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Fun with Numbers: The Offensive Line

What are they serving over in McGugin because it is definitely not enough! If we are to compete in the SEC, our offensive needs to get big ... maybe they need to drink some Ooze.

Maybe if we give Johnny some time, he'll be able to throw the ball ... nah we'll let the unblocked linebacker sack him.
Maybe if we give Johnny some time, he'll be able to throw the ball ... nah we'll let the unblocked linebacker sack him.
Ed Zurga

If you want to play in the trenches in the SEC, it's all about how much you're willing to eat.

Some would say there is a fat race going on in the SEC. Throughout the season, I have read many comments talking about how poorly our offensive line is playing. Some of that is the result of a coaching change from Coach Herb Hand to Coach Kevin Lightner and other is pure physical play. Just to give you some insight of how different the two coaches are, here is a quote from junior Jake Bernstein that he gave the Tennessean, "What's really different, which we noticed right away, is the tone of practice," Bernstein said. "Coach Hand was a fiery guy and he wanted things done on the spot. I'm not saying that coach Lightner is not the same way, he's just got a different tempo in which he teaches."

In today's post, I am going to focus on the size and weight of our offensive line and how that compares to other SEC schools. Looking back at the past four years and the numbers provided in the yearly Fact Book for every player listed on the offensive line you can see an improvement in our size each year.

Might They Be Giants?
Year Number of Players Avg. Height Avg. Weight (lbs.)
2011 13 6', 4.75" 289
2012 16 6', 5" 287
2013 16 6', 5" 295
2014 15 6', 5" 303

From this list two things stick out to me, Franklin focused on increasing our depth on the offensive line and the weight of our offensive line. He definitely helped us in that area as you can see from increased size each year. Sadly though, compared to the rest of the SEC we are near the bottom. Ole Miss has the heaviest line at 326 lbs.

Here is the full list of SEC offensive lines from Saturday Down South. I am not sure where they found the players weight for their list, but it gives you a good idea of where we stand.

1. Ole Miss 326
2. Arkansas 325
3. LSU 321
4. South Carolina 318
5. Alabama 315
6. Florida 313
6. Missouri 313
8. Mississippi State 311
9. Texas A&M 307
10. Tennessee 305
11. Auburn 304
12. Kentucky 301
13. Vanderbilt 300
14. Georgia 298

For further comparison, the average size of a starting NFL lineman is 6', 5" and 310 lbs. So it sounds like our linemen need to start eating! Additionally, during Mason's introductory press conference he mentioned he wanted to increase the length of our linemen. So come signing day this year, we may see some linemen with the height that will let them play basketball in the off-season.

Maybe some of our players will be inspired by the video below.