Is this offensive line good enough?
While many of Shough’s mistakes and turnovers lie at his own feet, his offensive line has not done him too many favors either. That’s why many still question whether or not this line is capable of holding up against Big 12 teams.
Sure, the line has faced Oregon and the Ducks have maybe the best defensive line that Tech will see this year. In that game, the offense did manage 30 points.
However, that was in spite of the line’s performance, not because of it. That night, Tech gave up four sacks and five tackles for loss as it was obvious that the Ducks’ defensive front was better than Tech’s line.
Many of Tech’s O-line flaws were exposed that night. Monroe Mills was called for three penalties at the left tackle position. (What’s more, he was flagged for a holding penalty against Tarleton but the Texans declined that foul.)
Meanwhile, center Rusty Staats was routinely beaten by the Oregon defensive tackles, including on the game-deciding pick-six where his man abused him on the way to hitting Shough and causing the interception that would spell Tech’s ultimate doom.
The line was better against Tarleton but that was to be expected. However, the Texans still managed to collect three sacks against the starting Red Raider O-line.
Fortunately, WVU is not a great pass-rushing defense. With only five sacks on the season, the Mountaineers rank tied for last in the Big 12 with OU and BYU. Of course, that stat also could be attributed to the fact that WVU has not faced any pass-heavy teams thus far thus limiting their opportunities to get after opposing QBs.
Tech has massive questions to answer along the rebuilt O-line and how that group performs against the Mountaineers will be anyone’s guess. That’s not what any team wants to have to deal with when conference play arrives.