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Sports >  WSU football

Washington State starts Grant Stephens at left tackle in place of injured Jarrett Kingston

Nov. 12, 2022 Updated Sat., Nov. 12, 2022 at 1:54 p.m.

Washington State offensive lineman Grant Stephens prepares for a play during a game against Colorado State on Sept. 17 at Gesa Field in Pullman. Stephens, the Cougars' regular starter at right guard, moved to left tackle for WSU's game against Arizona State on Saturday.  (WSU Athletics)
Washington State offensive lineman Grant Stephens prepares for a play during a game against Colorado State on Sept. 17 at Gesa Field in Pullman. Stephens, the Cougars' regular starter at right guard, moved to left tackle for WSU's game against Arizona State on Saturday. (WSU Athletics)

PULLMAN – Grant Stephens, the regular starter at right guard for Washington State’s football team, shifted to a new position to replace an injured teammate.

Stephens lined up at left tackle when the Cougars’ offense took the field against Arizona State on Saturday afternoon at Gesa Field.

The senior transfer, a standout offensive tackle over the past three seasons at Northern Colorado, returned to his old position to make up for the absence of the Cougars’ best offensive lineman – left tackle Jarrett Kingston, who suffered a season-ending lower-body injury last weekend against Stanford.

Earlier this week, Cougs coach Jake Dickert said the left tackle job would be up for grabs between Stephens, left guard Christian Hilborn – a reserve tackle last year who filled in for Kingston last week – and backup tackle Jack Wilson.

Hilborn stayed at left guard against ASU. Ma’ake Fifita took over for Stephens at right guard. Fifita played right guard last season and started the first six games of this campaign at right tackle before being benched in favor of freshman Fa’alili Fa’amoe.

The Cougars’ offensive line is coming off its finest effort of the season in a 52-14 victory over Stanford last week. WSU did not allow a sack for the first game this season and piled up 306 yards on the ground during its most-productive rushing day in 16 years.

Starting tailback Nakia Watson returned to the lineup last week after missing two games with an injury. The Cougars’ backfield gained another piece Saturday. Backup running back Jaylen Jenkins suited up and took a few carries in the first half after missing the Stanford game with an injury.

Reserve defensive tackle David Gusta, who was sidelined for the past three games, returned to the rotation against ASU. Strong safety Jordan Lee was held out of the game Saturday. The senior had been a “game-time decision” after missing last weekend’s contest with an injury, Dickert said.

ASU played without star senior linebacker Kyle Soelle, the Pac-12’s leading tackler (98), due to an injury. Starting Sun Devil cornerback Ro Torrence was out with the flu.

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