Connect with us

Alabama Football News

Alabama’s offensive line can be unsung hero for a title run

Evan Neal makes reach block against Missouri
via: SEC Media Portal

In football, it all starts up front, and for Alabama’s game against Missouri on Saturday the first-team offensive line won the battle in the trenches when it was out there.

The group of Alex Leatherwood, Deonte Brown, Landon Dickerson, Emil Ekiyor and Evan Neal showed off an impressive amount of physicality and athleticism against a Tigers front which would later end with nine tackles for loss on the night.

But until the line was shifted around, the unit with an average weight of 334 pounds, kept starting quarterback Mac Jones off the ground nearly the entire time he was in the game as he was sacked just one time. The group also opened up gaping holes for running back Najee Harris who averaged 5.8 yards per carry and run for a total of 98 yards and three touchdowns.

“Those guys are great,” said Jones when asked about the offensive line. “They know what to do, they’re all on the same page. You know, we got a great group of guys. You know you just feel comfortable back there when you got the best offensive line. They do a great job and don’t get as much credit as they deserve.”

Continuity played a big part in how the unit was able to pick come out of the gates so well. Alabama returned four of its five starters from last season, and the newcomer Ekiyor saw a fair amount of playing time last season as well.

It’s this kind of dominance at the line of scrimmage which can help a team win a championship as they’ve done in the past. The Crimson Tide had some of the best offensive lines in the Saban era when they won the championship in 2013 and 2015 when players like Derrick Henry, Eddie Lacey and T.J. Yeldon were running untouched for five yards every play.

With more practice time and incoming tenacious defensive fronts, it’ll be fun to see how the big men fair against the rest of the SEC.

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber only content!*

Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77

More in Alabama Football News