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Miami Hurricanes 2018 Season Review: Offensive Line Recap

2018 was a struggle for the Miami offensive line, ultimately costing Stacy Searles his job.

NCAA Football: Savannah State at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the start of the 2018 season for the Miami Hurricanes, the offensive line was one of the question marks that shadowed over the team. As the season progressed, we realized that what we had thought before had come true, as we saw this unit have its ups and definitely its downs throughout the year.

Even before the Canes kicked off 2018, Stacy Searels and his OL group would be without players like KC McDermott and Trevor Darling, veterans who graduated the year prior. Returning was lineman like Tyler Gauthier, Tyree St. Louis, Navaughn Donaldson and incoming transfer Venzell Boulware.

The arranging of what five guys to put out their on the offensive line was a constant struggle all season for Miami. Donaldson was forced to play tackle though his natural position was guard. St. Louis was playing out of position as well, and it showed on tape and on the field. All the while, Searels couldn’t quite figure out the left tackle situation, and had to play musical chairs at the position all year.

All in all, it was quite the learning season for this unit. They definitely had their shining moments, like helping produce 300 yards on the ground against Duke and two other games that Miami had over 250 yards rushing. New guys also emerged as potential starters on the line, like Corey Gaynor and Delone Scaife.

On the other hand, any bright spots of success portrayed by Miami’s offensive line was eventually overshadowed by their negative play, including giving up 27 sacks on the season. According to Football Outsiders, Miami’s line ranked 117th in power success rate, 77th in sack rate and 93rd in opportunity rate. From October to the end of the season, the Canes eclipsed 200 yards rushing just twice. And when Miami was stumbling through a four-game losing streak, the Hurricanes o-line wasn’t able to deliver.

With the struggles of the offensive line, new head coach Manny Diaz relieved Searels of his duties, and hired former Tampa Bay Bucs o-line coach Butch Barry to take over. With Donaldson and others returning, as well as grad-transfers arriving, fixing this line will be high on Diaz’s to-do list.