Before the Sooners' 31-14 win over Iowa in the Insight Bowl, Jake Trotter and Brandon Chatmon analyzed each Oklahoma position group. Now, the SoonerNation staff is giving each position a grade for its performance in 2011.
The line was terrific protecting Landry Jones until giving up six sacks in OU’s final two games. The run blocking was sporadic, but the emergence of guard Adam Shead fueled the effectiveness of the Belldozer. Shead is back, along with four starters up front. Next season, there’s no reason this shouldn’t be the best line OU has had since 2008.
- Jake Trotter
Probably the most consistent and durable group on offense. They weren’t overwhelmingly dominant but they did enough to get the job done. A injury to one of the stars up front, Ben Habern, didn’t have near the impact of injuries to Dominique Whaley and Ryan Broyles. Gabe Ikard stepped in and filled in for Habern while Lane Johnson and Shead progressed into quality contributors. The fact OU couldn’t just impose its will on teams, running the ball, whenever it wanted to is the only reason this group doesn’t get an A+.
- Brandon Chatmon
The offensive line didn’t necessarily struggle, but the group wasn’t always clicking on all cylinders. Down the stretch, the line wasn’t able to open up the holes for the running game, and OU was lacking balance. It was definitely a great season for Ikard, who can play either center or guard and can make the transition with ease. Shead looks like he is going to be a name to remember going forward.
- Bob Przybylo
Oklahoma's offensive line was extremely solid, but not spectacular in 2011. Landry Jones was sacked just 10 times all season, down from 19 in 2010 and 12 in 2009, and the Sooners' running backs rushed for 2,118 yards on 4.5 yards per carry. The interior linemen stood out the most as the combination of Ikard, Shead, Habern and Tyler Evans proved effective. Like Jake said, next season's offensive line should be outstanding.
- Dane Beavers
What do you think? Grade Oklahoma's offensive linemen for their performance in 2011.