VIDEO: Washington Offensive Line Coach Chris Strausser Tuesday Briefing - Washington State

Dawgman.com spoke Tuesday with Washington Offensive Line Coach Chris Strausser about what went right Saturday versus Oregon State, and how that can carry over to the Huskies' matchup with Washington State in the 108th playing of the Apple Cup.

On the Cougar defensive line “Well, they’ve got athletic physical players up front. They play extremely hard; the effort they play with just shows up week in and week out. They do a nice job with movement. Movement is always challenging for an offensive line. The good old days, 10 years ago, a guy would line up in a gap and you could block him and have a shot. Nowadays everybody’s moving, zipping, zapping all over the place so there are some challenges there. We thought their d-line physically was really, really good last year. Now most of that crew is back. Those guys are playing exceptional football on the d-line. To me I think of probably three schools in our league that are above the rest in the d-line: ours, first of all, Stanford is exceptional on the d-line, and, to me, Washington State is right there.”

 

On the Cougar defensive line rotation “I don’t really notice much drop off with different guys in the game. Our whole deal is we can’t be focused on who’s in the game and who’s not. I think they’ve done a nice job of trying to keep their guys fresh. I think their starters play a lot more than the other guys do. With that being said, when the second team comes in, those guys show up on film too.”

 

On any relevant takeaways from last year’s matchup with WSU “I think guys that played in the game can. I know Coleman (Shelton) played some that game. I think Sifa (Tufunga) played some that game. So those guys just having lined up against these guys, that helps a little bit, but beyond that, no. With the new defensive coordinator (Alex Grinch), defensive scheme, it’s hard for us to look at much from last year.”

 

On not having to tell guys like Trey Adams, who grew up in Washington, about the significance of this game “I think all our guys, and I’m sure their guys are too, but certainly in-state guys have a little bit more excitement than everybody else because they grew up watching this game and knowing how important it was, what type of rivalry game it is. I think in-state guys have a little bit more juice about it. I’m sure their guys do too.”

 

On Sifa Tufunga’s progression this season “He’s been great for us. He’s been a true stalwart in there. He’s made it the entire season staying healthy; knock on wood we can keep it that way. He’s been our leader the entire season. He’s played really, really hard all season. He’s played well all season. He’s done what we wanted him to do this year.”

 

On the battle at right tackle with Kaleb McGary and Andrew Kirkland “I think really mix-and-match. I think just where both of those guys are right now I think that’s what keeps them at their best; having another guy nipping at their heels. I don’t really know what the rotation is going to be come Friday, but we’ll figure it out. I think they’re both very similar to each other.”

 

On what the offensive line improved on last week “I think the mindset was great. I think we came out and starting fast makes a huge difference in a football game. Then obviously carrying over some momentum makes a huge difference in a football game. We just executed better than we did the week before.”

 

On what can be carried over to this week’s game “I don’t really think of it that way so much. It’s just a constant growing process. At this point we’ve already pretty much forgotten about Oregon State because that was three or four days ago. Our guys are thinking about Washington State and what the challenges are there. Hopefully the guys have some confidence more in the sense that they’ve played a fair amount of football at this point together. You look back to Arizona State; it didn’t finish how we wanted but they did a lot of really good things in the game, our guys did. There still should be some carry over from all those weeks.”


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