Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What Villanova is Really Missing This Season: Push

People will try to point to the absence of Chris Whitney and Matt Szczur to explain away the inadequacy of the Villanova offense this season, but I don't think it's that simple. I think they're missing push more than anything. Push is not referring to motivation, and it is making no suggestion as to the motivation of this team, what it is suggesting is that their has been a glaring weakness in the run-blocking of the offensive line, something that has been a strength of this team since the second half of the 2007 season.

As I was watching former Villanova offensive tackle Ben Ijalana (@TheBiggerBen) make his first extended appearance for the Indianapolis Colts, I realized that very few FCS teams can replace an NFL player without accepting a BCS transfer as his replacement, and not many schools are going to let a good enough offensive lineman transfer, so such a hole is even more difficult to plug. The graduation of Ijalana and his roommate, left guard Brant Clouser along with the devastating preseason injury of incumbent starter Chidozie Ekweozor put Villanova in such a crunch on the offensive line that it was unreasonable to expect anything better than mediocrity from this season's offensive line.

In football it's nearly impossible to win without adequate offensive line play, and with Villanova's losses at that position, it's easy to see why Villanova isn't winning.

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