PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In college football this Saturday, Villanova (6-2) will be on the road, visiting Rhode Island.

The headlines the last couple of years for the defending 1-AA or FCS National Champion Wildcats have been grabbed by the likes of quarterback Chris Whitney and “All-Everything” wide receiver Matt Szczur.  But very quietly, senior tailback Aaron Ball has proven to be a vital piston in the Villanova engine.

 College Football: Nova Tailback Aaron Ball Keeps Doing His PartThe Los Angeles native has run for 489 yards this season while averaging five yards per carry.  He talks about what the Wildcats are trying to do when they have the football:

“Yeah, you know, our goal is to keep running the ball, pound the ball, pound the ball. Our coach says, ‘We’re gonna break ’em!’  We are trying to break their will, we want to impose our will on the defense, so we try to go out there and run every play — every pass play, every run play — as hard as we can to try and break the defense.  And in the fourth quarter, hopefully they crumble.”

Not just a great player, Ball has also emerged as a leader on a veteran team:

“My role is to bring excitement.  I don’t want our team to come out flat.  So I try and make plays and bring the excitement to kind of rally the guys, rally the defense, the special teams, offense, and get everybody on the same page.”

Hear the Entire Aaron Ball Interview in this CBS Philly SportsPod…

Villanova head coach Andy Talley lights up when talking about Ball.

“Most unselfish player we have on our football team. He really is tremendous,” Talley said.

Ball has rushed for 2,611 yards in his Villanova career. That is the second highest total in Wildcat history — behind only former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook.

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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