A few weeks ago we began previewing position groups with the quarterback and running back positions. Last week, we looked at wide receivers. This week, we turn our focus to the offensive line. Some teams had major turnover in the trenches, but it looks like there are still some very talented groups across the Mountain West. With that being said, let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly of offensive lines for each team in the Mountain West.
The fate of this team rests in the hands of its offensive line. More often than not, the Falcons have one of the top offensive lines in the conference. I don’t anticipate things being any different in 2023. This unit will ease the new quarterback in and help this team contend for a spot in the conference championship game.
The Broncos went from having one of the worst offensive lines in the conference through four games, to one of the best by season’s end. The emergence of mobile quarterback Taylen Green helped this team immensly. The team will be breaking in a new left tackle, but there is plenty of experience among the rest of the group. The Broncos should have one of the best rushing attacks in the country.
This team needs to have one of the best offensive lines in the country; the fate of their season rests in the hands of this unit. On paper, the Cowboys have one of the easiest schedules in the conference. If this unit can be elite, they have a chance to contend for a conference championship. I think this will be one of the best offensive line units in the Mountain West.
It feels like the offensive line for the Bulldogs could go either way. They struggled to protect their quarterback at times and were inconsistent running the ball. But I think this unit will take a step in the right direction this season and be among the top half of offensive lines in the conference.
San Diego State
The Aztec offensive line was not the elite unit we have become accustomed to seeing in past years. I think this team will focus on improved play from this group, and it will show on the field. I think the Aztecs will have one of the top rushing attacks in the conference in 2023.
The offensive line was arguably the top unit on the Aggies team in 2022. If they can get a little bit better at protecting the quarterback, they could have one of the top units in the conference this fall. With plenty of experience returning, I expect this unit to be very good this year.
The Rainbow Warriors weren’t awful at running the ball last seaon (they were seventh in the conference). They were surprisingly good at protecting their quarterback. If they can make progress running the ball, it will go a long way in the win column.
San Jose State
This group was bad in 2022. I think you could make an argument that it kept them from winning their division. They need to do a better job of protecting Chevan Cordeiro (42 sacks allowed in 2022) if they have any hope of contending for a conference championship.
This unit was solid in opening up lanes for their running back, but their quarterback got hit way too much last season. If this team hopes of taking the next step and reaching a bowl game, they need better play from this unit.
The Rams had the worst offensive line I have ever seen last season. I know some of you may think that may be an exaggeration, but they averaged less than 90 yards per game on the ground and gave up 59 sacks. They were awful last season. Honestly, “Ugly” might be a step in the right direction.
For a team that did not spend a lot of time with the ball, the Lobos sure have some rough stats that are a poor reflection of the offensive line. The Lobos allowed 43 sacks and managed only 3.4 yards a carry. If this team is going to take a step in the right direction, it is going to start with their offensive line and rushing attack.
The Wolf Pack had a rough year in 2022. They had a veteran running back but struggled to move the ball in the ground. They also had a revolving door at quarterback, and whoever was behind center was under constant pressure. This unit has a long way to go, and I don’t see enough improvement in this group to move them out of the “Ugly” category.
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Who do you think has the best offensive line in the Mountain West? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.