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BYU's O-Line: The Perpetually Underwhelming Key to the Future

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What good are 34 year old lineman if they can't block?

Scott Cunningham

Part of being a fan is the ability to look back and wonder what might have been. When it comes to the 2012 BYU Football squad, there are more than a few moments where a block here, a play there, or a personnel change EVERYWHERE could have possibly change the outcome of a game.

I'll mention just one area, both on the macro and the micro level. The offensive line, both through injury and poor execution, stumbled all season long. BYU struggled in short yardage situations and had trouble protecting the quarterback. BYU gave up 28 sacks on the season, in the bottom half of college football.

And it was not just sacks, it was the offensive line getting blown up at the most inopportune times. Look at these two plays, neither of which resulted in a sack, that, if they were blocked properly, BYU may have won two more games.

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/MKI-mIjUC0E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4gXlrjK4cHU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

(at 14:18)

You can't prove a negative, but if those two blocks are made...who knows what happens in 2012. Yes, I am still on my Quest for Perfection, dawgs.

Offensive line coach Mark Weber has been under pressure for quite some time. The BYU offensive line came into 2012 more slim and fit than ever. Many, myself included, hoped that this new look line would be more athletic and finally live up to the expectations they have failed to live up to since, well, forever. It never materialized. Sure, Riley Juice may have something to do with the struggles. But it seemed that the problems were much more systemic than that.

Why? Why can't BYU's offensive line turn the corner? Need a new coach? Switching to a zone-blocking scheme? Letting the line get fat and jolly again? Who knows. What I do know is BYU will never wow anyone with athletes at the skill position. But, seeing the demographics BYU recruits, the offensive line should be a strength. Like it is for Stanford. Whatever it is, BYU will not take the next step as a program with figuring things out up-front.