Washington State’s defensive line depth was questionable heading into this season. When Jonathan Lolohea left the team in mid-August, the depth became more worrisome. Then, Misiona Aiolupotea-Pei had some NCAA clearance issues that prevented him from playing in last week’s season opener at Wyoming.
Combine that with the fall camp absences of Nnamdi Oguayo and Derek Moore—Oguayo returned in time for Wyoming—and fans were rightfully worried about the d-line’s ability to stop the run and get to the quarterback.
All that worry went away after the line’s impressive play against Wyoming. Mike Leach talked to reporters after practice last night about Aiolupotea-Pei. From The Spokesman-Review:
The coach didn’t have an update on Aiolupotea-Pei’s status as of Tuesday afternoon when he met with reporters following practice in Pullman.
“No, we’re still waiting to hear,” Leach said. “We should hear anytime, Labor Day obstructed it a little bit.”
If the Cougars hear from the NCAA soon, Leach said there’s still a chance Aiolupotea-Pei could make his college debut at home versus the Spartans.
“Yep,” Leach said, “and should be allowed to, deserves to.”
So, nothing new on that front, although these things can suddenly change at a moment’s notice.
The San Jose State game should allow plenty of players to gain some playing time. Here’s to hoping the NCAA can remedy the situation and allow Aiolupotea-Pei to play.
LG Liam Ryan earns the Bone Award after grading out the best for the offensive line who didn’t allow a sack and tallied 2 rushing TDs in the win at Wyoming!#GoCougs | #GoonSquad pic.twitter.com/36LYpDpXx2— WSU Cougar Football (@WSUCougFB) September 5, 2018
Washington State DL Misiona Aiolupotea-Pei could return for San Jose State game | The Spokesman-Review
Aiolupotea-Pei, a JC transfer from California’s Riverside City College, didn’t travel with the team for last week’s season opener at Wyoming because the NCAA was still processing his paperwork, Leach told Matt Chazanow last Thursday on his weekly coach’s show.
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Cougs up to #17 in the latest @UnitedCoaches Poll while sitting at #14 in @TopDrawerSoccer's rankings. Another week to put another notch on the belt in non-conference play. #GoCougs pic.twitter.com/rFPgS7JWlE— WSU Cougar Soccer (@WSUCougarSoccer) September 4, 2018
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