Michigan State Football: What does data say about the offensive line?

Rocky Lombardi, Michigan State football (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
Rocky Lombardi, Michigan State football (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /
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Michigan State football’s offensive line has been a roller coaster so far this season. Perhaps we should look at the data and see where it ranks.

When Mel Tucker was hired to become the head man in East Lansing there was one assistant coach hire that the media raved about. It was offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic.

Before working at Michigan State, Kapilovic coached at Colorado, North Carolina, Southern Miss, Missouri State and Alabama State. When Tucker was still at Colorado this past January, Kapilovic was offered jobs to coach in the SEC at Auburn and Missouri, but he ultimately decided to stay with the head coach. Then, when Tucker got the job at Michigan State, Kapilovic tagged along.

Now, Michigan State is a third of the way through the season, and the offensive line has been underwhelming to say the least. The run game for the Spartans has struggled especially, as the team has 109 attempts for only 235 yards. This comes out to a pitiful 2.2 yards per carry.

Although the offensive line has struggled, there have been some definite bright spots that we will get into later. When looking at how the offensive line plays, Kapilovic should not receive any criticism for the poor performance. Jim Bollman and Mark Staten, the former offensive line coaches, left Kapilovic a very tough job to try and revamp.

Every single game this season the starting offensive line has had different a different combination.

  • Rutgers: A.J. Arcuri (LT), Blake Beuter (LG), Matt Allen (C), Matt Carrick (RG), Kevin Jarvis (RT)
  • Michigan: A.J. Arcuri (LT), Blake Beuter (LG), Nick Samac (C), Matt Carrick (RG), Kevin Jarvis (RT)
  • Iowa: A.J. Arcuri (LT), J.D. Duplain (LG), Nick Samac (C), Matt Carrick (RG), Kevin Jarvis (RT)

Arcuri, Carrick and Jarvis have been the three players to make a start in every game. Samac has done a solid job in place of the injured Allen. Duplain has shown some flashes, it would be nice to see Kapilovic stay with the younger lineman to build for the future.

Before we dig into the the data, all the stats being used are coming from Football Outsiders. I will give a brief description of what each stat means, too, so nobody is lost.