"It's been difficult to get in a rhythm," Monangai said this week after practice as the Wildcats prepared for Saturday's 5 p.m. game at Villanova Stadium against Penn. "But the coaches' game plan thus far has worked, and we continue to do what we need to as an offense."
Of course, he's always ready for a heavier workload.
"When the carries come, I feel I am ready to take advantage of them and have the big games I was used to having last year."
A major reason for the reduced carries has been the return of sophomore Jamal Abdur-Rahman, the La Salle High product who redshirted last season. Abdur-Rahman has carried the ball 21 times for 154 yards and a score.
And of course there is quarterback John Robertson, who is a major threat running the ball. Robertson has 43 carries for 241 yards (5.6 average) and three touchdowns.
In addition, Austin Medley of Delsea has 12 carries for 90 yards.
"If you look last year, John Robertson and Kevin did a lot of the work, but now Jamal is back, and Austin Medley had a 57-yarder, and we have other talent on the team," said Villanova coach Andy Talley, who is going for his 200th career win at the school. "Kevin is a hard runner, a tough runner, and he will be able to stay healthy and not get beat up."
So games such as last year's at Maine, when Monanagi carried the ball 30 times for 192 yards and two touchdowns, likely won't happen.
"He's probably not going to get 15-18 carries a game unless there is something soft in the defense and he is hot," Talley said. "It's nothing against Kevin, but we have other guys who can do it."
Villanova is 1-2 coming off Saturday's 35-6 win over Stony Brook in its opening CAA game. Monangai rushed seven times for 24 yards and scored on a 5-yard run.
"It's been a little bit frustrating, but I am here for the betterment of the team," he said about the lighter workload. "I am here for us to get our overall goal, which is a national championship, and for us to do that we need to win games. And whatever gets the 'W,' I am happy with."
Monangai says a plus to the lighter load is that his body doesn't feel beaten up.
"I can definitely last longer, and when we make that long playoff run, we will need everybody as healthy as possible," he said. "So I am glad my body feels as well as it does and will be ready to contribute in whatever way I'm needed."