WSU Football Mid-Season Report Cards: Position Grades (Defense)

3 of 3

Defensive Line

Oct 5, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; Washington State Cougars nose tackle Ioane Gauta (95) and teammate Kalafitoni Pole (98) celebrate after a sack against the California Golden Bears at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The D-line has quite arguably become the heart and soul of the defense. Ioane Gauta has been a terror for opposing linemen, Cooper has really shown up the last couple of games and “Big Play” Kalifitoni Pole has come up with the ball on more than a couple of occasions. For Pole, a big-time blocked field goal at USC and two fumble recoveries inside the 5 yard line at Cal probably swung both games in WSU’s favor.

Really wish we saw more of Destiny Vaeao as a play maker, but Kache Palacio has had a far greater impact as a “BUCK”/DE in the backfield and that’s ok. Palacio has 24 tackles at this point while Vaeao has only snagged 8.

The group has just really performed well as a whole and are etching themselves in the “to be reckoned with” category when people put them on tape. It’s a pleasant surprise, but at the same time, we kind of expected it and it’s just nice to see these guys perform up to expectations.

DL get a deserved A –