Eighteen Units Earn Honor Through Tough, Physical Play
NEW YORK, New York – November 22, 2016— The Foundation for Teamwork announced today 18 Semi-Finalists for the 2016 Joe Moore Award, given to the top offensive line unit in college football.
For games played through November 19, the 2016 Joe Moore Award Semi-Finalists have a combined record of 152-45 and represent seven conferences: PAC-12 (4), SEC (4), BIG TEN (4), BIG-12 (2), Mountain West (2), ACC (1), MAC (1). Combined, these teams average 457.63 total yards per game (compared to national average of 419.08) and 225.27 rushing yards per game (national average 183.95).
The following O-lines earned a spot as Semi-Finalists, in alphabetical order (overall record):
Boise State (10-1)
Ohio State (10-1)
San Diego State (9-2)
Washington State (8-3)
Western Michigan (11-0)
“None of the units on our Semi-Finalist list have been perfect this year and, as a whole, offensive line play is not at the level we saw last year,” said Aaron Taylor, CBS CFB Analyst and Chairman of the Joe Moore Award Voting Committee. “But each unit on our list has steadily improved over the course of the season and our eventual winner will be among those that finish strong over the next few weeks.”
“This is the time of the year that the great offensive lines have to shine,” said Gerry Dinardo, a college football analyst for the Big Ten Network and member of the JMA Voting Committee. “We saw that with Michigan State in last year’s Big Ten Championship game and I expect we will see something like that in this week’s big Michigan-Ohio State game – it should be an epic battle in the trenches.”
The Joe Moore Award finalists will be named on Tuesday, November 29th and the winner will be announced at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta on Friday, December 9.
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 annually recognizes the nation’s Most Outstanding Offensive Line Unit that best displays toughness, effort, teamwork, consistency, technique, 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.
Joe Moore Award Semi-Finalists*:
*The Joe Moore Award units are judged solely on six (6) criteria: toughness, effort, teamwork, consistency, technique, and “finishing”. Evaluations are made primarily through review of actual game film and, as there are no current statistics that support the award criteria directly, statistics are provided merely as a point of reference.
- Alabama leads the SEC in scoring offense averaging 40.3 points per game and 2nd in total offense, averaging 477.6 yards per game.
- The Crimson Tide are 2nd in the conference in both rushing offense (249.82 yards per game) and in yards rushing per attempt (5.81).
- With freshman QB Jalen Hurts, Alabama leads the SEC in passing efficiency with a rating of 150.99.
- The Tigers lead the SEC and are 5th in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 297.8 yards per game.
- On 3rd and short situations, Auburn is averaging 6.61 yards per carry and have put games away by averaging more than six yards per carry when leading by eight points or more.
- In their 4-0 stretch in October, the Tigers averaged 372 rushing yards per game with 18 rushing TDs.
Boise State (10-1)
- Boise State leads the Mountain West in total offense, averaging 487.1 yards per game and more than seven yards per play.
- The Broncos lead the conference in passing offense, averaging 296.1 yards per game, with an efficiency rating of 170.03.
- They have allowed only 15 sacks this season, a sack percentage of only 4.36%.
- The Hawkeyes lead the Big Ten in Red Zone offense, having scored on 32 of 35 possessions (91.43%), including 24 touchdowns.
- Despite facing run-stop defenses that average 7.6 men in the box, Iowa is averaging 4.35 yards per carry and 2.4 yards before contact.
- Head Coach Kirk Ferentz was assistant offensive line coach under Joe Moore at Pittsburgh in 1980.
- In their wins this year, the Wildcats are averaging 37.2 points and 295.83 rushing yards per game.
- Overall, Kentucky ranks 3rd in the SEC in rushing, averaging 242.36 yards per game.
- They average 5.54 yards per rush, with 3.7 yards coming before contact.
- In tough 3rd and short situations, Kentucky is averaging 7.07 yards per rushing attempt and has converted 20 of 27 tries into first downs.
- This season, LSU faced run-stop defenses that averaged 7.7 men in the box, yet Tiger runners averaged 4.2 yards before contact.
- Those big holes resulted in explosive plays on 10% of all rushing plays and 26 rushing plays of 20 yards or more.
- The Tigers led the SEC in averaging 6.24 yards per rushing attempt, led by RB Derrius Guice who led the conference averaging 8.03 yards per carry.
- The Wolverines are 2nd in the Big Ten in rushing offense, averaging 235.27 yards per game 5.23 yards per carry.
- Against defenses stacked to stop the run, Michigan running backs are averaging 3.3 yards before contact.
- The Michigan O-line unit has given up 16 sacks through 11 games for an efficient passing game that is 2nd in the Big Ten in passer rating (145.78).
Ohio State (10-1)
- The Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in scoring and in total offense, averaging 43.8 points and 493.1 total yards per game.
- They lead the Big Ten in rushing offense, averaging 263.09 yards per game and 5.67 yards per carry, gaining an average of 3.7 yards before contact.
- Ohio State also leads the conference in passing efficiency (148.63) and touchdown passes (26).
- Oklahoma leads the Big 12 and is 3rd in the nation in scoring, averaging 45.3 points per game.
- The Sooners’ QB Baker Mayfield leads the nation in passing efficiency (194.70) and he leads the Big 12 averaging 10.9 yards per passing attempt.
- On the ground, Oklahoma is averaging 228.09 yards per game and is 2nd in the SEC in average yards per rushing attempt (5.25)
- The Panthers are 3rd in the nation and lead the ACC conference in fewest sacks allowed, yielding only nine sacks for a total of 57 yards through 11 games.
- Pitt is 2nd in the conference in scoring offense, averaging 39.3 points per game, and is averaging 50 points per game in their last three games.
- In the Red Zone, Pitt leads the nation in touchdown percentage, having scored TDs on 43 of 47 tries (80.85%).
San Diego State (9-2)
- Defenses have loaded the box to stop the Aztecs’ running game, yet they are 7th in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 283.36 yards per game.
- Despite facing an average of 7.8 defensive players in the box, SDSU runners are gaining 4.7 yards before contact and 6.15 yards per rush overall.
- In their last three games, they are averaging more than eight yards per rushing attempt.
- The Longhorns lead the Big 12 in total rushing yards, with 2,682 through 11 games, and are 2nd in the conference in rushing yards per game (243.8).
- Despite running the ball more than 50 times per game, rushing plays are “stuffed” on only 8% of rushing attempts.
- Texas runners are averaging 2.9 yards before contact and lead the Big 12 with 11 rushes of 30 yards or more.
- The Trojans lead the Pac-12 in fewest sacks allowed, having given up only 11 through 11 games this season.
- USC is 5th in the nation in sack percentage, allowing their QB to be sacked only 2.82% of drop backs.
- On the ground, the Trojans are averaging 8.41 yards per carry on 3rd and short situations and they have made first down on 22 of 29 tries.
- The Utes’ balanced offense leads the Pac-12 in time of possession, holding the ball for 33:59 per game.
- Utah is 2nd in the conference in rushing offense, averaging 213.36 yards per game.
- While they average nearly five yards per carry, Utah running backs are gaining an average of 3.2 yards before contact.
Western Michigan (11-0)
- The Broncos are 2nd in the MAC in scoring offense (43.8) and scoring defense (17.7), winning their games by an average of 26.1 points.
- They lead the conference and are 14th in the nation in rushing offense (247.09) and are second in the conference in total offense, averaging 509.8 yards per game.
- The lead the MAC in time of possession, holding the ball for 33:34 per game and lead the nation in 3rd down conversions, making first down on 56.08% of those attempts.
- The O-line unit has only given up 12 sacks through 11 games and yields an average of only 3.91 tackles for loss per game, which ranks 5th in the nation.
- The Huskies big play offense leads the Pac-12 in yards per play, averaging 7.31 this season.
- In pass protection, the O-line unit has helped earn QB Jake Browning Heisman consideration, as he leads the Pac-12 in QB rating (180.72) and has thrown 37 TD passes, with only 7 interceptions.
- The Huskies lead the Pac-12 in rushing yards per carry (5.59), including 3.6 yards before contact.
- Washington is 4th in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 44.7 points per game, and they lead the Pac-12 in Red Zone scoring, putting points on the board 93.62% of the time they go there.
Washington State (8-3)
- WSU leads the Pac-12 in passing offense, averaging 380 yards per game and 2nd in total offense averaging 512.5 yards per game.
- They lead the conference (tied with USC) in fewest tackles allowed for loss, yielding only 4.64 per game.
- Despite a pass-heavy offense, the Cougars O-line unit has given up a sack only 4.13% of passing plays, third best in the conference.
- The Badgers’ disciplined, ball-control offense leads the nation in time of possession, holding the ball for an average of 35:24 per game.
- They are 3rd in the Big Ten in rushing offense, averaging 200.73 yards per game, and have averaged 258 yards rushing in their last three games.
- The Wisconsin O-line unit has allowed 19 sacks through 11 games and the team is 2nd in the nation with the fewest penalties per game (3.27).
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 annually recognizes 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. The inaugural Joe Moore Award went to Alabama in 2015.
About the Foundation for Teamwork
The Foundation for Teamwork is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to fostering teamwork in all societal endeavors and bring that spirit of collective achievement to athletics, education, and organizations. Find out more at joemooreaward.com and follow the Joe Moore Award on Twitter (@joemooreaward), Instagram (@joemooreaward), and Facebook.