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Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Offensive line coach sees room for improvement

The Cougars' offensive line has battled injuries throughout the spring and into the season. | Kayla Walker/ The Daily Cougar

The Cougars’ offensive line has battled injuries throughout the spring and into the season. | Kayla Walker/ The Daily Cougar

Coming into the season, the Cougars’ offensive line was expected to be a strength on the team, with five projected starters who had experience atop the depth chart. The squad has faced injuries, but has still created holes for a potent offense. The Cougars are 11th in total offense through three games.

Offensive line coach Glen Elarbee spoke with The Daily Cougar about the challenges the position group has faced.

The Daily Cougar: This season, you’ve had a successful running game, but in past seasons UH hasn’t been known for running the ball. Why has that changed this season?

Glen Elarbee: Any time you have a good running game, it normally goes back to the running backs. Those guys have done just a great job. (Sophomore running back Ryan) Jackson, that guy is like lightning in a bottle and (sophomore running back Kenneth) Farrow makes unbelievable cuts and reads block — he really sets us up well. And we got lucky on couple of reverses. People carrying the ball — that has a lot to do with your run game.

TDC: The offense is based primarily in throwing the ball and protecting the quarterback. How do you feel about the offensive line taking care of the quarterback?

GE: I think there is a lot of room for improvement there. I think we’ve been OK assignment-wise. There are some techniques things we need to kind of firm up. I don’t think there has necessarily been anything where we cut guys loose, but obviously there’s some things we can do to technically become a better offensive line and give that a guy a little more time and security.

TDC: Do you feel that the offense is running fast enough, or do you think they can go faster?

GE: Man I’ll tell you, we’ve snapped a bunch of ball plays in two games. The nature of this offense is to always move a little bit faster. Once you let your foot off the pedal, that’s when you get in trouble. I guess I’ll say that we can always go faster, definitely press the tempo, and that has helped us in the fourth; it has worn some guys down for us.

TDC: What do expect for your depth this season?

GE: We try to prepare everybody like they are going to play and it kind of worked out that way. We’ve had a couple injuries and guys have stepped in and known where to go and how to do it, and they have done a nice job and that’s the nature of the business. I think if you are preparing your ones, a two can become a one real quick. And gosh, knock on wood — a three can become a one real quick.

TDC: Where are you expecting your leadership from on the O-line?

GE: All of them, hopefully. I know Bryce (Redman), Rowdy (Harper) and before Ty (Cloud) got hurt, they’ve done a really nice job. Zack (Johnson) at some point, growing up there trying to get a little bit, and (Kevin) Forsh has done a great job leading by example. They all kind of have their role they play in leadership. The offensive line is such a unit that has to play together, that even in the leadership point that we all do it together; it’s not necessarily one guy. Hopefully, they all will take a hand in it, even (DeAnthony) Sims at some point.

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