Our Florida State postseason wrap-up continues with the offensive line.
The Seminoles’ offensive line came into the 2018 season as the biggest question mark out of any position group on the roster.
The offensive line had struggled for the better part of a decade heading into the season and the Seminoles’ lost starting offensive tackle Josh Ball before fall practice after he was suspended from the university.
So how did the offensive line grade out in 2018?
There’s no other grade that could be given out for the way the offensive line played this season, even with all the injuries it sustained.
FSU allowed 36 sacks (114th most in college football out of 130 teams) and the running game averaged just 2.79 yards per carry (129th).
The unit struggled to do anything right this season.
Landon Dickerson — FSU’s best offensive lineman — is a guard, but started the season at right tackle against Virginia Tech. He was hurt in the first game and didn’t come back until three games later when he started at left tackle against Louisville.
He wouldn’t play again this season.
Cole Minshew — FSU’s second best offensive lineman — was hurt during fall camp and missed the first game of the season with a foot injury.
He was forced into action from then on and played until he suffered a neck injury against North Carolina State. He did not play the final three games of the season.
Derrick Kelly was forced from his role as a starting guard and moved to left tackle until he suffered a leg injury against Syracuse. He returned against Miami and started against Wake Forest.
The Seminoles’ original starting left tackle was Jauan Williams, but it quickly became apparent that he wasn’t going to be able to get the job done.
He struggled in every aspect of the game and was benched for Abdul Bello, who was then benched for Brady Scott and Kelly.
Scott was the fourth string center for the Seminoles coming into fall camp, but started games at right tackle and left tackle during the season.
He was benched for J. Williams over the final three games, but came in against Boston College and Florida after J. Williams made multiple early mistakes.
Center Alec Eberle was the only offensive lineman to start every game for the Seminoles in his final year.
He wasn’t great, but he was the most consistent player FSU had in the trenches.
Guard Mike Arnold started for most of the year, though he was benched for the North Carolina State game. He had to enter that game due to the injury to Minshew.
Outside of Williams, Arnold struggled the most of any offensive lineman. He wasn’t able to deal with stunts and struggled to even step correctly for most of the season.
FSU just didn’t have any good options to replace him because of the lack of depth on the roster.
Arthur Williams moved from defensive tackle to guard at the start of fall camp, but was too far behind to make a significant contribution for most of the season.
He actually performed well as a run blocker, but struggled to pass protect well enough to find a spot in the starting lineup until FSU didn’t have other options.
The Seminoles started nine different offensive line combinations during the season, which was the most of any team from a power five conference.
Nine different players started a game for FSU.
FSU offensive line coach Greg Frey inherited a mess with a lack of depth and talent after the previous regime neglected the position group for years.
The Seminoles will be losing Kelly, Eberle, and A. Williams to graduation for the 2019 season and will likely need to bring in multiple JUCO players if the position group is going to be much better next season.
FSU also has to hope that Minshew and Dickerson can both finally stay healthy for an entire season, which hasn’t happened yet.
There’s not a lot of optimism that this unit gets that much better next year unless there’s a drastic overhaul of the depth and starters.
Frey still has his work cut out for him as he tries to revamp the depth at the position.