PAC 12 Champs + Offensive Lines

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    • #97684

      Ute Fan

      My biggest concern for this team, along with probably pretty much everyone else, is the O-line. I’ve been trying to recall if I could remember an elite team at any level, that didn’t have an at least above average offensive line. I couldn’t think of any. Our best teams (’04, ’08, ’16), had some of our best o-lines. I didn’t think our line was exceptional last year, but they improved as the season went on and I thought they were at least above average.

      I was curious so I looked up all conference champs since the conference and went to 12 teams and tried to recall their O-line situations.

      2011: Oregon
      2012: Stanford
      2013: Stanford
      2014: Oregon
      2015: Stanford
      2016: Washington
      2017: USC
      2018: Washington

      Of the winners, Oregon, Stanford, Washington, and 2017 USC, my recollection is that all of those teams were very solid up front. The early Oregon teams were a little different in that they were leaner and faster, but produced some good talent. Washington, Stanford, and USC have been littered with NFL hogs up front.

      An interesting note is that the lowest ranked teams to win the conference were 2017 USC #11, and 2018 Washington #11.

      If we’re serious about winning the conference, we’re going to need to be a legit top 10 team and I have a hard time seeing that without a solid offensive line. I think to meet the current hype/projections we’re going to need 1-2 guys on the o-line we’re not expecting much out of to really surprise. I.e. one of the incoming freshman, Nick Ford, Brayden Daniels, etc. We need a couple guys in addition to Paulo to show they are an NFL caliber player.

      I feel like Harding really has his work cut out for him, and the performance of this position group will determine how far the team goes this season. I think if we can replicate the performance of our line last year (slightly above average pac-12 line), our goals are in reach. Otherwise, I just feel like there will be 1-2 games we drop that we otherwise shouldn’t, i.e. Cal, Wazzu, etc. where their d-line/linebackers cause havoc, we commit a few costly turnovers, and drop a low-scoring affair.

    • #97687

      Ute Fan

      Not only that but we need two additional guys to emerge as solid starters with Ford, Umana and Paulo just to round out a starting 5. Then a few more for depth.

      If Harding pulls it off the ceiling is exceptionally high for this team with all the other talent we have. If not we’ll all be very disappointed. I guess that’s the fun thing about College football. Always question marks. The season can’t come soon enough.

      • #97692

        Central Coast Ute
        Ute Fan

        Braden Daniel’s is the fourth guy. I’ve heard only good things about him. #5 is the tricky part. I think they’re hoping for Bam. If he doesn’t make it to campus or just can’t play, I’m not sure who’s next in line.

    • #97696

      Ute Fan

      If we had a great offensive line as we have had in some of our previous seasons – I think the sky would be the limit for this team.

      As Norm chow said – 80% of a successful offense depends on the offensive line.  We may have a great defense, an all american caliber running back and a senior QB.  But, we could end up with 3-4 losses because the offense can’t deliver.  I do not predict this; however, it may be the case if our line cannot open holes or protect Huntley.

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