LOS ANGELES -- The overwhelming theme entering Saturday's Rose Bowl is the overwhelming size of the Wisconsin Badgers' offensive line. And, OK, with 6-foot-4, 315-pound right guard Kevin Zeitler being the shrimp of the group, those boys do have some pretty good size.
But, hold the scales. TCU Horned Frogs senior left tackle Marcus Cannon, all 6-6, 350 pounds of him, says his bunch of all-300-pound-plus linemen aren't exactly flyweights. In fact, TCU's offensive line weighs in just a few steaks fewer than Wisconsin's heavies, averaging four pounds less across the line and an inch shorter.
"We may not be as big as Wisconson, but we’re a tight-knit group. All of us have each other’s back," said Cannon, who turned a dominant final season. "It’s kind of like the movie "300" where if something goes down we’re all behind each other. That’s why we’re still in the single digits in sacks."
The Frogs have allowed just nine sacks in 12 regular-season games, tied for seventh in the nation. And they bulldozed their way to eighth in the nation in rushing, averaging 261.2 yards a game with Ed Wesley (1,065 yards) and Matthew Tucker (694), which actually comes in just higher than Wisconsin's 12th-ranked three-headed rushing attack (247.3).
Cannon, who will be play Sundays next season, said it's about power more than sheer size.
"We’ve got two or three guys on the offensive line that are doing 450 [pounds] or above on bench [press] and a lot of us are hitting 700 on squat," Cannon said. "We have a lot of big, strong guys and a lot of us are really fast. I don’t think there’s one of us on the line that doesn’t run a fast 40. So we’re real quick and good at using our hands.
"You know, size isn’t everything."
we’ve got two or three guys on the offensive line that are doing 450 or above on bench, a lot of us are hitting 700 on squat, a lot of big strong guys and a lot of us are really fast. I don’t there’s one of us on the line that doesn’t run a fast 40. So we’re real quick and good at using our hands. You know, size isn’t everything.