Peavler: What does Phil Steele see in BYU's offensive line?
Naturally, BYU struggled against the better rushing defenses in the nation. The Cougars faced three top 20 rushing defenses: Wisconsin (No. 5), Utah State (No. 8) and Utah (No. 20). On the other hand, at least two of BYU's best rushing games were against horrible defenses. Idaho State is an FCS opponent and a bad one at that, and Texas fired its defensive coordinator after Taysom Hill ran wild over the Longhorns.
Besides, Hill is a mobile quarterback who was fairly good at escaping a collapsing coverage and picking up positive yardage on broken plays. Yes, some of the blame for BYU's high sack count rests on Hill as he did hold onto the ball for too long in many passing situations.
While the offensive line certainly deserves some credit for BYU's 3,475 yards rushing last season, those who watched this line struggle all the way through the Fight Hunger Bowl know that it still has a long way to go.
So, what if Steele is right and BYU does put together a top 15 offensive line?
Simply put, everything on offense would see a massive boost. Hill's numbers, particularly in passing situations, would increase. Running backs such as Jamaal Williams would be able to score more touchdowns. BYU would rise from the basement in blue zone offense.
In short, BYU's offense might finally meet the fans' lofty expectations after years of disappointment.
It may be hard for those who watched BYU's offensive line struggle last season to believe that the offensive line might be the strongest position group on the team in 2014. Then again, you can't ignore when a man like Phil Steele makes that kind of claim with more than 20 years of experience and data backing him up.
At any rate, fans will be paying close attention to the offensive line in 2014.
Lafe Peavler is a staff sports writer for the Deseret News. Follow him on Twitter @LafePeavler.
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