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When it comes to playing time on his line, UW offensive line coach Chris Strausser hasn’t ruled out anything.
“There’s no way at this point we’re set on just five guys,” he said. “That’s kind of been our theme all year long. I see us continuing to do that, whether it’s based on injury or how consistent the guy’s playing or just two guys being really close with each other.”
One guy who could see more playing time in senior Mike Criste, UW’s starting center last year who has been relegated to a backup role this season with Colin Tanigawa’s successful transition from guard to center. Criste, now, is making the reverse transition; he could see game action at guard soon.
“Mike Criste has been close,” Strausser said. “Unfortunately, the guy in front of him (Tanigawa) is probably the guy who’s been the most consistent on the line, along with Micah (Hatchie). But I think Mike’s probably got a shot at another spot before too long.”
Junior left guard Dexter Charles exited the UW locker room after the loss at Oregon wearing a boot on his right foot. His availability against Arizona State this week in unknown.
The Huskies have been without senior right tackle Ben Riva (knee, ankle) for much of the season.
“I know he’s disappointed,” Strausser said. “He’s been a part of this offense for a long time and to have to sit out his senior year is not fun. I feel bad for him, and it’s frustrating for us, too.”
Improving UW’s running game is priority No. 1 for the offense.
“Of course it’s frustrating. We want to go out there and freaking shove it down everybody’s throat every week, but that’s not college football,” Strausser said. “So we’ve got to find a way to fix it and get better at what we’re doing in the run game and be more consistent with it. …
“You look at Oregon, you look at Stanford, those are two really good defenses. Is it disappointing to us that we didn’t do better? Yes. But they’ve been slowing everybody down.”