2011 Football Preview: Offensive Line

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Despite the fact that the Hokies are starting four seniors on the offensive
line and have more depth at that position than they’ve had in years, it seems as
if more Tech fans consider line play to be more of a question mark than breaking
in a new quarterback.

That’s understandable, as Tech’s offensive line has been less than reliable
in recent years.

Line Play, ACC Era
Year RYPG Sacks
2004 178.2 2.77
2005 190.7 2.61
2006 113.4 2.23
2007 133.6 3.86
2008 174.4 3
2009 208.2 2.38
2010 198.7 2.43

The Hokies have only averaged over 200 yards rushing once since joining the ACC,
and that was with a backfield that featured Ryan Williams and Tyrod Taylor. Even
in 2010, with Williams, Taylor, Darren Evans and David Wilson, the Hokies
averaged just under 200 yards per game.

Tech has also struggled to protect the quarterback. The low years for the
offensive line were 2006 through 2008, with things picking back up since then.
The Hokies have gotten to the point where they can run block effectively against
basically everyone except the elite defenses. From a pass protection standpoint,
they still struggle.

Note that pass protection isn’t always the offensive line’s fault. Sometimes
it’s a running back, sometimes the quarterback holds the ball too long,
sometimes the receivers don’t