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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Offensive Lines

The Mountain West had plenty of talent in the trenches

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 03 Navy at Air Force Photo by Mat Gdowski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bowl season has concluded, and basketball season is in full swing. But, we still have plenty of football to talk about. For the next few months, we will be taking a look back at the 2022 season and reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses of each team. With that being said, let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly of the offensive lines in the Mountain West.

The Good

Air Force

Air Force knows how to coach up their linemen. The offensive line is a position that demands discipline, and Air Force teaches it perfectly. The Falcons led the conference in yards per carry and sacks allowed.

Boise State

Taylen Green started the final ten games of the season, and this is where we started to see the talent this unit had. Under Bachmeier, the team allowed eight sacks and averaged about three yards per carry. In ten games under Green, the team gave up only six sacks and averaged 5.5 yards per carry. The potential was there; they just needed the right guy under center.


A good offensive line is the key to a successful Craig Bohl football team. While this wasn’t the best Cowboy offensive line I have ever seen, they were still a key to the team’s success. The Cowboys allowed only 19 sacks and averaged 4.9 yards per carry.


The more I dive into this team, the more potential for success I see. The Rainbow Warrior offensive line was sneaky good. They averaged 4.4 yards per carry and allowed only 20 sacks.

San Diego State

The Aztecs may not have put up the gaudy rushing numbers that we are accustomed to seeing, but their numbers were still respectable. The team averaged 4.0 yards per carry and gave up 27 sacks. This team also played some younger linemen over the course of the season.

The Bad

Utah State

While the Aggie offensive line wasn’t awful, they certainly struggled over the course of the season which resulted in injuries at the quarterback position. The Aggies gave up 30 sacks and averaged 3.8 yards per carry.

Fresno State

The Bulldogs were decent running the ball, but protecting their quarterback was a major issue. Jake Haener took some wicked hits; one resulted in an injury that nearly destroyed Fresno State’s season. The Bulldogs allowed 39 sacks, and Fife and Haener took many hits on top of that.


While the Rebels showed progress in running the ball, they were awful at protecting their quarterback. The Rebels gave up 37 sacks that cost the team 216 yards. That is a number this unit will need to improve upon if they want to be bowl eligible in 2023.


Last week we touched on the Wolf Pack’s issues running the ball (3.3 yards per carry). They were not much better at protecting their quarterback, allowing 33 sacks. The best Nevada teams had really good offensive lines; that was far from the case this past season.

The Ugly

Colorado State

When you look at the stats, it really puts things into perspective. The Colorado State offensive line was historically awful. They averaged only 2.8 yards per carry and gave up 59 sacks, the worst in the FBS by a healthy margin.

New Mexico

As bad as Colorado State’s offensive line was, New Mexico was not much better. The Lobos gave up 43 sacks, while only averaging 3.3 yards on the ground. For a team that looked like it was going to be built in the image of San Diego State, they have sure struggled with replicating their style of play.

San Jose State

San Jose State really fell off late in the season, and part of that was due to the struggles of the offensive line. The Spartan offensive line gave up 42 sacks and averaged only 3.3 yards per carry.

Which teams are set up for success in the trenches in 2023? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.