Mississippi State’s Offensive Line More Than Impressed Me This Season
I, for one, did not expect this unit to be as good as it is. I, for one, would like to personally thank this unit group for being so beautifully destructive against their opponents. It’s perfect. It’s mean. It’s the football equivalent of a man from rural south Alabama taking a four wheeler and plowing saplings and shrubs over just because he can and to entertain his young niece and nephew.
What Mississippi State’s offensive line has done throughout the season, while dealing with injuries to senior leader Martinas Rankin, is incredible. They’ve only allowed Nick Fitzgerald to be sacked a grand total of 5 times through 10 games. Compare that to the 14 times that Fitzgerald was sacked a year ago through 13 games and BE AMAZED!
They’ve also paved the way for Mississippi State to score 22 rushing touchdowns on the season (17 between Fitz and Aeris Williams) and 2506 yards, giving the Bulldogs the 12th ranked rushing offense in the nation.
The offensive line has enabled State’s offense to be a more complete offense. They should be proud of that. And with all that State brings back on the line for next season, there’s a lot to be hopeful for in terms of production in 2018.
Aeris Williams is a Godsend for this Offense
Last year, Aeris Williams emerged and became an incredibly fun running back to watch. Williams was a great, bruising compliment to the living human lightning bolt that is Nick Fitzgerald. A season ago, Williams totaled 720 yards and 4 rushing touchdowns. A solid number for the amount of playing time that he received.
Now, as the feature back in the system, he’s doing more than enough to be noticed, and felt, by defenders in any and every game he’s involved in. Up to 873 yards and 4 touchdowns during the 2017 campaign with 3 remaining games, Williams is clearly on pace to become the first running back since Josh Robinson in 2014 to break the 1000 yard mark in a season.
That’s huge. He’s also the first running back to score 2 or more touchdowns against an Alabama defense since Ezekiel Elliot did in in the 2015 College Football Playoffs.
Those two touchdowns actually doubled Williams’ total on the year. He’s been a bit quiet on the scoring front, but he’s still an incredibly productive member of Mississippi State’s offense. The presence of Williams keeps defenses from keying in solely on Fitzgerald in the running game.
Should this duo of Fitz and Williams return for their senior seasons (more than likely they will), the offense will be built to have an incredible year of production in 2018 working behind one of the most experienced offensive lines in the nation.
I love what this team is doing when it runs the ball. And it can potentially get even better in 2018. And I will only love it more in 2018.