Sycamore offensive line stands tall, still

By Thomas Donley, @tdonleyDE

Indiana State has the biggest starting offensive line in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, but that does not mean they offer the best protection.

The average Sycamore starting offensive lineman stands six-feet, six inches and weighs 330 pounds. Indiana State has allowed 25 sacks through five games, the most in the MVFC.

SIU senior defensive tackle Raysean Golden said the Sycamores’ front five will challenge the Salukis’ discipline. 

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“You’ve got to be stronger and more fundamental with what you want to do,” Golden said. They’re really big guys, and they’re going to be fundamentally sound. We have to use our athleticism to our advantage.”

The Sycamores’ average of five sacks allowed per game ties with Mississippi Valley State for the worst in the Football Championship Subdivision. 

SIU defensive line coach Austin Flyger said part of the reason is Indiana State sophomore quarterback Matt Adam’s playing style.

“He’s really mobile,” Flyger said. “We want to be careful with being too over-aggressive on the pass rush to make sure that he isn’t getting outside. We want to go and get after him and do the best we can up front.”

The Salukis are tied with South Dakota State for fifth in the MVFC in sacks recorded defensively with nine. 

Indiana State is fifth in the MVFC in rushing offense, despite its leading rusher, junior running back Roland Genesy, averaging 50.8 yards per game. Adam has gained more yards on the ground than any other Sycamore, but his yards lost on sacks bring his net yardage down to third highest on the team.

Flyger said the Sycamores’ size can wear down a defensive line.

“You’ve got to be ready to go,” Flyger said. “That’s kind of par for the course in our league. You’re going to find a big group of guys every week that are going to come after you.”

Thomas Donley can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3311

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