Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Dawg-Like Preview: Offensive Line

(Note: Each week from now until the start of the season, we will be previewing different position groups for the Dawgs)

Why did I want to start with the O-line? Because...I just did. No, actually I did because it is easily Georgia's best position group (well, maybe second best if you count Butler/Walsh). Why is it the best group? The main reason is that the returning linemen are all upperclassmen, and have a combined 143 starts -- not counting Justin (Bean) Anderson who got moved to the defensive line this year. No other team in the country can boast that many starts from their Offensive line. More good news -- they get back Trinton Sturdivant from the torn ACL and he may not even start.

But the next question must be, "Is the offensive line even any good?". Well, check out these numbers from last year:
  • They only allowed 12 sacks last season, which ranks 6th nationally and was the fewest in the SEC.
  • Both Caleb King and Washaun Ealey averaged over 5 yards a carry (5.2 and 5.7 respectively).
  • And third, Richard Samuel won't be stealing any carries this year!
(Okay, the third one was both a little mean and had nothing to do with 'numbers from last year'...but I think it is still a valid point.)

And here are the projected starters:

LT-Clint Boling SR. 36 starts (with Sturdivant -- 14 starts --backing up)
LG-Cordy Glenn JR. 23 starts
C-Ben Jones JR. 23 starts
RG-Chris Davis SR 37 starts
RT-Josh Davis SR 10 starts last year

(there are also other guys on the team with experience like A.J. Harmon and J. Anderson that could play if something horrible happens)

So what can we expect this year? Well, at the very worst the rushing numbers should at least be equal to those of last year. The pass protection for the QB should be very good as well, and hopefully Murray's "clock thingy that goes off when I'm being pressured" works. Either way, with a new QB it is nice to know there are solid veterans up front to protect the freshman signal caller...and for the love of God, would Trinton please not lose any knee ligaments this year.

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