Sorry for there being such a time gap between the preview articles. With moving into my house, located right across the street from the field house at Holy Cross, getting settled, and seeing friends, I have been very busy and preoccupied lately. Fortunately, when classes begin this Wednesday, I will get into a a good routine. With that being said, here is the offensive line preview.
There is an old adage in football that games are "won and lost in the trenches." Anybody who follows Holy Cross football closely is aware of the impressive skilled players who receive virtually all of the credit for the successes of the team. The offensive line, on the contrary, are often referred to as "the big uglies." Can a football game be won without a successful offensive line? A receiver may be able to get away with taking a play off, but an offensive lineman, not so much. Although graduation hit the offensive line hard, the depth at all the positions on the line should make for a seamless transition. Mike McCabe and Mike Bernazzani are back, but Aaron Jones, Chris Smith, and Chris Poole are all gone.
With the season opener against Howard just days away, Coach Gilmore has posted the two-deep on the football page of goholycross.com. The left side of the line will remain the same as McCabe stays at left tackle, and Bernazzani at left guard. From center over to right tackle, however, will be entirely different. Sean Whited (center), Scott Wise (right guard), and Kyle Pedretty (right tackle) will look to protect recently named starting quarterback Ryan Taggart throughout the year.
It is hard for me to provide any substantial analysis to the big guys up front simply because I do not know much about their techniques, tendencies, and the strategies that offensive line coach Jeremy Bandy implements. What I do know, however, is that the overall quickness of the line will be excellent. While the Crusaders may have had the biggest offensive line last year in the program's history, they will be smaller from a size perspective, but very agile. By all accounts, Holy Cross will be running the ball more often this year, and having an offensive line that can move, pull successfully, and provide solid blocks to Eddie Houghton, Matt Bellomo, and Sam Auffant (Auffant is now listed as the starting back according to the depth chart).
Kevin Doyle '11