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Wednesday, September 5, 2012
A&M's offensive line will be key against UF

By Edward Aschoff

It always comes back to the play in the trenches in the SEC. Just ask, well, anyone.

And as Texas A&M prepares for its first SEC game, it does so with a leg up on one side of the ball with a very talented/veteran offensive line. It's a line that features two potential first-round draft picks in tackles Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews. The Aggies' starting five up front has combined to start 92 games.

That's pretty good, and it's even better for the Aggies when you consider they are throwing out a first-year starting quarterback in redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel.

Texas A&M's line will get quite the test this weekend when No. 24 Florida and its very talented defensive line invade College Station. As Sam Kahn Jr. of ESPN.com's GigEmNation writes, the Aggies will need that veteran line to play one of its best games against the Gators' front in Saturday's season opener.

Coach Kevin Sumlin might be heading into his first season at Texas A&M with a young, inexperienced quarterback, but he's happy to have such sound offensive line to work with:
"Our offensive line, I think as anybody can see, is probably the strength of our football program. Whenever you have a young quarterback or you have a situation where a backup quarterback goes in, it's not necessarily about the quarterback as it is about the other 10 players that let him grow as a player.

"If you had your druthers and said you have an inexperienced line and an experienced quarterback, you'd lean toward having an experienced line and an inexperienced quarterback, particularly going into the league that we're going into. They give us a chance to be successful with their experience, their size and experience in big games."