2011 Virginia Tech Spring Football: Divided Offensive Line Struggles in Spring Game

CHESTNUT HILL MA - SEPTEMBER 25: Darren Evans #32 of Virginia Tech Hokies is congratulated by teammates Greg Nosal #75 and Andrew Lanier #72 after Evans scored a touchdown in the first half against the Boston Collge Eagles on September 25 2010 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Casey will be along later with a full first-hand report on the spring game, which saw a solid but not spectacular performance from quarterback Logan Thomas and great games from several key players on defense. However, I wanted to quickly touch on the offensive line.

As it usually does, Virginia Tech split its starters on the offensive line for its spring game. The result was poor play on the line by both the Maroon and White teams in Maroon's 27-0 win. Combined, the two offensive lines gave up eight sacks, including eight to quarterbacks who were "live." Running backs Josh Oglesby, James Hopper and Daniel Dyer carried the ball 19 times for 47 yards (2.5 ypc) behind the line.

To me, this is part of why our offensive line always seems to regress between the end of the previous season and the start of the next. Offensive line play is all about communication and cohesiveness. You want the five guys you expect to be the starters to get as many reps together as possible to get them comfortable with each other. And the only chance you get to do that in a game-like environment between the bowl game and the home opener is the spring game.

"When you divide the teams you don't get the continuity on the offensive line," head coach Frank Beamer told color commentator Mike Burnop during the fourth quarter of Saturday's spring game.

Then why do it? I thought this offseason was all about change for the Hokies. Changing the way we did things in order to help the program win more football games, even if what we had done before had been working.

Well, dividing the offensive lines in the spring game certainly hasn't worked before. The offensive line always improves throughout the year and then goes right back to square one at the start of the next season. There's no cohesiveness and inconsistency on the offensive line at the start of every season and it's cost us games.

Keep the starting five linemen together, get them more reps together and let them improve together in order to be as prepared for the next season as possible. Dividing the lines for the spring game does absolutely nothing to help the them. And this time, it didn't even help keep the meaningless spring exhibition game close.

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