Apparently there is no minimum age requirement to play in the Huskies’ offensive line, even if the big-man portion of the schedule featuring all Pac-12 teams starts Saturday against Cal.
Coach Chris Petersen’s line, remade during practice last week and good enough to put up 31 points Saturday against a Mountain West Conference team, will be intact for the 2 p.m. poke with the Bears at Husky Stadium.
After an injury of an undisclosed nature to LG Jake Eldrenkamp, the UW starting group’s makeover left only one holdover, senior center and co-captain Siosifa Tufunga.
From left to right, the starters against Utah State were true freshman Trey Adams (first start), sophomore Coleman Shelton (first start at left guard), Tufunga, redshirt freshman (third start at center), Jesse Sosebee (first start) and redshirt freshman Kaleb McGary (first start).
“We wanted the five guys who gave us the best chance to win,” Petersen said at his weekly presser Monday. “I thought they did a good job for their first time all out there together,” “Can we improve? Absolutely. Do we need to improve? For sure. But I thought for the first time out of the gate they were pretty good.”
Petersen praised Shelton, and he’d better — the guy has taken up several spots along the line. A 6-foot-4, 293-pound sophomore from Pasadena, he started the first two games at left tackle and seven games last season at right tackle. The Huskies also tried Shelton at center, before an arm injury cost him all of spring ball.
“My hat’s off to Coleman Shelton,” Petersen said. “That kid played the entire game at left guard. He played there two days in his entire life . . . We’ve moved him all over and he did a great job.”
The returns of Eldrenkamp and his Bellevue High School teammate Budda Baker are “week to week,” said Petersen. Baker hurt an ankle in the first series against Utah State and didn’t return. His place was taken mostly by JoJo McIntosh, a 6-0, 190-pound freshman from Canyon Country, CA. . . . After a 45-44 win over the Longhorns at Texas, Cal (3-0) is unbeaten for the first time after three games since 2011 and is two victories shy of matching the school’s best start over the past 65 seasons since the 1950. . . . The Bears haven’t beaten UW since RB Jahvid Best ran for a Cal single-game record 311 yards in a 48-7 home win over the Huskies in 2008. Cal has lost six in a row. The last win in Seattle was 56-17 triumph Sept. 10, 2005. Cal last started Pac-12 play with a win in 2008.