August 31, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Villanova Wildcats wide receiver Norman White (8) has pass broken up by Temple Owls defensive back Anthony Robey (47) and defensive back Vaughn Carraway (14) in the corner of the end zone in the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
Villanova's running game makes heavy use of a one-two punch of Austin Medley and Kevin Monangai lining up in the backfield along with quarterback John Robertson. On Saturday, Robertson and Monangai may have to do it without Medley's assistance, as he has been designated as "questionable" by head coach Andy Talley on a Monday conference call.
Star receiver Norman White will also be questionable going into the contest with the University of Pennsylvania, and was scheduled to undergo an MRI on his shoulder. He was banged up a bit during last weekend's home game against Rhode Island, but told reporters after the game that he would be fine. The MRI may only be precautionary in that event, but we may not know for sure until the weekend, whether he will be cleared to play.
White had seven receptions for 88 yards on Saturday and scored a receiving touchdown the week prior, against Fordham. He is a big, athletic target who has helped the Wildcats keep defenses honest despite not having a high-powered passing game.
Medley was injured for stretches of last season and sat out his true freshman year with a back injury. He is a redshirt sophomore this season.
If Medley cannot go on Saturday, Monangai would likely get most of the carries that are left over. Freshman Aaron Wells might also be able to see some action as a runner as well, though he is a smaller back than Medley. Wells would potentially be utilized as a third-down running back because his strong pass-catching ability and speed offer some versatility.
If White cannot play on Saturday, freshman wideout Mike Burke will likely start opposite Joe Price. Both players are tall, tough receivers with good hands. The 'Cats would lose a little ability to stretch a defense down field, but both should offer the same excellent blocking for the running game as well as serving as big targets in the passing game.
Sophomore Dustin Thomas had been listed as White's backup at one point, but he was not listed on last week's two-deep chart and his name has been removed from the team's online roster. Villanova has confirmed that Thomas has decided to leave the program and will transfer to another school at the end of the fall semester.