TEMPE, Ariz. — It's been a tough start for ASU football.
"Sometimes coaches throw the newborn in the water and they got to learn how to swim," ASU offensive line coach Saga Tuitele said. "Our learning curve just went up and we are preparing to play our best game of the season."
The ASU O-line is continually searching for answers as yet another starter has been sidelined due to injury.
"Every single one of us had tears in our eyes when he was carted off the field," junior offensive lineman Ben Bray said.
ASU head coach Kenny Dillingham said Emmitt Bohle will indeed miss the rest of the season due to a lower leg injury suffered in the team's week two loss to Oklahoma State. That was just yet another domino to fall within the O-line as starting left tackle Isaia Glass and junior Cade Briggs are also out for an extended period of time.
But Tuitele said the only thing this unit can do is adapt.
"Injuries happen in football and I am prepared and that's why I coach how I coach," Tuitele said. "It's easy to coach the first guys but you got to get number 2, 3, 4 ready and if you're not doing that, when times like this happen then you're not prepared to compete and win the game."
At the writing of this article, five total offensive linemen (three starters and two backups) are sidelined. The Sun Devils are looking at a makeshift O-line with little time to adjust for their next opponent in Fresno State.
Yet Tuitele said the practice reps are the only way to produce confidence within the unit and their ability to execute on game day.
"We practice the way we practice so we are ready for these moments when the unfortunate happens and guys go down," Tuitele said. "So ideally, the next guy not only has their confidence but their teammate's confidence too."
The men still healthy enough to suit up realize their effort goes beyond themselves. It's a realization each rep is done for the man next to them and their brothers who are unable to play.
"We coined a name, One is B," Bray said. "That means one snap brotherhood. that's the name we've called ourselves the past couple of weeks just to be more committed to each other every play."
ASU will kickoff week 3 at home against Fresno State, Saturday, Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
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