Washington State Football: Position Breakdown Pt. 7 – Offensive Line


The Washington State Cougars are just days away from starting their season and with the depth chart being released I take a look at each position and breakdown what we should see. So far I have already broken down running backs, defensive line, quarterbacks, linebackers, safety, and wide receiver. Today I will take a look at the offensive line.

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The offensive line is the position with the most question for the Cougars. After losing 3 of last season’s starters it is without a doubt the position on offense that has the least experience.

The Cougars lost Elliot Bosch, John Fullington, and Rico Forbes from last season and are looking to replace them with young talent. It is time to see how well Mike Leach and staff recruited this position.

At left tackle the Cougars are going to have Joe Dahl who started last season. Dahl started at left guard for all of last season before moving to left tackle for the Colorado State bowl game. Gunnar Eklund, who is his backup, started at left tackle before moving to left guard for the Colorado State game.

Eklund will be starting at left guard this season and will backup Dahl if needed. Eklund’s backup will be Devonte McClain who is a redshirt junior. McClain joined the Cougars after playing his first two years at the College of San Mateo where in his sophomore season earned First Team All-NorCal League honors. McClain played at left tackle before joining the the team so it would not be a surprise to see Dahl, Eklund, and McClain all getting play at both guard and tackle.

Nov 16, 2013; Tucson, AZ, USA; Washington State Cougars offensive lineman Matt Goetz (66) prepares for the next play during the third quarter against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. The Cougars beat the Wildcats 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The battle for center was up in the air until last week when Riley Sorenson locked up the starting spot in front of Sam Flor. Sorenson played in a few games last season for the Cougars but at right guard whereas Flor has yet to see the field the past two seasons. It would not be a shock to see Mike Leach use Flor if Sorenson is not doing very well since the competition was so close.

Right guard and right tackle are just like the left side in only having three players for the two spots. At right guard we will see Eduardo Middleton who saw the field just once last year against Southern Utah. Backing up Middleton will be Jacob Seydal who enrolled at Washington State last January.

At right tackle, Cole Madison will be taking the reigns as starter as a redshirt freshman. Madison was ranked the number 42 guard in the nation by Scout and will look to help lead the Cougars right side. Seydal will also be backing up Madison along with Middleton. Like the left side, it would not surprise me to see all three of these players switching off if needed.

The big men up front are going to be under a lot of question until they are able to prove that they can protect Connor Halliday. The Cougars struggled with giving Halliday the protection he needed last season so hopefully the change in players will allow that. Last season, the Cougars allowed their quarterback to get sacked 32 times for a total of 244 yards.

The offensive line looks to protect Halliday and the rest of the Washington State football team when they open up against Rutgers on Thursday at Century Link Field in Seattle, Washington.