Iowa offensive line ranked tops in pass-blocking efficiency
The University of Iowa has been known to produce top-flight offensive lineman, and that’s a trend that’s not changing any in 2018.
Pro Football Focus is reporting that the Hawkeyes, according to their numbers, have the best pass-blocking offensive line in Big Ten football. On a list that also features Michigan, Ohio State, Maryland and Michigan State, the Hawkeyes walk away with the best stats, according to PFF — which is a stat and analytics-based company mind you.
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 4, 2018
While Iowa’s O-line got the tip of the cap on pass blocking, it’s worth noting that the Hawkeyes came in third overall when PFF graded the Big Ten offensive lines as a whole. Here’s what PFF had to say about Iowa (through five weeks):
“If we were only looking at their work in pass protection, Iowa would be pushing Wisconsin for the top spot in these rankings, such has been their success at slowing down opposing pass-rushers. From 117 passing plays, they have allowed just three sacks, one hit and seven hurries, giving them a conference-leading 94.0 pass-blocking efficiency rating. Left tackle Alaric Jackson has been the star, allowing just one hurry from 87 pass-blocking snaps but all five starters have produced pass-blocking grades of 74.4 or higher. The issue is that they haven’t had the same success as run-blockers, with 374 of their 590 rushing yards from running backs coming after contact.”
To PFF’s point, Iowa’s offensive line has allowed quarterback Nate Stanley to throw for 839 yards and five touchdowns this season. He has thrown three interceptions, but that’s hard to blame on the offensive line. Stanley is ranked No. 5 in the Big Ten in yards thrown per game with 209.8. To put that in perspective, that’s tied with Penn State’s Trace McSorley, who’s a Heisman Trophy candidate.
As far as Alaric Jackson is concerned, he’s certainly a superstar and a future NFL player in the making. Following in the massive footsteps of big, dominant Iowa offensive tackles before him, Jackson checks in at 6-foot-7, 320 pounds. He’s only a sophomore.