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COUGFAN.COM PULLED UP the most recent official depth chart for every Pac-12 team, and in some cases the most recent game’s official stat book, and added up the weights of the starting five offensive linemen. Then we compared the 11 other Pac-12 o-lines to the Cougars’ offensive line. The scale and the math don't lie: Washington State has the biggest offensive line in the Pac-12 conference.

The quintet of crimson hog mollies average 323 pounds across the starting front. They are: left tackle Andre Dillard (6-5, 295); left guard Cody O'Connell (6-8, 354); center Riley Sorenson (6-4, 330); right guard Eduardo Middleton (6-5, 316); right tackle Cole Madison (6-5, 318).

No, bigger does not guarantee better when it comes to an offensive line.  But when you have serious o-line athleticism and technique, and you combine it with serious o-line poundage, you dramatically increase your chances to be special.  Like 280-rushing-yards-against-the-Ducks special.

In recent years, those very large, athletic, fundamentally sound Pac-12 o-lines have most often been seen in the opponent WSU just faced – and the opponent WSU will face this Saturday -- Oregon and Stanford, respectively.

IT WASN'T APPARENT in WSU’s first two games the Cougar o-line was ready to do great things. They weren’t necessarily playing poorly by any means, but they weren’t turning in special performances either. And every negative, whether a penalty or just getting beat on a play, was amplified in the detritus of a pair of 3-point losses to start the 2016 campaign.

Idaho offered the Coug OL the chance to beat up on someone and feel good about itself. But it wasn’t until Oregon this past Saturday that Wazzu’s o-line truly stepped into the limelight. That tends to happen when you physically dominate in both the pass and run games.

It didn't happen overnight. In the first season under Mike Leach and o-line coach Clay McGuire, the Cougs averaged 289 pounds in 2012, and 288 pounds in 2013.  In 2014, the starting front five averaged 309 pounds, followed by 310 pounds last year. Now its 323.

This just in: confidence is a very powerful thing. In college football, if you believe you’re damned good, you are.  (It’s a very different thing to want badly, or think, you might be good). 

And Washington State looked very confident indeed from start to finish vs. Oregon, mauling their way to nearly 300 ground hashes while also building one heckuva wall around Luke Falk.

This Saturday (7:30 pm ESPN) at Stanford, though, will be the real test for some Cougar o-line fans. They want to see what the Cougar starting five does against Stanford’s defensive front before fully declaring the first two games a thing of the past. 

Because even after getting blown out at UW, Stanford still ranks No. 32 in scoring defense.  It’s going to be a battle when the Cougs meet the Cards.

As WSU o-line coach Clay McGuire said Monday, every week is an opportunity for the offensive line to improve from the week before.

On Saturday, it’ll be the traditionally strong Card defensive line vs. the Cougar heavy boss hog mollies.   Who ya’ got? 

The Cougs take the practice field later today -- CF.C will be there to bring you our report.

Pac-12 starting offensive lines by average weight

Washington State:  323
USC: 318
Cal: 316
Utah: 309
Oregon State: 308
ASU: 306
UCLA: 304
Arizona: 303
Oregon: 299
Stanford: 299
Washington: 299
Colorado: 293

RELATED STORY: Stanford injury situation hasn't improved, says Shaw


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