Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Reason for the O-Line's Struggles


As most have noted this season, the UGA offensive line has struggled mightily in pass protection. The guys up front have given up 13 sacks so far this season. Run blocking doesn't seem to be an issue as the Dawgs are having great success in moving the ball on the ground. The lack of pass-pro has also been a major factor in quarterback Aaron Murray's 7 untimely turnovers, as he has thrown 6 interceptions and lost 1 fumble, 3 being returned for scores.

One of the main reasons for the struggles along the O-Line this season can simply be described as ATTRITION. For years UGA has been plagued with bad luck and misfortune among the members of its offensive line. Here is a class by class breakdown of Georgia's offensive line recruits and how their respected careers have played out.

2007- Players would be 5th year seniors
Justin Anderson: Starting at RT after flipping between offense and defense, natural guard
Clint Boling: Graduated, now starting in NFL
Ben Harden: Medically disqualified
Scott Havercamp: JUCO, but transferred midway through first season
Chris Little: Transferred
Tanner Strickland: Medically disqualified
Trinton Sturdivant: Multiple ACL tears, may never play again

Cordy Glenn: Starting a LT due to injury to Sturdivant, natural guard
AJ Harmon: Transferred
Ben Jones: Starting at Center
Jonathan Owens: Medically disqualified

Chris Burnette: Currently injured, but started at RG
Kwame Geathers: Listed as O-line, but recruited to play DT
Dallas Lee: Primary backup, starting at RG in place of Burnette
Austin Long: Recovering from injury

Brent Benedict: Transferred
Kenarious Gates: Starting at LG
Kolton Houston: Currently ineligible due to NCAA issues

As you can see, of the 18 players signed during this 4 year span, only 6 are currently contributing. Seven recruits, not counting JUCO signee Havercamp, have either transferred or been medically disqualified. Additionally 3 more are currently injured or ineligible.

You simply cannot have success with only 6 offensive line contributors in 4 years! A two deep depth chart is non-existent and our primary back-ups are true freshman, most of which have yet to see significant playing time. Pure and simple bad luck!


  1. Pathetic. And it's going to get worse before it gets better with Jones, Anderson and Glenn gone after this year. Richt is openly talking about JC lineman in press conferences. Without them, this year will be a walk in the park for Murray compared to next year.

  2. As much criticism as the offensive line has received in pass protection, there are other contributing factors which have not gone unnoticed by all. First, our RB's have made some really poor blocks on blitzing LB's. Missing chips or outright missing blocks. Crowell is the worse but Figgins has missed his fair share. This does not take into account the drops by the receivers either. If the receivers were catching legitimate passes consistently, defenses would hesitate to press the line of scrimmage. Therefore, although a lot of the responsibility is on the o line, the rest of the offense needs to take its fair share for not executing. So before totally throwing the Oline under the bus, let's look at how other players are impacting the pressure Murray has been getting.

  3. Anon 8:35, we could be in a very precarious position next season if the youngster do not get reps this season. The signing of John Theus will go along way to helping shore up the line in the future.

    Anon 1:08, you make a valid point. This is a team sport and multiple positions should bear responsibilty for the high number of sacks. However I don't believe you will ever see "sacks allowed" in a stat column for receivers and/or running backs.