Brian Anderson Sees Hope For The O-Line

Brian Anderson (pictured), the lone senior on the still-young Mississippi State offensive line, sees hope for himself as he learns a new position ... and a good future for a mostly young offensive line that is still learning its way through the always tough Southeastern Conference.

"It's going alright. It takes a little time to get used to being back inside," said the youngster of his latest position, right guard. "The (defensive) guys are a little stronger. And the last two years I'm played most of my snaps on the left side and I've had to go back to the right side. It's been a little problem, but I think it will be alright."

Brian is the lone senior on a two-deep offensive line that includes 1 senior, 1 junior, 4 sophomores and 4 freshmen. While he understands how young the line is, he also sees its potential.

"Even though we were young last year, we are still kind of young this year," said the 6-5, 300-pounder. "We only have the one senior. (Sophomore tackle) Calvin (Wilson) hasn't been able to practice a lot (due to family illnesses). But despite that, I think we are coming along."

He explained his reasons for optimism.

"(Sophomore starting guard) Anthony Strauder tore a pec (muscle) his freshman year, but he's now getting back to where he is strong again. And he's an explosive guy," said Brian. "If Calvin loses weight and makes it to practice everyday, he will be fine because he has a lot of ability. (Redshirt freshman tackle) Craig (Jenkins) and (sophomore tackle) Mike Gates are coming along. (Junior center) Royce (Blackledge) is just one of those tough guys. He's like me, he doesn't have a lot of athletic ability, but he's going to give you what he has everytime. And he's a tough guy who can play with (injuries). (Redshirt center) Johnny Carpenter is the same as Royce. While he's not a great athlete, he is mean and tough. I feel like we are good with either one of our centers." The other offensive linemen include sophomore guards Anthony Dunning and Dio Herrera and redshirt freshman tackle Chris Spencer.


Pictured: Blackledge, Jenkins, Anderson, Strauder and Gates (Wilson was attending a friend's funeral)

If things work out as hoped, what would Brian like to see happen by the end of the spring?

"By the end of spring, I would like for us to get a lot of yards on first down," he explained. "That's a hole on the offense right now. How the offensive line goes, is how the offense goes."

And how the defense goes is how the defensive line goes. And Brian thinks that shouldn't be a problem for the Mississippi State defense, mainly due to the play - and talent - of the Bulldog defensive line.

"They are a talented bunch of guys," said the three-year letterman of the veteran bunch. "It seems like all of them have been playing four or five years. I don't want to jinx them, but I would be surprised if they aren't one of the top three of four defenses in the SEC."

What better way for a young offensive line to get better than by facing one of the top defensive lines in the SEC ... and, possibly, the nation?


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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