in the run game along with rushing the passer.
Reasons there is no way
  1. The losses of Tim Kukucka and Phil Matusz along with the season ending injury of Marlon Johnson will be felt in due time.  One could argue that you simply can't replace experience players like that on the defensive line.
  2. This year's pass rush doesn't seem to have the upside that it did last year.
  3. The team has yet to play an above average FCS team this year. 
  4. Injuries are starting to pile up, and one injury in any position could have catastrophic effects on the team.  
  5. It's only September, and last season's defense progressed and became better down the stretch.

4 comments:

  1. Andy Talley stated in the post game interview that the depth of the Defensive line remains his biggest concern. He has utmost confidence in his Starters but worries about the season wearing down his limited depth.

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  2. this blog has begun to fail on fulfilling its promise of "lots of dick jokes," highly disappointing

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  3. Yeah bout that.. I tried to do so, but my dad started to read the blog so I had to step back

    ReplyDelete