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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Football

UH football 2021 season grades: Offensive line


The UH football offensive line ranked 105th nationally in pass protection. | Courtesy of UH athletics

The UH football offensive line ranked 105th nationally in pass protection. | Courtesy of UH athletics

We close out our 2021 Houston football offensive position grades by taking a look back at how the UH football team’s offensive line held up throughout the season.

Trouble with pass protection

It was evident that protecting¬†quarterback Clayton Tune would be an issue for the Cougars’ big guys upfront from the beginning of the season as the UH offensive line allowed 11 sacks over the first three games of the season.

While there were some bright spots in pass protection, most notably allowing no sacks against Tulsa and UConn, Tune was under heavy duress for a large portion of the times he dropped back to pass.

These offensive line issues were most evident in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game as the Cincinnati defense was able to get to Tune eight times.

In total, the offensive line allowed two or more sacks in 11 of the Cougars’ 14 games in the season, giving up 39 sacks which ranked 105th in the country.

Slight improvement in run blocking

While the UH offensive line was not great at creating holes for the running backs, there were some bright spots and the unit got better as the season progressed.

Even with many struggles, the UH offensive line came through in big moments like springing open a huge hole for freshman running back Alton McCaskill on the first play of overtime against East Carolina, which resulted in the game-winning touchdown.

After averaging 3.0 yards per carry in 2020, the Cougars’ backs averaged nearly one yard more, at 3.9 yards per carry, every time they ran the ball, showing UH’s run blocking headed in the right direction.

Performance grade

The 2021 season was an up-and-down year for the UH offensive line full of some really good and really bad stretches of play.

Overall, there is a large amount of room for improvement for the offensive line to play at the level UH head coach Dana Holgorsen wants to reach.

Grade: C

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