Does Austin’s group see a breakthrough in Year 2?
The first year for a new coach, be it a coordinator or position coach, can be challenging, especially if the coach is installing a new system. There were growing pains last season. Some were natural for a team starting a freshman right tackle and a guard moving over to center for the first time, but others were due to a lack of familiarity.
Outside of the Notre Dame game (where everyone played poorly), things improved as the season progressed. The expectation is that this unit should be able to build upon the foundation they laid in 2022.
Replacing the left tackle is not a trivial task, but if you must then you can’t ask for more than having the other four starters back.
New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley wants his offense to be “fast and violent”. Physical football starts with the offensive line getting a push, as opposed to simply keeping the defenders out of the pocket, which is what we have witnessed and settled for the past few years.
Nothing will make the installation of Riley’s offense go smoother than the offensive line giving the skill players great protection. The experience is there, the talent is there. This should be the year that the line elevates its play.