WKU Football Shaking Up Offensive Line

By: James Brandenburg Email
By: James Brandenburg Email

The much-maligned Western Kentucky University offensive line won't look the same when the Hilltoppers visit Virginia Tech on Saturday.

Senior left tackle Greg Ryan - the only Hilltopper lineman to start every game this season at the same position - will move to right guard, with redshirt freshman Wes Jeffries moving to the left tackle spot.

Gone from the starting lineup is Shelley Anthony, the freshman who'd started the last three games at right guard but hadn't been quite as effective as he'd been in a backup role for the Hilltoppers' first two games.

The changes come after WKU has struggled to move the ball this season and had even more difficulty establishing its running game. A unit that averaged 408.8 total yards per game and 247.2 rushing yards in 2007 has produced just 268.0 yards per game and averaged just 122.2 yards rushing this season. WKU failed to gain 160 total yards in contests at Alabama and at Kentucky.

Ryan, generally considered the leader of the unit, leaves the marquee position of the line (the left tackle's responsible for protecting the blind side of a right-handed quarterback) but should feel comfortable at right guard. He started at the position in 2005 and 2006, twice earning Gateway Football Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week honors and twice earning national lineman of the week honors from Hansen's Football Gazette.

Jeffries will make his first collegiate start in Blacksburg and completes an all-Bowling Green bookend of the line. Jeffries played at Warren Central High School, while right tackle Preston King played at Greenwood.

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