OU report card: Offensive line

The grades continue at Sooners Illustrated. This time looking at offensive linemen.

With the Oklahoma football season in the books, Sooners Illustrated is going to look back at each position group to see how they fared in 2013.

Offensive line

Heading into the season, everybody knew about center Gabe Ikard, but the question was what sort of mentality was first-year coach Bill Bedenbaugh going to bring to the group?

It turns out it's a good one. It's safe to say the nasty is back at OU in regards to the offensive line. The Sooners wanted to become a more run-oriented team, and the only way that was possible was the improvement of the line.

Ikard was sensational as anticipated, but don't forget about Bronson Irwin who did every little thing that was asked of him. Left guard, right guard, right tackle – started at all three positions during the season.

Losing Ikard and Irwin will be tough, but linemen like Nila Kasitati and Adam Shead will be fine. Ty Darlington should become a name to watch as well at center.

Tackle is shored up for the future with both Tyrus Thompson and Daryl Williams coming back. Maybe it's not the eye-popping name going forward, but the unit as a whole should be pretty stout as long as it stays healthy. Depth at tackle will be a concern.

Best moment: Really wanted to go with Kansas State but went with the game that started it all. OU was supposed to be bullied in South Bend by Notre Dame, but the Sooners managed to rush and throw for more than 200 yards in a 35-21 victory. Bedenbaugh's group made it clear OU was done being pushed around.

Worst moment: OU's rushing attack against Baylor was nonexistent. Thirty-four carries to only average 2.6 per attempt did not get the job done. The line did a great job of bouncing back from the performance the rest of the season.

Sooners Illustrated grade: B+.

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