RUSTON, La. - Through two practices on Wednesday at Louisiana Tech, the offensive line is continuing to sort itself out among a unit that has lost seven starters in the last two years.
Despite having one of the most difficult jobs in the country in rebuilding a unit that lost four starters after the 2012 season, offensive line coach Matt Moore is overseeing a group that is quickly becoming a well-oiled unit on the field.
"I am very encouraged with what I am seeing out of the offensive line," head coach Skip Holtz said. "I think Matt Moore is doing a tremendous job because there is not a coach on this staff that has had a harder rebuilding process than he has with the offensive line. When you start to look at it, a majority of those names have all been recruited in the last year. We talked about it in the opening press conference, normally when you have 20 seniors you are thinking about fourth and fifth year guys that have been in your program but out of that offensive line I think there's only two that we haven't recruited in the last year. That's just a lot of new faces to try and gel four years of relationships and comfort in an offense or a defense to be able to make all the calls."
After losing four seniors following the 2012 season, LA Tech's offensive line doubled its number of sacks allowed with 30 in 2013 after allowing 10 the previous year. In order for the Bulldog offense to get off the ground this season, the ability to move the ball will hinge on a unit up front that can make holes for Tech's All-American running back and protecting the quarterback for long enough to get the ball out of his hands.
But who the offensive line will be protecting is still a position up for battle as Louisiana Tech continues through its second week of fall camp.
"Cody [Sokol] and Ryan [Higgins] are getting the bulk of the work right now," said Holtz of the battle at quarterback. "I believe the completion percentage of camp is about a one percent difference in what they are throwing for a completion percentage right now. They are both doing a really good job of protecting the ball as we are in day 11 I think one of them has thrown three interceptions and one of them has thrown one. I think they are doing a really good job of protecting the ball with as many times as it is going up in the air. It is a heck of a battle right now."
The Bulldogs continue with fall camp on Thursday in Ruston before heading to Shreveport's Independence Stadium on Friday for an open practice at 3:15 p.m. followed by a Fan Fest/meet-n-greet.
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