March 15, 2007

Spring Preview: Offensive Line

For a second season in a row, Arizona State's offensive line was plagued by injury woes that forced coaches to make significant changes to the starting lineup. Seniors Stephen Berg and Andrew Carnahan were opening game starters at right guard and right tackle respectively, but both suffered torn knee ligaments that ended their seasons.

Carnahan tore the ACL in his right knee in the fourth game of the season, and the Sun Devils responded by moving Berg to right tackle, and inserting Paul Fanaika into the starting lineup at right guard. A month later, Berg was also lost for the year when he suffered a similar injury in the eighth game of the season, at Washington.

In between those injuries another starter, Brandon Rodd, strained his hamstring versus USC, did not dress the following week versus Stanford, and was limited in the next game versus Washington.

When Rodd and Carnahan were out of the lineup, but before Berg was injured, ASU started Julius Orieukwu at left tackle, mainstays Robert Gustavis and Mike Pollak -- both of whom started every game of the season -- at left guard and center respectively, Fanaika at right guard, and Berg at right tackle.

By the time Rodd returned to the starting lineup versus Oregon State, Berg had been lost for the season and Orieukwu shifted over to the right tackle position, which was a more natural spot for him according to Dirk Koetter.

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