WVU offensive line confident heading into Big East play
Published: Monday, October 3, 2011
Updated: Monday, October 3, 2011 23:10
A recap from Saturday's game between No. 16 West Virginia and Bowling Green would most likely center around the incredible performance by freshman running back Dustin Garrison.
The Pearland, Tx. native, rushed for an astonishing 291 yards and two touchdowns.
Not to take anything away from Garrison's performance, but most of his success was due to a dominating performance by the Mountaineer offensive line.
"Everybody was doing their job," Garrison said. "Linemen were finishing blocks, receivers downfield were finishing blocks, and that's what happens when everyone works together."
After a shaky start to the season, the five members of the offensive line have come together as one unit. They posted impressive performances against Maryland and LSU before Saturday's outing.
Garrison was able to use his vision to maneuver his way through the gaping holes created by the offensive line.
"The linemen made holes," he said. "Most of the yards I got were cutting off blocks (fullbacks) made."
Garrison rushed for 85 yards in the first quarter, the most by a West Virginia running back in a game this season. Junior quarterback Geno Smith noticed the gaping holes being produced.
"The offensive line did an incredible job of moving the line of scrimmage and pushing those guys backwards," Smith said.
Center Joe Madsen thought the reason for the success was simple.
"We went out there and we finished like we said we would," Madsen said.
The modest Madsen also acknowledged effective film preparation for aiding effective blocking.
"They were doing what we thought they were going to do," Madsen said. "They moved around a lot, they had a lot of slants on the line, but we just picked them up."
It had been quite some time since Madsen and his fellow offensive linemen witnessed such a performance from a Mountaineer running back.
"He was making cuts that were just unbelievable," he said.
But, the center did admit that in previous games, the group wasn't doing their job to ensure an adequate rushing performance.
"He was able to make cuts, that other games weren't really there," Madsen said. "It was nice to see."
West Virginia and its offensive line will begin Big East Conference play Saturday. Establishing a consistent rushing attack may be the key to another Big East championship.