It’s bowl week for USC and as the Trojans gear up to face Fresno State in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, we’ll help you study for Saturday’s match up with break downs on everything you need to know about the Bulldogs.
This morning, the focus is on the offensive line:
The Fresno State offensive line is probably best known this season for one of the most fun plays of the year with this hook-and-ladder fat-man touchdown. However as a unit they are plenty impressive in their own right.
In the offseason they had to replace two graduating seniors but they have not skipped a beat. In fact, they have improved.
Last season the Bulldogs gave up 29 sacks. This year, they are among the best pass protection units nationally, giving up just 11 on the year.
In the run game, they have stayed the course, just 45 yards off last year’s total.
Left tackle Austin Wentworth headlines the standout group. With 41 consequtive starts on the Fresno State line, the 6-5, 305-pound Wentworth has the experience and size to anchor a unit which is under constant pressure in a pass-happy offense. He’s also responsible for the earlier highlight.
The other senior on the line is center Lars Bramer who lost his starting job due to academics last season, but has grabbed firm hold of the position this year.
To Bramer’s right there’s redshirt junior Cody Wichmann, the 6-6, 311-pound guard with 35 games of starting experience.
Beside him is redshirt sophomore Justin Northern, one of the least experienced offensive linemen with his 12 starts this year at right tackle.
The only player with less experience than Northern is left guard Bo Bonnheim, who won the starting job midseason over Alex Fifita. Fifita missed practice time due to a death in the family and Bonnheim took his chance when he was inserted into the starting line up against San Diego State.
All of the Bulldog starters on the line have played every game except for Bonnheim, meaning the Trojans will be facing a unit that has plenty of chemistry.
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