BY JEREMY HOECK
As the injuries have begun to pile up for the University of South Dakota football team, the offensive line is taking perhaps the brunt of the stings.
After right tackle Derek Chancellor suffered a season-ending leg injury, center Sam McLeran might be lost for the season, according to head coach Joe Glenn.
McLeran, a redshirt freshman, has already missed time this season for the Coyotes (2-6, 0-4) with a shoulder issue.
“That’s a tough one to swallow,” Glenn said after Wednesday’s practice.
Sophomore Mike Meinert is an option to fill in at center (he did so against Northern Arizona), but he has a cast on his right hand — which of course presents issues getting the ball to the quarterback.
Junior Nick Olson is likely to move into the starting center spot, as Meinert has moved to the backup at right guard in this week’s depth chart.
Filling in for Chancellor at right tackle has been redshirt freshman Stetson Dagel.
“Derek’s a great player, but Stetson is stepping up and doing really well,” senior left tackle Matt Huffer said.
The Coyotes, though, still have two linemen — Huffer and senior right guard Andrew Schofield — who have made 31 and 27 consecutive starts, respectively.
“The offensive line is a great group of guys, we all know that if a guy goes down, the next guy has to step up,” Huffer said.