Returning offensive line career starts

Phil Steele blogs every year about the number of career starts returning for D-1 offensive linemen.  This year’s post on that subject is out, so, without looking, guess where Georgia ranks nationally.

The answer is here.  Yeah, that surprised me, too, especially the conference ranking.

I will say, based on last year’s experience, the quality of coaching matters a shitload more than returning starts.  Which should be a good thing for the Dawgs…


Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

40 responses to “Returning offensive line career starts

  1. 81Dog

    Uh oh. More analytics indicating UGA should be pretty good this year. As opposed to say, making excuses in advance based on “feelings” or “concerns.” That should get the backpeddlers agitated. Me? I find this encouraging. Kool Aid is delicious in the heat of June!

  2. @gatriguy

    Pyke is a mystery to me. How he looked so great in 2014 to so blah in 2015 was shocking.

    • Greg

      If my memory serves me correct, it is because he was moved from guard to tackle. Guard is where he exceled at…..but I guess we needed to move him due to depth issues. Hopefully he moves back to guard – if we get some tackles to develop.

      • Pyke didn’t play tackle last season.

        • Cojones

          This should be posted down at the bottom, but wanted to ask you specifically to stop these kind of postings that appeal to our prurient interest. The O-line is the last piece to put into this year’s team puzzle and I’ve already had one shower today – and it’s hot and I’m sweating in an air-conditioned home. My wife is looking furtively over her shoulder at evidence of my reaction to this posting as if she was just contacted by a football player from Baylor on a dating app. Stop it, I tells you, just stop it!

    • Sh3rl0ck

      Three changes were made from 2014: OC, OL Coach, and S&C Program. I think it is safe to assume that all three deserve some of the blame. I would guess that Sale and Hocke deserve most of it.

    • did you watch him last season or just going on what the last year ol coach done benching him…… I watched him and there were many runs by 1 and 27 that were run right behind Pyke …. hands down he was the best UGA lineman last year

  3. Jared S.

    What is happening today? Good grief. I can’t take my hopes and dreams being fed like this. I feel sick.

    • Greg

      Yep….I guess you are right and I am mistaken. I know they had him playing some tackle this spring. I hope he goes back to guard….could have sworn he played some tackle last season. Could have been the beer…..nonetheless, thanks. I really enjoy your blog. GO DAWGS!!

  4. GL

    And Florida is #99 (9th in the conference). Can we please take advantage of that this year?

  5. Walt

    North Carolina is #2 on that list.

    • Jared S.

      Excellent (and worrying) point.

    • Dawg93

      Noticed that too. I bet Pete Futiak (sp?) did not.

    • PTC DAWG

      #70 Peterson is legit.

    • FtWorthDawg

      NC at #2 was the first thing to jump out at me as well. Here’s hoping Kirby learned a lot from Saban on how NOT to take teams lightly. The closer we get to the first game in Atlanta, the more the Tarheels scare me.

      • gastr1

        Their experienced OL, good offensive coaching, and our issues at D-line do not suggest a good result in that game. Hard to imagine how our offense keeps pace if they score 35+ points, too.

        • ltrftc

          That was what jumped out to me immediately as well. Lone upside is a tremendously different approach offensively this year, as their starting QB this season is not really a mobile threat compared to last year. Not that it negates all the experience from last year, but it is a bit of a different animal blocking for a more traditional pocket passer vs a mobile QB. More concerning is what it will mean for their run game, as Hood is a bonafide beast in his own right.

  6. Otto

    I would like to know if this included Catalina’s starts at his prior school or if this is starts for UGA?

  7. lazygrad

    Does it matter who number 2 is in the SEC?… so yeah, “quality” coaching does matter. And 1, 2, and 3 (unless I’m reading it wrong) are SEC East teams.

  8. Bulldog Joe

    You can’t coach size. You can only recruit it.

    • Cojones

      You can coax it with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, several gallons of ice cream, 7-8 beers…..”coach”?….sorry I thought you said coax.

  9. Does the 2016 season starts tomorrow?

  10. Macallanlover

    I agree Senator, it is hard to feel comfortable about the OL after last season’s disappointment. When we cannot make third and 1, 2 or 3 yards, even when we go for it again on 4th, we have issues. Despite that bad memory, I have confidence in what we hear about Pittman from the “experts” and the players. It will be hard to not see improvement, and extending those drives can be huge for our thin defensive front. Could be the difference between an outstanding 10-2year and a downer 8-4.

  11. lakedawg

    A more experienced O line, a QB that can make plays, and the weakest schedule in SEC and people are talking winning less than 10 games, not happening.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Agreed. Perhaps our toughest road game of the year is at Ole Miss, and they’re #107 on the list – 62 starts behind us! That was a pleasant surprise.

      UNC is ahead of us by 33 starts, but Catalina’s career starts would likely narrow that gap.

      Unless CMR’s OL recruiting was much worse than most of us already think, we should be able to build a serviceable OL from Pyke, Wynn, Sims, Kublanow, Catalina, Allen, Madden, Hardin, Jurkovic, Baker, Cleveland & the other newbees. If Pittman can’t get something out of that pack there’s not much difference between him and Sale, Friend & Searels.

      • rchris

        Ole Miss is “62 starts behind us!” and a lot of those were Laremy Tunsil starts, which makes even a better case scenario.

      • rchris

        With regard to Catalina, remember almost all of his career starts were against FCS competition. For instance, last year the only FBS team he faced was Syracuse, and Rhode Island got creamed in that one. They finished the year 1-10 against the likes of Stony Brook and Harvard, so you have to imagine facing SEC caliber DEs will be quite a culture shock. Still, he was wanted by Iowa State, Auburn and others, not just us, so he must have more ability than most of his old teammates on that team.

        • I have ZERO expectation that Catalina is going to help this team. I just don’t see how a graduate transfer offensive tackle from any FCS team is going to be able to step up and contribute to a team that is serious about winning an SEC title.

          I hope I’m very wrong about this outlook.

        • Cojones

          His brother has taken over his training and expresses himself as “Getting him ready for the SEC”, at least in the wt training phase. I think he shares your comparisons to an unfinished product that we have seen through rather glazed Dawg eyes due to his size. An island or a turd in a punch bowl – we will see.

          Thanks for the data.

  12. 69Dawg

    Debby Downer here. In the past entering the season with the expectations of a great OL have made for a lot of heart break. Here’s hoping Kirby can fix whatever it was that caused that.

    • Macallanlover

      Yep, when Steele had us rated the #1 OL in the country we looked pretty weak as I recall. Not saying it won’t be different this year but stats are fun to evaluate and project from but football has a lot of nuances others don’t, and OL is a lot about chemistry and depth, more so than other position rankings.

    • Cojones

      Have any of you thought that our O-line was over ranked last year? Of course many of us have thought that, but my proofs were tied pretty much to QB performance, especially if you watched the blocking closely and what resulted in spooked QBs. We were getting beat on our #1 O-line as regularly as causing a game downfall and subsequent team psychological loss. All our players were better athletes than they performed last year in key games and I look for that to magically reappear this year.

      A “new” O-line this year will hold the key to all athletes performing in high gear in all positions such that the resultant is fun wins. So we have all this game experience and to what end? Sweet Jesus, we better be good this year.

      I do not recommend that anyone see the article of the best return men this year and watch video of the #2 guy, McKenzie. Sweaty palms all the way through watching his returns with the video ending in a great Sanford roar. We could use his initials and begin the roar at a crescendo when the kicker is first moving and continuing through his catch and run; it can be known as I M Roar, The Dawg’s Growl. Just another one of those players to cheer for this year with a Special Teams Coach thrown in to now run the big I M Roar Machine. Yuk! Gotta take another cold shower.

  13. The Dawg abides

    Can’t figure out where they’re getting 98 starts. Kublonow and Pyke are two year starters and Wynn started all last year. Sims got a couple of starts last season, but those four are the only ones that have started a game for us. Anybody got a breakdown of the numbers?

  14. garageflowers

    I searched also. They must be counting Catalina’s starts from RI.

  15. georgiajeepn

    Wow that Southern Cal and Alabama game could be better than I thought at first. USC is tied for 2nd with 131 starts and Bama is tied for 54th with 64 starts.