Pass blocking was a problem for Portland State last season as the injury-riddled Vikings slumped to 3-8 in their maiden voyage under coach Jerry Glanville and offensive coordinator Mouse Davis. The offensive line will be even younger this season and is relatively thin this spring, but fullback Bobby McClintock - himself a punishing blocker - isn't worried.
'The O-line is definitely quicker than last year,' he says. 'Adam Kleffner (redshirt freshman center) is a big boy, about 310 pounds. Moses Punzal (returning left guard) is about 310. Clayton Rios (returning right guard) is about 300. The tackles (redshirt freshman Jasper Croome and junior Matt Leunen) are about 270. We're blocking things differently, more firm on the edge. I have all the faith in the world in Leunen and Jasper, and they'll get up to 285 by the season.
'Schematically, if a tackle picks up the wrong guy (to block), it can still be a good play if I pick up the right guy.'
As quarterback Tygue Howland puts it, 'Our line is young, but Bobby takes up about three guys right there. We've got a new O-line coach (Aleki Pascua), more guys coming in the fall and everybody has a better sense of the offense this year. We'll be good.'
• For now, redshirt freshman Grant Schuberg from Grant High is the backup fullback, but other strong candidates will arrive for August camp.
- Steve Brandon