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WVU’s Offensive Line Graded Slightly Above Average Among FBS Teams

Cody Nespor

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While West Virginia’s offensive line was by no means a strength for the Mountaineers this season, according to Pro Football Focus the unit was not as bad as some fans may have thought.

This week PFF released a ranking of all 130 FBS team’s offensive lines and WVU’s graded out as just above average at spot 61. According to PFF senior tackle, Colton McKivitz was the team’s best lineman, receiving a 76.3 grade, 55th best in the nation.

The offensive line saw a good amount of turnover this season outside of its bookend tackles, McKivitz and fellow senior Kelby Wickline. Josh Sills started the season opener at center, but was moved to guard in the team’s second game in which he suffered a season-ending injury. Sills did not play again in 2019 and eventually transferred to Oklahoma State.

Freshman Briason Mays played center following Sill’s injury for the middle portion of the season. Poor performances during conference play, however, led to a change near season’s end. Eventually, Chase Behrndt moved from guard to center to finish out the year. Seeing time at guard with Behrndt were Mike Brown, John Hughes and James Gmiter.

PFF notes that WVU’s line was good in pass protection this season, but terrible at run blocking. WVU gave up the third-least amount of sacks in the conference this season, 21. West Virginia also had the worst rushing attack in the Big 12 in terms of both yards (879) and yards per attempt (2.6). The Mountaineers had the lowest rushing total in the country other than Akron.

Among Big 12 teams, PFF had WVU rated as completely average at six out of 10. Kansas State led the way, being ranked 22nd overall with center Matt Hennessy being graded as the top overall lineman in the country with a grade of 86.9.

Big 12 Offensive Line Rankings

  1. Kansas State

  2. Oklahoma State

  3. Texas

  4. Oklahoma

  5. Iowa State

  6. West Virginia

  7. Texas Tech

  8. TCU

  9. Kansas

  10. Baylor

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Cody is currently a second-year graduate student at West Virginia University studying journalism. His graduate research focuses on the effects newspaper closures have on local communities. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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