The first, which is a bit like saying water is wet, is that he’s a great player. The second, less obvious, reason is this: Washington State has gone through this 2016 season with remarkably few injuries.
It’s actually stunning when you look at the consistency of the starting line up from Week One on into this week’s depth chart for Colorado.
Take the offensive line, for instance. Five positions times the 10 games that are already on the books add up to 50 total player starts. Of those, only one regular has missed a turn. That’s 49 out of 50. And the one miss – Cody O’Connell at Oregon State – was really half a miss because he started the second half in Corvallis.
The list below offers the full picture, position by position, game by game. But here are two highlights:
- 11 Cougars have started every game this season; and
- 4 others have started all but one game
Other than nickel Parker Henry, who has been out for weeks with an undisclosed injury, the modest shuffling in the lineup has been driven mostly by suspensions, match ups or plain ol’ better work in practice,
By contrast, a look at the weekly press releases from the Cougars’ opponents this season have largely read like infirmary lists.
Whether it’s luck, the conditioning program (and strength coach Jason Loscalzo needs to be mentioned here) the nutrition program or a combination of the three is anyone’s guess, but here on the 17th of November, it’s no coincidence that the Cougars are one of the healthiest teams in the land and they are riding an eight-game winning streak.
NEXT UP: The No. 20-ranked Cougars (8-2-/7-0) battle No. 12 Colorado (8-2/6-1) in Boulder this Saturday at 12:30 Pacific on Fox. Yogi Roth of the Pac-12 Networks dubs it the Pac-12 game of the year and says it’s “going to be an absolute blast.” The Buffs are favored by 4 ½.