WVU 2014 Preview: Offensive Line
It’s time to look at the West Virginia offensive breakdown for the 2014 season. In this preview, we look at the Mountaineer offensive line and player line-up at each position.
Key Departures: Curtis Feigt, Pat Eger, and Nick Kindler
Additions: Dontae Angus, Amanii Brown, Walter Rauterkus, Justin Scott, and Sylvester Townes
Returning Players: Adam Pankey, Marquis Lucas, Michael Calicchio, Quinton Spain, Russell Haughton-James, Mark Glowinski, Stone Underwood, Tyler Orlosky, and Tony Matteo.
One to Watch: Adam Pankey
Coach: Ron Crook
The 2013 Mountaineer offensive line saw it’s share of troubles last season. Many will point to the losses of Madsen, Jenkins, and Braun as a primary reason for the struggles. However, the offensive line play for the Mountaineers had already slowly started its decline before those departures. According to cfbstats.com there has been a steady decline in 3rd down conversion rates for the Mountaineers dating back to 2005.
Pass protection has also become an issue over the last few seasons and number of sacks allowed have increased each year since the Rodriguez era at WVU. However, comparing sacks allowed between the differing offensive styles of Holgorsen and Rodriguez is not exactly fair.
This year the offensive line looks to again replace three departing starters. And just like last season there will an concerns about experience. Although guards Glowinski and Spain both started all 12 games for the Mountaineers last season Coach Dana Holgorsen stated that he was concerned with the inexperience on the line. During spring practice holgorsen stated there was still inexperience at the tackle position. As of today Adam Pankey, who missed the first four games last season due to offseason knee surgery, and Marquis Lucas are the starting tackles this season. Holgorsen did go on to say that, “Marquis has really adjusted to tackle”. Holgorsen went on to add that he is, ” more of a tackle than a guard”.
Rounding out the offensive line will be Mark Glowinski, Tyler Orlosky, and Quinton Spain. Spain is coming off a breakout season last year that left him debating whether to forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft. NFLDraftScout.com calls Spain, an Outland Trophy watch list nominee, the most draft-eligible prospect on the Mountaineer team this season.
Going into fall practice the Mountaineer O Line is healthy being two deep at each position with Sylvester Townes the only new addition to the current depth chart. The depth at O Line has also allowed the staff to move Yodny Cajuste, who was recruited as an offensive lineman, to the defensive side of the ball.
Led by first year Mountaineer O Line coach, Ron Crook, the WVU offensive front looks to be better prepared with more depth and experienced this coming season.