Villanova is only two games into its football season, but coach Andy Talley can be excused if he feels it’s already been interminable.
The young Wildcats (0-2) suffered another blow to their offense with the loss of quarterback Dustin Thomas for four to six weeks with a third-degree separation of his left, nonthrowing shoulder.
Thomas, a redshirt freshman from Ventnor, N.J., who starred at St. Augustine Prep, suffered the injury after finishing a 10-yard run in the third quarter of Saturday’s 31-10 loss at Towson. Thomas will be replaced by Chris Polony, a 6-foot-3 true freshman who will take his first snap Saturday when ’Nova plays its home opener against Monmouth.
“We’re going from one kid who barely started shaving to another who doesn’t shave at all,” Talley said Wednesday. “But we’re excited about Chris. He gave Dustin a run for his money during the preseason, and we’re high on him. He’s poised, has a good arm, and he’s smart. We just have to spend some time to get him ready.”
Talley had planned on redshirting Polony, who is from Whitehall High School. The only other option is Christian Culicerto, a senior walk-on who filled in for Thomas after he was injured.
The Wildcats’ recent run of hard luck began during the preseason, when senior receiver Norman White was lost for the season because of a Lisfranc fracture. White was ’Nova’s top receiver last season. His replacement, Joe Price, suffered two fractured ribs and a punctured lung against Towson and is out indefinitely. Price is a sophomore from Malvern Prep.
“It’s been a rough start to the season,” Talley said. “But when you’ve been in the game 44 years, you’re going to have your ups and downs.”