UB's depth on the offensive line has grown leaner with the news that sophomore Pat Wilson (East Aurora) could miss the entire season with a rotator cuff injury. The Bulls already had prepared for Wilson's absence in the opener by sliding true freshman Gabriel Barbe into the left tackle position. But Barbe has been limited in practice the last few days by a hamstring and sophomore Gokham Ozkan has been taking first-team reps at tackle.
On a positive note, injured centers Jasen Carlson and Josh Violanti are back practicing and will make the trip to Pitt for Saturday evening's season opener. If Carlson can start that would enable the Bulls to slide junior Graham Whinery back to his guard spot and reduce the inexperience on the offensive line. The week began with true freshman Barbe and Dillon Guy and redshirted freshman Andre Davis among the line starters.
The line injuries rekindle haunting memories of last year, when a injury-riddled line struggled throughout a 2-10 season. The Bulls like their depth up front, but the challenge of Saturday's test against the Panthers, typically one of the Big East's top defensive teams, has heightened.