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Scouting the Panthers: Offensive Line

By David Collier, junior broadcast journalism major, Meek School of Journalism and New Media
Email David at dlcollie@go.olemiss.edu, and follow him on Twitter @DavidLCollier
The most underrated position on the gridiron that can really make a good team bad or a bad team good is the offensive line, so let’s take a look Pittsburgh’s offensive line to see what Ole Miss will be going up against Jan. 5 in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
This is the third part of a seven-part series where I will break down each position every Monday, Wednesday and Friday leading up to the game.
The quarterback of the offensive line is Ryan Turnley, a 6-foot-6, 320-pound senior at freshman. Turnley, who has started in 25 consecutive games at center dating back to last season, was named as a second team All-Big East team selection. He has played in a total of 42 games in his career.
Artie Rowell, who stands at 6-foot-2, 325 pounds, will backup the center position.
Senior Chris Jacobson and sophomore Arthur Doakes are the two starters at guard for the Panthers.
Jacobson, a 6-foot-3, 295-pound left guard, has started all 12 games this season at his position. He is in his sixth year with the Pittsburgh program after receiving an extra year of eligibility after an injury to his left knee ended his season early last year. Jacobson has played in 45 career games, which includes 29 starts.
At right guard, Doakes has played in all 12 games this season, including four starts. He took over the reins of the position after junior Ryan Schlieper sustained a season-ending injury against Temple on Oct. 27. Doakes, a 6-foot-6, 340-pounder, got his first start against Notre Dame and has played in 18 career games.
The backup at both guard spots is 6-foot-5, 325-pound sophomore Shane Johnson. He has played in nine games this year with no starts.
Arguably the most important position and definitely the most difficult position to play along the offensive line is at tackle. Pittsburgh’s two starters are tackle are junior Cory King and sophomore Matt Rotheram.
King, a 6-foot-6, 325-pound left tackle, has played in 27 career games and has started 17 of those contests, including all 12 games this season.
His backup at left tackle is freshman Adam Bisnowaty, who is 6-foot-6 and 275 pounds.
At right tackle, Rotheram has started in each game this season. The 6-foot-6, 335-pounder has played in 20 games during his career, including 14 starts. Rotheram’s backup at right tackle is Zenel Demhasaj – a 6-foot-7, 325-pound junior.
A relatively undersized defensive line for Ole Miss could have some problems against a big Panther offensive line that averages 6-foot-5, 323 pounds among its starters.
The offensive line for Pittsburgh has paved the path for a Panther rushing attack that averages 129.1 yards per game, which ranks fifth in the Big East.
The area that could be an advantage for the Rebels is that Pittsburgh has given up 34 sacks on the season, so if players like sophomore defensive end C.J. Johnson for Ole Miss can use their speed to get around the edge, they could have some success getting pressure on the quarterback.
On Wednesday, we will take a look at at the Pittsburgh quarterbacks.
Past Scouting on the Panthers
Defensive Line/Linebackers

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