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USU football: Injury sparks trouble on offensive line

Published September 18, 2012 6:22 pm

USU football • Senior Molina-Sanchez out indefinitely with serious foot injury.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Logan • Utah State has managed to stay relatively healthy through two games.

But one injury has thrown off its entire offensive line.

Senior Oscar Molina-Sanchez, one of the Aggies' best and most experienced offensive linemen, is out indefinitely with a foot injury that's believed to be serious. Molina-Sanchez won't play this weekend against Colorado State. Beyond that doesn't look good, either.

As a result, the line has become thin. Eric Schultz, a guard by trade, has been playing at right tackle with mixed results. Kevin Whimpey is learning the ropes at left tackle. Both struggled against Wisconsin, leaving Chuckie Keeton to face a fierce Badgers pass rush and little time to go through his progressions in the passing game.

"The offensive line has to get better," USU coach Gary Andersen said. "The Wisconsin players were in the backfield all game. The run game was good, but the pass blocking has to get better."

The Aggies clearly miss Patrick Ward and Bill Vavau, offensive line recruits who were expected to come in and add to the depth. Neither junior college transfer has made it to campus yet.

A bit of good news is Bryce Walker's health. The 6-foot-8 guard was cleared to play this past weekend after missing time with a broken leg. He didn't play against Wisconsin but is expected to help against Colorado State.

A career performance

Wisconsin represented the breakout game coaches had been expecting from sophomore safety Brian Suite, who recorded 13 tackles. Suite is a first-year starter opposite McKade Brady.

"It was a tough game," Suite said. "I was just trying to play to the best of my ability."

Special-teams changes

Andersen on Monday said that he would try to create more depth throughout his special teams. He is playing several starters, and that could have played a role in giving up a crucial punt return for a touchdown in the second half.

"Right now, we have a few kids playing over 100 snaps, and that's too much," Andersen said.

tjones@sltrib.com

Utah State at Colorado State

P Saturday

5 p.m.