Scouting Report: Washington Offensive Line

The battle for supremacy is fought in the trenches, and come Saturday the Cougar defensive line will have its hands full. Today we take a look at the Huskies' offensive line to scout out their personnel, tendencies and key matchups.

There's no question that Washington fields a rather large offensive line. When the Cougars take the field this Saturday at Husky Stadium, they will not only be lining up against size, but against experience as well.

"Their offensive line is very big and they're all back except for one," said BYU assistant coach Paul Tidwell. "One of them, I think, actually started in three games last year. So they all have some experience, they play hard and they do a good job for their quarterback."

Looking At Washington Offensive Line

At right tackle for Washington is 6-foot-6-inch, 316-pound sophomore Cody Habbem. Habbem played in all 13 games last year, mainly at right tackle, and started in three of those games.

At left tackle is 6-foot-6-inch, 332-pound junior Ben Ossai. Ossai, a California native, started 11 out of 12 games in 2006 and 10 out of 13 games in 2007.

At right guard is 6-foot-6-inch, 339-pound junior Casey Bulyca. Bulyca started 11 out of 13 games at left guard last season. However, during the Huskies' contest with the Ducks last week, Bulyca played right guard.

At left guard is 6-foot-5-inch, 368-pound senior Jordan White-Frisbee, who is in his third season on the offensive line. Like Bulyca, White-Frisbee has also been moved around on the offensive line. He played both left guard and right guard last season.

At center is 6-foot-3-inch, 305-pound senior Juan Garcia. Garcia is a two-year starter and was a Second-Team All-Pac-10 selection last year.

BYU outside linebacker Coleby Clawson, who had a monster game against UNI, gives Cougar fans his perspective on the Huskies in this audio interview below.

Junior defensive lineman Ian Dulan will become very familiar with both Ossai and Habbem as he rotates from one side to the other.

"I'll play on the left or right side depending [on the situation]," Dulan said. "I think I'll be seeing a lot of [Ossai] and [Habbem]. They're pretty big guys for sure."

While the Husky offensive linemen may have experience in terms of individual playing time, they, unlike their Cougar counterparts, are relatively young in terms of cohesion as a group. But, that doesn't mean the Huskies aren't capable.

"I think they have a little of both [physicality and athleticism]," said BYU assistant coach Paul Tidwell. "I think they can get after you, and at the same time their offensive tackles really do kick step well on their pass drops. They do gain ground and it makes it tough to get around them, so they use their experience to their advantage."

"They have a really big offensive line," said Dulan. "They do really well though in finishing their blocks, and are pretty good pass blockers."

Although Dulan is quick to praise the Washington offensive line in terms of pass blocking, not everything went well for the Huskies during their season opener against the Oregon Ducks. Locker was sacked three times and was often pressured out of the pocket. He finished with only 103 passing yards. Still, BYU coaches feel Washington's big offensive line matches well with the type of offensive scheme they run.

"They do match up well with it because they're big and get off the ball well," said Coach Tidwell. "You get a big offensive lineman covering somebody up and don't necessarily need to move them 10 yards downfield. You just get in their way and cover them up, and when you get a good quarterback like they have and good running backs that can run like they have in that ride option offense, if you're not where you're supposed to be you're, going to get creased."

When it comes to providing protection in a passing offense, a key element for squeezing out maximum protection comes through the running backs and their ability to communicate with the offensive line. True freshman running back Chris Polk, although a very good athlete, struggled to help protect quarterback Jake Locker during the Oregon game.

"You can't put a price tag on experience," said Coach Tidwell. "If you have a team that may not have the greatest of athletes - and I'm not saying Washington doesn't have great athletes - but have a team that knows what they're doing and can execute, that makes up for a lot of things."

Husky Offensive Scheme and Tendencies

It's no secret that the Huskies utilize the ride option scheme where the quarterback will key in on what the defensive end does and either hand the ball to a running back or keep it and run. But, what other things do they do?

"They quarterback scrambles really well, and if he doesn't have the option of passing the ball he'll take off," said Tidwell. "So that's the other option. He'll pull it down and run and try and create something that way. By him scrambling around, he'll sometimes create opportunities downfield. That's something that is tough to defend because of his athleticism.

"Besides the ride option we're going to have to contain the quarterback, and try to keep him from scrambling with the ball while trying to make things happen downfield. We need to keep him bottled up."

"The scout team is doing a great job in preparing us in what to expect from Washington," said Dulan. "They even stay after practice to do more reps simulating the Washington offense so they can better prepare us guys who want to stay out and practice longer as a defense."

Key Matchups

One of the key matchups in the trenches will be All-American candidate Jan Jorgensen facing off against junior Ben Ossai. Jorgensen is a three-year starter, whereas Ossai has started in 21 out of 25 games over the past two seasons. Ossai is similar in size to BYU freshman offensive tackle Matt Reynolds.


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