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Thursday, October 5, 2023


Offensive lineman Ben Dew out for season due to injury


Senior Offensive lineman Ben Dew in the home-opener against Tennessee Tech University. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

During his press conference today, head coach Tom Herman said senior offensive linemen Ben Dew is out for the season with a foot injury. Herman said Dew will have surgery sometime this week to repair torn ligaments in his toe.

Herman said there were still hopes last week that it was just turf toe, but Friday an MRI scan showed torn ligaments in the toe that ultimately put Dew out for the rest of the season.

“Credit to Ben; the injury occurred, I believe, in the first quarter,” Herman said. “He got an anti-inflammatory shot in it and continued to play the entire game with it.”

Dew is a Hawaii transfer in his fifth year playing. Herman said he’s not sure if he’ll get a sixth year to play since NCAA needs two season-altering injuries to give a sixth year of availability. Herman said they will apply for it but they’re not confident they will get it.

For the immediate future, however, Herman said the team is taking a major blow since the O-line is not the deepest position on the team. But he’s confident that the team will find a way to respond, as they have all season.

Because of  the injury, Herman had to shift around positions on the offensive line to make sure the next-best player available was inserted into the rotation and getting play time.

He moved senior Carter Wall to left guard from right guard, senior Alex Cooper to right guard from right tackle, senior Zach Johnson to right tackle from left tackle and inserted sophomore Marcus Oliver to left tackle and freshman Colton Freeman to center.

“If your backup Left Guard is your 10th best offensive lineman, it doesn’t make much sense to have him step in,” Herman said. “We want to play the sixth best (Marcus Oliver) and find a way to stick him in there.”

Herman said, that from a team stand point, the bye week came at the perfect time as it gave the team time to rest and recover while they get adjusted to the changes on the offensive line.

“Having the grueling, mentally and physically taxing training camp that we had leading into the season, then week two: boom you’re on the road in front of 55,000 people playing a very physical ACC opponent in Louisville,” Herman said. “It was, I think, very much needed from our guys to take a breath from practice.”

Herman said the team will be fresher and have more bounce in their step heading in against Texas State.

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