Nine O-Line Units Earn “Game Balls” for Stellar Play
NEW YORK, New York – September 16, 2015 – The Joe Moore Foundation for Teamwork has announced the Week 2 Joe Moore Award Honor Roll, which will identify the most notable weekly performances by offensive line units. The following universities earned a spot on this week’s Honor Roll (in alphabetical order): Colorado, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Iowa, LSU, Michigan State, Southern California (USC), Temple and Virginia Tech.
“It’s nearly impossible for an offensive line to play a perfect game, but the good ones always seem to strive for continuous improvement throughout the season,” said Gerry DiNardo, who played guard at Notre Dame and who is now a College Football Analyst for the Big Ten Network and member of the JMA Voting Committee. “Beyond the overall award criteria, we also consider a simple question – would you give the O-line the game ball?”
After a review of actual game film, the weekly Joe Moore Award Honor Roll includes units that display a superior level of toughness, effort, teamwork, physicality, tone setting and finishing. Statistics, including those supplied by the universities (i.e. knockdowns), are used to support observations made about the technique and effort displayed in the game film.
The Week 2 Joe Moore Award Honor Roll “Game Ball” Winners (in alphabetical order):
Colorado: In a 48-14 win over Massachusetts, the Buffs offensive line allowed no sacks and steamrolled its way to 390 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns, averaging 6.6 yards per carry along the way. The team averaged 9.1 yards per first down rushing play, picking up five or more yards 19 times in 28 tries. They led the way to 13 rushing plays of 10 yards or more and had two players rush for more than 100 yards in the game.
Georgia: On their way to a 31-14 win over Vanderbilt, the Bulldogs offensive line was nearly perfect, missing zero blocking assignments in 330 opportunities across 66 plays. They blocked for 281 rushing yards, averaging 6.9 yards per carry, and helped sophomore TB Nick Chubb rush for 189 yards on 19 carries. This marks his 10th consecutive game with at least 100 yards rushing, one of the longest streaks in the nation.
Georgia Tech: After a shaky start, the Yellow Jackets offensive line unit came to life and paved the way to 439 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns in a dominant 65-10 win over Tulane. Tech averaged 7.8 yards per carry and tallied 21 rushing 1st downs. They were 6 of 9 on 3rd downs and 2 for 2 on 4th down tries. So far in 2015, Georgia Tech has rushed 108 times for 915 yards and 15 touchdowns – their 8.47 yards per carry is more than two yards ahead of second place Air Force
Iowa: In a hard fought 31-17 road win against in-state rival Iowa State, Iowa’s offensive line unit paved the way for 260 rushing yards and 5.8 yards per carry. Most notable was their performance in the fourth quarter, when they controlled the clock for 10:14. With the score tied 17-17 and just 6:08 left in the game, the Hawkeyes engineered two drives, scoring two touchdowns in the final 2:14 to lock down the win. After a turnover by State, the final drive consisted of back-to-back “power” running plays of 17 and 8 yards, respectively, to put the game away.
LSU: In an important early-season battle against SEC West foe Mississippi State, the Tigers ran to a 21-19 victory in cowbell hostile Davis Wade Stadium. As State tried to mount a comeback in the second half, LSU possessed the ball for 9:23 of the fourth quarter, helping seal the victory. The offensive line unit opened holes for 266 rushing yards and three touchdowns, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. RB Leonard Fournette, the SEC Offensive Player of the Week, scored all three touchdowns and rushed for 159 yards.
Michigan State: In a heavyweight battle against 7th-ranked Oregon, the Spartan line allowed no sacks in 32 pass attempts and are one of only eight teams to not have allowed a sack this year. They were 2 for 2 on critical 4th downs and gained 197 yards rushing on 5.3 yards per attempt. Even with the loss of starting RT Kodi Kieler in the first quarter, back up Miguel Machado and the rest of the Unit managed to dominate time of possession (33:26 to 26:34) in their 31-28 victory.
Temple: Behind an offensive line that featured two converted defensive linemen in guards Shahbaz Ahmed and Brian Carter, Jahad Thomas rushed for a career-high 193 yards as the Owls defeated Cincinnati 34-26 in an American Athletic Conference battle. As part of their strategy to slow down the up-tempo Bearcats, Temple held the ball for almost the entire 3rd quarter (13:00), scoring three touchdowns, including a 56-yard run by Thomas to give the Owls a 24-12 lead. In total, Temple rushed for 215 yards and averaged 6.0 yards per carry.
Southern California: The Trojans rushed for 5 touchdowns and 284 yards in their 59-9 rout of Idaho. The USC offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage, earning 35 first downs and 737 total offensive yards against the Vandals defense. In 45 pass attempts, the unit gave up only one sack, protecting QB Cody Kessler on his way to completing 26 of 31 attempts with no interceptions and a career-high 410 passing yards.
Virginia Tech: In a big win after losing to #1 Ohio State, the Tech offensive line came back strong in a 42-3 victory over Furman, leading the way to 299 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. The unit average 7.7 yards per carry and rushed for 14 of the Hokie’s 25 first downs. They allowed no tackles for lost yardage on rushing plays and gave up zero sacks on 31 pass attempts.
Semi-Finalists for the Joe Moore Award will be announced on November 16, with five (5) Finalists determined by November 30. The Joe Moore Award winning unit will be announced after the conclusion of the regular season.
About the Joe Moore Award
The JOE MOORE AWARD is named after Joe Moore, widely regarded as one of the best offensive line coaches in college football history, and is the only major college football award to honor a unit. The award will annually recognize the nation’s Most Outstanding Offensive Line Unit that best displays toughness, effort, teamwork, physicality, tone setting and finishing. The voting committee is comprised solely of people who played or coached the position, including all of the current offensive line coaches at the Division I/FBS level as well as former players, coaches, colleagues of Coach Moore and select media.
About the Joe Moore Foundation for Teamwork
The Joe Moore Foundation for Teamwork is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to fostering the essential aspect of all great societal endeavors: teamwork. Our mission is to bring that spirit of collective achievement not only to sports, but also to schools, organizations, businesses and communities. Find out more at joemooreaward.com and follow the Joe Moore Award on Instagram (@joemooreaward), Twitter (@joemooreaward) and Facebook.