The solidity of the offensive line is far from the only question the ‘Canes have to answer ahead of their season-opener in Orlando. It is, however, an answer that will determine the ultimate outcome of their season.
In 2018, opposing teams effectively read Miami’s offense. Without the run game, all the pressure was forced upon Malik Rosier and/or N’Kosi Perry to generate production. Defenses knew how vulnerable the ‘Canes would be without their running game, as well as how unreliable their quarterbacks could be.
It’s well-known that first-time starter Jarren Williams will lead the Hurricanes onto the field next Saturday, with many having high hopes of the redshirt freshman. Williams will immediately have a massive test on his hands, and Miami will have to be running on all cylinders in order to defeat the Gators. A productive running game and a solid pocket will be his best ‘friends’ as he and the Hurricanes take on one of the toughest defenses in the country.
While solid quarterback play is integral, the performance from the offensive line should give us a better perception of where the team stands. If they can hold their own against Florida, we can assume that they can consistently provide protection for Williams throughout the remainder of the season barring injuries. If the polar opposite of progress is displayed, concerns will be spread, rightfully so.
The spotlight is on Jarren Williams, but Miami’s uber-talented group of running backs can be the driving force behind the Hurricanes’ offense. However, they’re also reliant on the offensive line for daylight and running room, bringing us back to what I believe is the most vital section of the team.
Of course, a good offensive line won’t always prevent fumbles, interceptions, or inaccuracies, but it can provide a lifeline for a young, naive quarterback, and a brand new offensive scheme.