Arlington Hambright knows his unit has to be better Saturday.
After a lot of buzz around the Oklahoma State offensive line and third-year position coach John Henson in the preseason, the results have been below average.
OSU coach Mike Gundy said the Cowboy O-Line has been a weak link in a high-powered offense that has depth at all the skill positions. Even new starting quarterback Taylor Cornelius is coming along, Gundy said, but not the offensive line.
Hambright, a redshirt junior left tackle, said it is important for the line to give Cornelius some time and the OSU running backs some holes with big games ahead.
“It’s really important to us because they’re all special,” Hambright said. “It can be a big play whenever we do our job right. It can be a big play any play, so it definitely is important.”
The Cowboys have been spotty after what looked like it would be a solid line this season. Until Cornelius broke off a long run against South Alabama, he had -31 rushing yards because of the Jaguar defense causing havoc.
The run blocking against South Alabama wasn’t much better, with OSU only having 164 rushing yards after putting up more than twice that against Missouri State. Even with the Jaguars loading up in the box to stop the run, Gundy said the blocking will have to get better as opponents will not always be as overmatched like South Alabama was Saturday.
“The numbers are always going to create issues when they’re lined up that way, but we still have to be able to block the six or seven people in the box,” Gundy said. “We have to be able to move them and get them out of there, and we’re not doing that to where we need to be to be able to play at a high level. Essentially, from this point moving forward, we have to do a better job of getting squared up on those guys and moving them out of the box to give our running backs a chance to get out in space.”
Hambright agreed and said with the unit’s embarrassment the first couple of weeks, it is working to get things back on track.
The 6-foot-5, 308-pound native of Ypsilanti, Michigan, is one of several upperclassmen the team has a luxury of having on the front five.
Because the team has depth at the position, Hambright knows the offensive line has the potential to be great, but just needs to dial it in as the Cowboys’ biggest test so far in Boise State comes to town on Saturday.
“We just want to make sure we’re practicing hard every day and giving it all we’ve got every day so we can come out and compete to the best of our ability,” Hambright said.