Positional Series: Offensive Line

Indiana's offensive line lost one of its leaders in Will Matte, but it has a group of guys with a lot of experience. Can the group come together to sustain IU's passing game and improve its run game?

Expected to Start

LT: Jason Spriggs/SO/6-7/294

LG: Bernard Taylor/JR/6-2/297

C: Collin Rahrig/RS JR/6-2/285

RG: Dan Feeney/SO/6-4/303

RT: Peyton Eckert/JR/6-6/302

LT Jason Spriggs leads the charge for the Indiana offensive line. Spriggs started all 12 games in 2012. He was on the ESPN.com and BTN.com Big Ten All-Freshman teams.

LG Bernard Taylor started 10 games in his freshman campaign in 2011, and started six last season before he suffered a season-ending injury. He was on the ESPN.com and BTN.com All-Freshman teams in 2011.

Under center for the Hoosiers this season will be Collin Rahrig. Rahrig will have his hands full, as he will be replacing Will Matte, Indiana's center that started 45 games for the Hoosiers throughout his career. Rahrig has 14 starts in his career, including starts in the final six contests last season.

RG Dan Feeney started all 12 games last season as a freshman, and did not give up a sack in 935 snaps. He was a FoxSportsNext.com/Scout.com Freshman All-America first teamer.

Rounding out the offensive line for Indiana is the RT Peyton Eckert. Eckert has 18 starts for his career, including all 12 games last year.

In the Two-Deep

LT: Ralston Evans/RS SO/6-4/287

LG: David Kaminski/RS SO/6-4/290

C: Jake Reed/RS SO/6-4/289

RG: Jacob Bailey/RS FR/6-5/301

RT: Dimitric Camiel/RS FR/6-7/308

The only Hoosier on the offensive line two-deep that has seen any collegiate action is Ralston Evans, who only appeared in one game last season. Indiana's success up front will rely heavily on if their starters can stay healthy as a unit.

Others in the Mix

Wes Rogers/RS FR/6-4/293

Cody Evers/RS JR/6-4/308

Chase Alexander/FR/6-0/303

Pete Bachman/RS JR/6-5/298

Bill Ivan/RS JR/6-4/288

Help on the Way

OT: DeAndre Herron/Iowa Western CC/6-5/325

OT: Delroy Baker/West Port (Ocala,FL)/6-6/275

OG: Wesley Martin/Wilton-Union(West Milton, OH)/6-3/295

Position Coaches

Greg Frey

Frey, the offensive line coach and run game coordinator, is in his third year as Indiana's offensive line coach.

He came to the Hoosiers from Michigan, where he was the offensive line coach from 2008-10. He also spent time at West Virginia in 2007, and was a member of South Florida's staff from 2000-06.

Frey was also a three-year letterman on Florida State's offensive line from 1991-95.

Positional Strengths

Indiana's offensive line returns a lot of experience, and that in itself is a strength for the Hoosiers. They return a combined 48 starts from last season up front.

With all of the experience returning, you can expect the offensive line to be very effective in pass protection. Last season, Indiana led the Big Ten, allowing one sack per 31.8 pass attempts. The Hoosiers also had the most effective passing attack in the conference, leading the way with 311 yards per game.

What Needs to Improve

Indiana's rushing attack last season struggled. Although some of the blame has to be placed on the running backs, some of that also falls on the offensive line.

Indiana rushed for just 130 yards per game, which was 10th out of 12 teams in the Big Ten last season.

The Hoosiers also only ran for 85 first downs last season, which was last in the Big Ten.

If the Hoosiers want a more balanced attack on offense next season, they must improve their running game, which starts with run blocking.

Kevin Wilson's Take on the Unit

"I think our offensive line is extremely undervalued in this league. I think we've got one young man, for doubt, that will be a phenomenal player through his college and next year. And we have got four or five guys that are going to be upper level Big Ten players. We'll have a good offensive line. "

The Players weigh in, too

Jason Spriggs talked about what the offensive line needs to do to improve upon last season.

"We didn't run-block as hard last year," Spriggs said. "This year, we've all realized that is something we need to do to win, and everybody is really balling out and going as hard as they can."

Overall Analysis

The offensive line, as a unit, is one of the best positions Indiana has on its team. They are still relatively young, but they are experienced.

They will, however, need to find a way to better their run-blocking, and running game as a whole. If Indiana wants to improve upon last season, and possibly make a bowl, it has to start with the running game.

With that said, Indiana's passing attack was strong last season, and one should expect more of the same this season. The offensive line rarely surrenders sacks, and it gives the quarterback time in the pocket to make good decisions.

If the offensive line can stay healthy, expect an efficient offense from Indiana.

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