Thursday, September 10, 2009


Skill positions (quarterback, running back, wide receiver, etc.) get a lot of attention. They become household names. We talk about what they did, and even give them credit for winning or losing a game. While the skill position players are the ones that score and turn the ball over, there is a group of players who dictate how easy or difficult it is for the skill positions to make their big plays. Quite literally, there’s a fine line between good and great teams. The way the offensive and defensive lines play is the X factor. The team that controls the line of scrimmage wins the game. Anyone can run for 5 yards if the offensive line does its job. Let a quarterback stand in the pocket long enough and a receiver is bound to break open sometime. Does Sam Bradford post such impressive numbers last year en route to winning the Heisman Trophy without his offensive line protecting him so well? I think we got our answer last Saturday in the BYU game. Speaking of that game, line play was the determining factor in BYU’s win.

  1. Oklahoma's plethora of false start penalties
  2. BYU's defensive line making its 4th quarter goal-line stand forcing Oklahoma to kick a field goal and keeping it a one possession lead.
  3. Oklahoma could not establish a ground game.
  4. Max Hall completed 68 percent of his passes for 329 yards.
  5. Sam Bradford was knocked out of the game.

Everything starts with the men up front. When they do their job right, quarterbacks and running backs that were good become great. When the line does not do its job, even the great quarterbacks and running backs appear to be good, at best.

1 comment:

  1. That is so true. When a team has a young and inexperienced Offensive or Defensive Line, it makes a huge difference between having a solid, veteran based line. Though a lot of times it can be fun to watch how a young line can grow and improve in the course of one season. Sometimes, an okay line can be great by the end of the year. This usually is the best sign for a young team with a promising future.