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Kentucky offensive line gets a top-5 grade for the season

The Wildcats offensive line ranks as one of the best in the nation.

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NCAA Football: Belk Bowl-Virginia Tech vs Kentucky Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats offensive line, also known as the ‘Big Blue Wall,’ held its own this season under a new offense mid-way through the season.

When Terry Wilson and Sawyer Smith both went down due to injury, and Lynn Bowden made the transition to quarterback, the offensive line had to step it up in order for Kentucky to run their offense specifically through Bowden.

And they did. Over the last eight games of the season, picking up when Bowden took over under center, Kentucky averaged 350 rush yards per game. Over the course of the season, Kentucky ran for a total of 3,628 rushing yards and 36 touchdowns.

Pro Football Focus ranked all 130 FBS offensive lines, and Kentucky was graded as the No. 5 offensive line in the country, thanks in large part to Darian Kinnard being one of the league’s best tackles.

The Wildcats’ offense became one predicated on rushing success, and that seemed to fit their strength as a unit on the offensive line. They finished with the seventh-highest run-blocking grade as a unit while Kinnard finished the year as the third-highest graded tackle in the SEC in the run game.

The highest graded offensive lineman was Kinnard, who was given an 86.3 overall grade.

Ahead of the Wildcats were Ohio State at No. 4, Alabama at No. 3, Georgia at No. 2, and Oregon at No. 1. Lexington native Jedrick Wills Jr. was the Crimson Tide’s highest graded offensive lineman.

Kentucky returns 4 of 5 starters on the O-line for next season, with the only loss being Logan Stenberg. It might be safe to assume that Kentucky might be fielding yet another top-5 offensive line in 2020 as well.