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WSU’s O-Line continues to shine

On the radar of a national award.

NCAA Football: Oregon at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

After losing star tackle Joe Dahl to graduation last year there was speculation that WSU’s offensive line would take a step backward this year. Instead it has continued its year by year improvement under coach Clay McGuire. Left tackle Andre Dillard and Guard Cody O’Connell have been the surprise stars of the line, consistently showing up in weekly national rankings by Pro Football Focus. With the improvement shown by these two combined with mainstay returnees Cole Madison, Riley Sorenson and Eduardo Middleton, the line has become a force to be reckoned with.

Saturday’s 42-10 win over Stanford may have the line’s apex. The Cougars took it to a physical Stanford defense and dominated just as they had the week before against a lesser Oregon defense. Overall for the season, the running game is averaging 5 yards a carry and the pass blocking stats are really impressive as the Cougars rank 11th nationally in pass blocking efficiency according to PFF.

The national media is beginning to take notice. The unit made the mid-season honor roll for the Joe Moore award which honors the best O-Line unit in country. This award is named after the late Joe Moore, one of the great offensive line coaches in college football history who coached at Notre Dame and Pitt. No group of players works more as a unit than the offensive line so this was a great idea to honor them that way. WSU joined 16 other teams on the honor roll and will wait and see if they are named as finalists in November.

Clay McGuire has done a great job building this line and I think we will be treated to some excellent  play in the years to come. Nothing better than watching a team with a great offensive line, as Seattle Seahawk fans will remember from the Mike Holmgren era. It makes the offense run like a smooth machine. Can’t wait to see how they fare against UCLA on Saturday.

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