Connect with us


Concern About Offensive Line Depth Suddenly Major Question for OSU

The unsung hero of Chuba Hubbard’s breakout season is picking up the pieces.



Chuba Hubbard led the country in rushing yards last season behind an experienced offensive line that, in large part, was set to return either key starters or vital rotation pieces into the 2020 season.

Then, well, 2020 things happened.

Dylan Galloway retired from football in July due to injuries. Bryce Bray and Jacob Farrell were booted off the team this week.

Now, in a matter of months, OSU’s depth up front is razor thin, and quality experience even moreso. Bray and Galloway were surefire starters and Farrell, I’ve heard, was expected to be one in short order.

“Younger players will have to compete,” said Mike Gundy on Monday. “It happens at times. Hopefully we’ll have some of those guys have a good few weeks before we play the first game against Tulsa.”

The loss of Galloway knocked out OSU’s projected starter at tackle, and Bray was slated to start at guard. Without them, redshirt freshman Cole Birmingham may see his first action, grad transfer Josh Sills is almost certainly plug-and-play, and even walk-on Jake Spring — who earned a scholarship just this week — may see some unexpected action. It’s Charlie Dickey’s first major test as the offensive line coach, patching this thing together on the fly.

“We have some young guys that are going to play for the first time,” said Gundy. “Guys that are young aren’t going to play as good as experienced guys.”

Young players up front will determine just how good OSU can be in 2020. The offensive line last season was the unsung hero of Chuba Hubbard’s breakout that keyed a late-season Heisman push, but it also held up well for Spencer Sanders to break into the rotation as starter for the first time without a hitch. It was a patchwork throughout part of last season, but it held together with Dickey’s development of the unit. Can he pull off a similarly brilliant feat in 2020 under less-than-ideal circumstances?

Dickey is praised within the program as one of the best development coaches on campus. He relates to kids in recruiting. But he also isn’t afraid to get down and dirty with his guys when technical assistance is needed. He’s hands on with his players and hammers his points home. As a result, his players push hard to succeed for him. There’s a reason K-State’s offensive lines under Bill Snyder were always physically-imposing — they were built around the identity of him.

That motivation, one from an old-school coach who knows how to press the right buttons, can push an experienced player a long ways. But just how effective can it be for young players who are inexperienced?

We’ll find out soon. And it’s not hyperbole to think that the success of the rushing game, and maybe the season, hinges on the answer to that question.

“One thing we talk about all the time in our program is that you never know when your chance is going to be there, and so now we have a couple young guys that need to step up and play,” Gundy said. “Everyone has to make those adjustments. We just push forward and stay the course.”


Most Read