Thursday, November 3, 2011

Searching for a silver lining in this season for Villanova

When a team has one win through eight games, it's very difficult to find things that are encouraging, but this Villanova team is just young enough that it's possible to find things to be positive about, especially because we knew headed into the season that this would be a rebuilding year. There are obviously things to be concerned about, like the uncertain future at the quarterback position, but there are many things that can be looked at as positives, especially if the team finishes the season strong.

Three things to be excited about: 
  1. Young tailbacks- Villanova's leading rusher this season in yards, yards per carry and touchdowns has been redshirt freshman Austin Medley, who is averaging a very impressive 5.6 yards yards per carry. True freshman Jamal Abdur-Rahman, who has mostly been playing wide receiver the past few games has the second highest yards per carry average on the team.
  2. The young linebackers- The last time that two true freshman got as much playing time as Dillon Lucas and Joey Harmon have, it was 2007, when Terence Thomas and Marquis Kirkland were pressed into action early in the season, and went on to be perhaps the greatest linebacker tandem in school history.
  3. General youth- Of the players listed as starters for the game against UMass this weekend, only James Pitts is graduating, which means that 21 starters will return, not including Norman White and Chidozie Ekweozor, who were both expected to be starters, but suffered injuries prior to the season.
Obviously this is a lost season, but I can't honestly say that any of the young players who have been thrown into the fire have performed poorly. Everyone knew that this was a rebuilding year, and it hasn't gone to plan, but you can't expect to replace the production of the All-Americans that Villanova lost.

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