Report Card: Offensive Line

It's now the offensive line's turn to get their final grade on the season from Joe Yeager and here it is.

LaAdrian Waddle, Lonnie Edwards, Justin Keown, Deveric Gallington, Terry McDaniel, Mickey Okafor, David Neill, Beau Carpenter, Jonathan Guerra


Key Stat: Texas Tech quarterbacks were sacked 19 times on 619 passing plays, which equates to once every 33 attempts. That doesn't sound too bad until one starts comparing the state to other passing attacks.


The Stanford Cardinal, for instance, allowed one sack every 44 passing plays, while Texas A&M and Oklahoma allowed sacks once every 63 attempts. In other words, Seth Doege was almost twice as likely to be sacked as Ryan Tannehill and Landry Jones.


Now we know that Doege was responsible for a good many of those sacks, but it is probably safe to say that Tannehill and Jones take the blame for some of their sacks as well. Bottom line: Tech's pass protection was average.



The offensive line's season got off on the wrong foot, so to speak, when Justin Keown and then Tony Morales suffered injuries in the very early going. Morales, who was expected to be Keown's understudy at center, redshirted instead, and Keown played with a torn ACL for most of the season. Right guard Deveric Gallington actually slid over and played a great many snaps at center.


That sort of instability in the center of the line is never a good thing. Nevertheless, Keown had a solid season despite limited lateral mobility.


The strength of the line was expected to be on the left side where LaAdrian Waddle and Lonnie Edwards held sway at tackle and guard respectively. And generally speaking, the expectation was fulfilled.


Waddle, a player of tremendous talent, was the only lineman to garner postseason notice, earning second team All Big 12 honors. Waddle gave up no more than a few sacks the entire season.


Edwards was a workhorse in the running game, and looked to be an All Conference player at the season's midway point. Edwards' play tailed off a bit, however, as he blew a few assignments and committed some key penalties.


The right side, however, was where the Red Raiders had most of their problems. Gallington showed surprising mobility in the screen game, but also committed blunders in run blocking and was beaten not infrequently in pass protection.


Terry McDaniel, who surprised some folks by starting ahead of returning second team All Big 12 performer Mickey Okafor and playing virtually every snap, was competent, but not much more than that. He had problems with strong bull rushers.


Outside of Okafor, who rarely even played, Tech's offensive line didn't showcase a great deal of depth. Talented redshirt freshman Beau Carpenter saw some snaps, particularly in the early part of the season, but departed line coach Matt Moore clearly didn't have many quality options on the bench.


On the whole, run blocking was pretty solid. The line was clearing the way for Eric Stephens to be an All Big 12 back before an injury cut him down. The strength of run blocking was between the tackles, and particularly over Edwards and Keown. Red Raider backs didn't make a great deal of hay outside the tackles.


Grade: C+



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