Far too often, quarterbacks, running backs, and other skill position players get all the credit for offensive success. Standing outside the spotlight is perhaps the most vital part of a successful offense – the offensive line.
All five guys on the line must be on the same wavelength and go 100% the entire play or else they risk their quarterback getting sacked or their running back getting tackled for a loss. An outstanding line can make an average skill player look great, and that's why they're so important to a team. So we decided to try to give them some credit.
This top five had plenty of factors, but HERO Sports came up with a formula to help narrow down the choices. The formula basically comes up with a number that shows the percentage of negative plays (sacks per pass attempt, tackles for loss per rush attempt) the line allows, and all five of these D2 football teams manage to keep negative plays under 8%. Check out the list: [divider]
Harding's line has only allowed six sacks on quarterback Park Parish this season and they rank second in the division in the ground-game with 4,036 rushing yards and an amazing 52 rushing touchdowns. They also rank in the top 10 in tackles for loss allowed, and only allow a negative play 7.52% of the time.
Lineman Cole Lockwood knows playing his position means hard, physical work. However, that's his favorite aspect. "The best part of being a lineman is the physical nature of our game. Not too many people know what it's like in the trenches until you've been in there."
Park Parish is also very appreciative of what his line is out there doing every game day. "They are the machine that runs the whole thing. All of our success this season is because they are so detailed and technical in the way they play. No doubt in my mind we have the most athletic line in the country. So many times you see guys getting to the second and third level of the defense and blocking the defensive backs after knocking out a linebacker. They are so fun to play with."