Benavides, who has missed significant time this fall with a foot injury, was expected to be the anchor of an offensive front that is breaking in four new starters. With Benavides out of commission, Borbely has been forced to re-shuffled his troops.
Kamran Joyer, a sophomore who was slated to start at guard, has moved to center to replace Benavides. True freshman John Miller has moved up to take Joyer's spot at guard. That re-shuffling has created a few headaches for the Cardinals veteran line coach this month, like nine false start penalties in Saturday's scrimmage.
"It's going pretty well," Joyed told InsideTheVille.com of his transition from guard to center. "I've never played center but I'm picking it up pretty fast. I think I'll be able to step into (Mario's) shoes and do pretty good until he comes back. I'm not expecting to do this too long, just until Mario comes back."
Perhaps the biggest challenge for Joyer has been getting his shotgun snaps on target to the quarterback. Will Stein told InsideTheVille.com Monday that Joyer's snaps miss left and right, making it difficult for the quarterback to find his rhythm. Joyer's been working overtime trying to iron his snapping issues out before the season-opener against Murray State.
"The biggest challenge is getting the snaps down, getting the shotgun snaps back to him so he can function," said Joyer. "I've been working on that before practice getting used to snapping it back there."
Borbely is also trying to find a solution to eliminate the false start penalties that plagued the offensive line during Saturday's scrimmage. Stein said the line has made progress this week in that department.
"We've switched up the snap count so it's easier on the center," Joyer said. "Sometimes the defensive movement would cause me to snap it (when I shouldn't have). I've been working on that, too."
Despite the absence of Benavides, Joyer said the offensive line is developing solid cohesion and performed better during the scrimmage portion of Tuesday's practice.
"We scrimmaged and everything went well," Joyer said. "I think we're really getting tight and playing well together. We have good togetherness."