So much attention gets focused on the skill positions when analyzing teams. But the Cotton Bowl did put the offensive line under the microscope. But even before the Cotton Bowl, a big problem I heard about talking to a pair of former All-American Trojan linemen is that the offensive line does not finish blocks.
I’ve heard this the past two seasons from the same ex-USC linemen. Is this something that just gets taught or just comes from within? And why will improve next season? That’s the more important question.
Look at the times that Ronald Jones, a universally lauded tailback, struggled against physical defenses: He had 47 yards vs. Texas; 32 yards vs. Notre Dame; 64 yards against Ohio State. And if we’re talking 2017, he had 55 yards vs. Penn State in the Rose Bowl.
So if you are happy several starters are back, just hope fundamentals will somehow improve.