Call Them “Legend” – From Tackle To Tackle This May Be Boise State’s Best Year

A hallmark of the Boise State offense; every man does his job, perfect blocks, execution, and protection.

A hallmark of the Boise State offense; every man does his job, perfect blocks, execution, and protection.

Games are won and lost from tackle to tackle. And it is not so much brawn as it is brains.

Those guys never get enough credit. There is no stat that defines their performance.

Last year DJ Harper averaged 5 yards per carry and Jay Ajayi averaged 6.7 per carry. Southwick was sacked only seven times. That’s just about the only way an offensive line is judged and that’s pretty darn good.

Boise State’s tackle to tackle group besides the center are Charles Leno Jr., Rees Odhiambo, Steven Baggett, Jake Broyles, Travis Averill, Spencer Gerke, and Mario Yakoo.

Much has been said about the lack of game experience. Sure it’s good to get an underclassman in there from time to time to let him get some game-time, but good players come off the bench with no game experience and there learning curve should be no more than one snap. That’s what practice and reps are for.

This whole experience thing is always over blown and blown out of the water; either you’re good or you’re not. All the game experience in the world won’t make you gooder.

Of the tackle to tackle guys mentioned Leno and Gerke are premier performers. This year they will likely be at the very top of their college game. Yet, their most important role will be to lift the performance of the others.

This is a young offensive line. Certainly they must have the physical qualities needed not to be pushed around, but without the concept of zone and team blocking they may as well be fire hydrants. This is where constant repetition of assignments must become second nature. It’s nice when an offensive lineman can drive a defensive opponent to the ground, but you only have to engage long enough to hold them at bay.

I’ve seen so-called great offensive lineman pancake a guy to the ground five out of ten times, but the other five times the defensive guy blows by him. A good offensive lineman will engage and lock on to his man on every play.

That has proved to be the success of Boise in the past. They simply play smarter. For sure, they hit hard, but they don’t over-power an opponent. Yet, Boise State is moving to a point in their development as a major program where they will attract the over-powering talent.

This may be Boise State’s best offensive line ever. They are intelligent and quick. They have good technique. They block the right man at the right time.

It’s not so important that they stand out individually, but rather they play as a coordinated front five.

Some of these linemen have a couple more years of eligibility. By the time their senior year rolls around they’ll be legends.



Filed under Boise, Sports

8 responses to “Call Them “Legend” – From Tackle To Tackle This May Be Boise State’s Best Year

  1. Pabloc

    This line appears to be fine on pass protection, but they have struggled to dominate the line and provide any rushing lanes in big games. Michigan and Washington showed that good defenses can smother the broncos running game. While the Michigan defense was certainly top tier, Washington certainly isn’t a top 20 defense. The run also struggled against BYU.
    My point is that when this o-line is tested by good defenses (those outside the MW) the run blocking is poor.

    • Can’t argue with you on that one.
      I’ve always said that Boise was six inches on two occasions against Michigan from winning; passes were right beyond finger tips of wide receivers. If they had the confidence they should have had in their long game that may have freed up Harper. By the way Harper may be one of BSU’s best running backs. Like you mentioned he didn’t have a great line and was plagued with injuries during his career.
      Thanks for you comment.

  2. It was Michigan STATE kids. Big difference.

      Thanks for the reminder. Only one Michigan school had the guts to play us. The other Michigan could not bear another Appalachian State.

      • Robert

        Boise State is no Appalachian State.
        remember that.

      • We wear shoes.
        I wore a BSU sweat shirt to the Big House a few years ago. The cop outside the stadium directing traffic tried to give me the business. All in good fun. Actually Michigan was a good place to see a game.

  3. No70

    O Line will need to be the best. Defensive wins such as 7 to 6 will be unlikely. 27 points of offense per game will be expected.

Blather away, if you like.

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