A Hypothesis About The Offensive Line

GIVEN: Iowa rushed for 1485 yards last season, 122 yards fewer than what their staunch run defense allowed against opponents and 10th in the Big Ten in yards per game.

GIVEN: Iowa scored 301 points (including a defensive TD, a punt block TD, a kick return TD, and a safety) for 23.15 points per game, also the 10th best such performance in the Big Ten last season.

GIVEN: Iowa's starting offensive line had six different iterations during the course of 13 games in 2009.

ASSUMED: That Ken O'Keefe's and Reese Morgan's statements about offensive line cohesion are valid:

"You can’t force it. The cohesion, the necessary levels of communication, they have to develop on their own over time," O’Keefe said.

"It never happens overnight with an offensive line and honestly, there is no way to rush it," Morgan said. "It has to evolve. The most important thing we look for is daily progress. Those small steps will ultimately lead to the cohesion that it takes."

GIVEN: Iowa's offensive line is ranked dead last in the Big Ten preseason unit rankings by Phil Steele in 2010 (p. 9 of Steele's B10/B12 preview issue, p. 57 of his national preview issue).

HYPOTHESIS: Even with the justifiably low expectations set by Steele, If Iowa's starting offensive line stays reasonably healthy and consistent--i.e., goes through at most two changes between now and the end of the season--the offense will be more productive this season than last, particularly in the rushing game.

Agree or disagree?

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