The Impact of Improved O-Line on SDSU’s Performance


UW and San Diego State started the season in much the same boat – little, if any, experienced players to man the O-line. Although some players for SDSU were Jrs. and Srs., 3 had no game reps at all, and the other 2 had played diferent positions. In their first few games both teams struggled mightily on offense. SDSU’s OCC schedule was probably tougher than UW’s. SDSU’s O-line has improved considerably since the start of the season and this improvement has shown up in recent game results. Elements of the offense that were not working prior are now performing like a well-oiled machine. The most notable difference has been in the running game. Whereas, in their first 3 games against FBS competition they averaged 3.4 yds./play, in their last 4 games (all in conference play) they averaged 4.8+ yds./play. Even greater improvement has shown up in the passing game jumping from 5.4 to 10.1 yds./play. As the running game has improved, the offensive mix between run and pass has also changed considerably, from 57% runs to 86% runs over the comparable game spans. In their latest game against a common opponent, SDSU rushed for 336 yards against Utah State. What has helped SDSU a lot has been the continuity of starters on the O-line. The same 5 that started the season are still the starters at the same positions. This example should provide some hope to discouraged UW fans (myself included) and help to ease their worries concerning the offensive woes of the Huskies. As SDSU’s schedule became easier, and with the steady improvement of the O-line, their on-field results swung dramatically, they have become a much better team, and they are now favored to win their Division.