From Pullman -- Cyrus Coen was the first WSU football player out on the field for Monday night's practice, which didn't end until around 10:45. The Cougars were in fine spirits for their first rivalry week practice, whooping and hollering after big plays. No position group's morale appeared higher than the offensive line, which has been receiving a lot of praise the past couple weeks after years of shouldering the blames for the Cougars' woes on offense.
"It's a good thing, I think our guys have built confidence and they are playing well," offensive line coach Clay McGuire said. "But what we've done the last two weeks doesn't mean anything. We're facing a really good pass rush from udub and they do a nice job on the defensive line."
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It might be bittersweet for WSU fans to see the offensive line finally starting to play so well at the end of the players' careers. The Cougars offensive line will face a tall order to maintain their current level of play next season without mainstays such as Elliott Bosch, John Fullington and Matt Goetz.
Still, McGuire says that the current success will pay dividends by providing an example for young players such as Riley Sorenson and Sam Flor to follow. He added that next year he expects Gunnar Eklund to be the unit's leader.
"It's huge. The example being set by the guys that are going out is what you want. The young guys get to see an example of what it takes to work hard, and what it takes to overachieve, things like that. You don't want to have a group coming in being led by a bunch of guys that are bad team guys that don't work hard and don't play together. Fortunately for this year, our young guys are seeing a group of guys who go out there and really come together and play as a unit and excel."