Thursday, September 1, 2011

Time to Neutralize The Waste- Villanova-Temple Preview

Earlier this offseason, I set out on a mission to use Google as a tool to express my dissatisfaction for Temple's habit of spending more money than I believe they should on athletics. Thanks to some (unsolicited) help from friends such as, Temple's official athletics website is the second unique result when you search for Pennsylvania Government Waste on Google. I would like to call my efforts success, but they are still very much a work in progress. 

Well, now it's time to move on to the more important issues at hand. It's a new season, a new Villanova team, and there should be new expectations. Unfortunately for this team is going to be burdened by similar lofty expectations as their predecessors. They can either play up to those expectations, or they can fall flat and play terribly. I know it's cliche to say this, but how they perform is strictly contingent on how quickly a freshman quarterback and a young offensive line can get into sync. With a young team, the only expectation one should have for this season is for the team to be inconsistent. I don't know if a preseason top 15 ranking is fair to this team, but if things go the right way early, it's possible.

As For Temple? Frankly, I'm not sold on them. Temple lost all but one of their defensive playmakers from last season, lost the coach that brought the program back from the brink and decided to replace him with a guy who wasn't very popular among the fans at his previous post based on his play calling alone. As for the makeup of their team? They have an unsettled quarterback situation, a starting running back who is made out of glass and a defense that lost two early NFL draft picks. Temple could very well win the MAC East, but Villanova could probably challenge for that title most years without the advantage of having 85 scholarships.

What to Look For: 
  1. Offensive Line Play: When a player like Ben Ijalana graduates, reshuffling is inevitable, but when Chidozie Ekweozor, his presumptive replacement blew out his knee in spring, "implosion" is probably a better word for the situation than reshuffling. Expect to see no fewer than two true freshmen starting on the offensive line  today.
  2. Dustin Thomas: With a patchwork offensive line, quick decision making is vital for offensive success. Dustin Thomas must make decisions as if he's a senior. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be excited to see a new quarterback, because it hasn't happened in a while.
  3. Wide Receivers: Since senior Norman White will not be playing tonight, and may not play all season, pray to God that the receivers look halfway decent. Also, blame the turf at Villanova stadium because everyone has been getting injured since that shit was installed. Look for players like Joe Price and true freshman Clay Horne to contribute at White's split end position.
  4. The Heisman Trophy: Bernard Pierce is a legit contender according to this website.
  5. Trickery: I fear I've said to much, but chicanery has always been a staple of the Andy Talley gameplan.
Have a good time at the game people.

TV (Video):
Radio: 950 AM – ESPN Radio/97.5 FM (Villanova) 1210AM WPHT (Temple Feed)

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