Cougar offensive line goes both ways in Crimson and Gray Game

FOR THE FIRST time in recent memory, Washington State’s annual Crimson and Gray game featured three teams: one crimson, one gray — and one white. Indeed, every offensive lineman for both the Crimson and Gray sides was cloaked in white Saturday at Spokane’s Joe Albi Stadium.

While it made for an inviting trifecta of color on the field, the reason why — and one that ought to raise at least a modicum of concern heading into what figures to be a stellar 2016 for the Cougs — is lack of depth.

Not in a glaring way, but putting every hoss in white allowed WSU coaches to shuffle their offensive linemen between both teams.

Left tackle Andre Dillard and right tackle Eduardo Middleton were starters for both teams.

On the Gray side, which was quarterbacked by Luke Falk in the first half, they were joined by Riley Sorenson at center and Cody O'Connell and B.J. Salmonson at the guards.

On the Crimson side they teamed with Carlos Freeman at center and Cedric Bigge-Duren and second-year freshman walk on Drew Norvell at the guards.

The lines variously mixed and matched in the second half, including O’Connell getting a late chance to try his 6-8, 351-pound frame at left tackle.

WSU’s O-line isn’t anything to keep a fan awake at nights — especially so when you consider that three starters (Sorenson, Middleton and right tackle Cole Madison, who didn’t play Saturday after getting dinged up several practices ago) earned some form of all-conference recognition last season.

Mike Leach split up the starters amongst the two squads in an effort to have as competitive game as possible. But certainly when your two tackles — Middleton and Dillard — must play for both sides in the first half of a scrimmage it states pretty clearly that the youngest houses in the program might not be ready yet for prime time.



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