The right guard competition is over…for now. Bret Bielema has announced that Zac Matthias will start at the position in the season opener against Northern Iowa. But Bielema says Kyle Costigan and possibly even Robert Burge will also get some reps.
Costigan looked like the favorite up until a couple weeks ago with Burge and freshman Dan Voltz also in the conversation, but Matthias came on strong and ultimately moved into the #1 spot. Now if he wants to hold onto that spot, he’ll have to play well beginning this weekend. Obviously Bielema is still in the evaluation process.
Another man to keep an eye on as that process moves forward is Dallas Lewallen, who is finally almost all the way back after breaking his kneecap two years ago. ”He’s a guy that can run and bend,” Bielema said of the sophomore. “Because he’s been through a lot, you’d think he’d be ready to play.”
Bielema also opened up the possibility of shifting Ryan Groy over from left guard if things don’t go well for any of his current right guard options. Clearly that situation is still very much up in the air and will bear watching for the next few weeks. Hopefully they’ll have this thing settled by the time the conference season starts. At least we know what we’re getting from Ricky Wagner, Travis Frederick and Rob Havenstein.