Unity and cohesiveness fuel an offensive line, and for Ole Miss it appears that they have found their groove. The offense is coming off one of its best seasons in school history racking up 409 total points and averaging 423.8 yards per game, anchored mainly by a sturdy line. Now, with a year of playing together under their belt, the Rebel line could be better than ever.
“I think we’ve got maybe eight or nine guys that we are confident can play right now,” senior tackle Pierce Burton said. “It’s really good that we are kind of mixing and matching. Last year sometimes when guys came in, we wouldn’t know how to play with each other, but I think we’re all playing together well and all know how to play off one another.”
Burton is entering his second season in the red and blue and after starting every game last season, believes he is more prepared than ever.
“Last year I really didn’t know what to expect from the SEC,” Burton said. “This year I really worked a lot on my weaknesses, like pad level and using my hands better. As an offensive line we are more cohesive and we all really understand our job. Now we can focus on technique, not focus on just the scheme of the play.”
Last season Ole Miss was fortunate to avoid the injury bug on the line and the starting five were able to play with each other for a full season. However, with that comes bigger expectations, and the front five will be looked at to provide a steady force.
“It’s huge,” Burton said of being able to play with the same guys week in and week out. “Now we just have to live up to the expectations. I think it’s harder to live up to expectations sometimes than going out and playing with a chip on your shoulder. Now we’ve got a little more credit, but now we want even more credit than what we have, so we are really working towards that as a group.”
The offensive line also received two big additions on signing day when Laremy Tunsil and Austin Golson decided to head to Oxford. Burton said he has seen quite a bit from the two and they are as good as advertised.
“Laremy is really an amazing specimen,” Burton said. “I think he will eventually be all SEC. He’s still learning, still swimming a bit, but he works hard. Austin is real aggressive. He’s eager to learn. He’s always working hard and trying to get extra film time in, things like that.”