We have been here before (OLINE) | The Boneyard

We have been here before (OLINE)

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We have started years with big inexperience on the Offensive Line and woeful prospects from the early moments of a season. Below I have pulled our early starting line-ups from the most comparable. Someone, on another thread, mentioned that this was what happened in College Football - turnover & transition; and we were whining too much about that inexperience & not blaming Diaco enough.

I also want to point to the transition; and how UConn Football has moved through it. And the years listed below saw hugely differing strategic moves (same HC).

You do get the LOW level of OLine in College Football - occasionally. You can argue the 2002 year was because we weren't quite at 85 scholarships yet. OK - quite true. Maybe we acted different because of the lack of bench. Edsall/Norries Wilson KEPT this Lineup mostly constant (of course, injuries are not predictable). The 4 underclassmen stayed together for 3 solid years from here. There were guys on this bench that EVENTUALLY played after Krug-Markowski-Irwin graduated. But, they hung together. That 6-6 saw a real tough start (and we were 2-9 the year before - getting shellacked by Temple & Middle Tennessee). But look at what happened that year: our last 4 games, we were good. Terry Caulley was explosive. We really competed through the Iowa State game. LESSON - you hang with kids that you evaluate and see potential.

Then 2006 was a really tough year. What did Edsall & Foley do? Guess what? They shook that line-up all the time. Who arose? Will Beatty & Keith Gray (started the year as a DLINE) & Zach Hurd (a very raw though athletic guy). Where we started in September was not where we were in October even. But we developed.

My judgment? I think we have a Perfect Storm. We did have experience last November; frankly, a lot of kids that didn't develop as well as they should OR as we had in the previous 8 years. Now, we come into Fall with at least as inexperienced a group as we had in either of those two years (Knappe, Samra, Levy has NO relevant field play). You can go either of the two ways going forward. Hang with 'em or find a way to make it work somewhere on your roster: we have done both recently.

2002 (6-6 record)
LT Ryan Krug (SO) 6-4 300
LG Brian Markowski (SO) 6-2 293
C Billy Irwin (SO) 6-1 267
RG Grant Preston (FR) 6-5 306
LG Steve Cully (RSR) 6-4 304

2006 (4-8)
LT Dan Ryan (RFR) 6-8 297
LG Matt Applebaum (SO) 6-5 300
C Alex LaMagdelaine (RFR) 6-3 299
RG Immanuel Hutcherson (SO) 6-1 274
LG Mike Hicks (RFR) 6-7 338
 
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