Games feature Wisconsin vs. Michigan, Stanford vs. Washington, Louisville vs. Clemson and Navy vs. Air Force
NEW YORK, New York – September 28, 2016— In its continuing effort to help educate fans on how important the offensive line is to winning football, the Joe Moore Award will feature games on a weekly basis that feature O-Line units that have shown potential to win the award in its “Big Ugly Spotlight”. The list for Week Five features Wisconsin vs. Michigan, Stanford vs. Washington, Louisville vs. Clemson and Navy vs. Air Force.
On a weekly basis, the Joe Moore Award will provide analysis for the upcoming weekend’s featured games. Stay tuned for Joe Moore Honor Rolls, which will recognize outstanding offensive line play, culminating with the announcement of the 2016 winner of the Joe Moore Award after the conclusion of the regular season.
This week’s “Power Breakdown” will feature the Big 10 matchup of Wisconsin/Michigan, with in-depth analysis provided by the team at The Scouting Academy, an online-based instructional curriculum whose instructors bring over 350 years of NFL front office and coaching experience.
“POWER BREAKDOWN” – WISCONSIN (#8) @ MICHIGAN (#4) – 3:30pm ET on ABC
Michigan faces its toughest test of the season against a resurgent Wisconsin team that already has two wins against top 10 teams this year. The O-line units from both teams have caught the attention of the Joe Moore Award voting committee and how they play in this game could vault either or both into the winning conversation.
Wisconsin Badgers Offensive Line Unit Breakdown, via The Scouting Academy
OVERALL: Overall, Wisconsin’s O-line should be equipped to handle the Wolverine’s front when they are static. The unit plays with good surge in the inside run game to create Point of Attack (POA) push, especially at the guard position. Their tackles, #65 Ramczyk and #52 Maxwell, are good in pass protection with a solid overall ability to reach set points and a good competitive nature to sustain blocks through the back end of the pocket. However, Michigan’s ability to use their initial quickness and good hand usage to disengage on twists will challenge Wisconsin’s interior players. DE #43 Wormley is especially good at this and has won guards’ chest and re-set the line of scrimmage (LOS)/created push in the pocket on many reps this way.
WISCONSIN O-LINE OVERVIEW: The Wisconsin Badgers run a pro-style offense and leverage both Zone and Power running plays collectively with Rollouts, WR screens, and PA passes to keep the defense honest in their assignments. The offensive line is solid in both Zone and Power running principles with a better performance on IZ plays and Pin and Pull plays kicking out the end man on the LOS. They will use shifts and motions with their 6- and 7-man protection schemes to block on 3rd downs and help the line protect the QB. Left Tackle Ryan Ramczyk #65 is one of the best players on the offensive line, as he displays good athletic ability in pass protection with a fluid kick, slide technique to mirror good edge rushers and competitive toughness to block until the whistle. The Badger’s are at full strength this week after losing LG Micha Kapoi during the LSU game to a left leg injury.
MICHIGAN DEFENSIVE OVERVIEW: Michigan has dressed their front-7 personnel into a 4-3 scheme, primarily setting the 3T to the strength (Over Front), with the Nose Guard set to the weak-side, usually in a 1T alignment (shaded to one side of the OC). The DEs will align as 5Ts on the Offensive Tackle’s outside shoulder. Michigan also showed a true Odd look, with two 5Ts, a 0-Nose (head up over OC), two ILBs in the box and two OLBs clamped down in a rush alignment, as well as a Bear front (OC and both OG’s covered by a DL), where they’ll align S/CB #5 as the strong-side OLB down over a TE. This unit is deep, physical and plays with very good hand usage. Their starting and back-up interior DL in particular have good UOH (use of hands) to neutralize 1-on-1 blocks. This is a good thing for Michigan, considering their top interior DL #90 Brian Mone has not even played since leaving Week 1’s game against Hawaii early with a knee injury. Michigan is hopeful Mone can play but his status is not known at this time. DE #33 Charlton is their primary pass rusher, however DE #43 Wormley has had good success pressuring the QB on twists that match him up against Centers and Guards, emphasizing his good length, strength, placement and motor. The Wolverines defense is very good, and ranks in the top 15 nationally in eight categories.
Wisconsin’s OG’s vs UM DE #43 Chris Wormley
KEEP YOUR EYE ON:
Wisconsin LT 65 Ryan Ramczyk
Wisconsin Badgers Offensive Line Unit Game Notes
- In their huge conference win against Michigan State, the Badgers O-line unit proved they are legit, dominating the line of scrimmage.
- In that game, Wisconsin’s 2nd win against a top 10 team this season, the Badgers held the ball for nearly 33 minutes, setting the tone in the 2nd quarter with a 16-play, 7:38 minute touchdown drive.
- The Badgers rank 3rd in the nation in time of possession, holding the ball for more than 37 minutes a game, helping the Badger defense to be the stingiest n the Big 10 (11.8 points per game).
- The disciplined Badger team is averaging less than four penalties a game and has given up only 6 sacks this season.
- The win was the start of a tough Big 10 stretch, starting with Michigan in Ann Arbor this weekend, followed by games against Ohio State, Iowa and Nebraska.
Michigan Wolverines Offensive Line Unit Breakdown, via The Scouting Academy
OVERALL: Overall, the tape suggests that Michigan is talented and will try to “wear out” Wisconsin’s DL, who have been challenged by OLs that play with good pad level, strength and extension. They will need quality play out of their LT #77, as he will likely be matched up against a much faster, speed-based rush-OLB from Wisconsin’s 3-4 defense, something that plays against his skill-set as a big, long-armed and physical Tackle. Michigan also must be able to play with good discipline and processing in order to pick up and pass off any inside pressure or DL twist Wisconsin sends their way.
MICHIGAN O-LINE OVERVIEW: Michigan brings a very physical brand of offense to the field. They operate primarily Under Center (UC), leaning heavily on 21 personnel (2 RB, 1 TE) and 22 personnel (2 RB, 2 TE) sets to operate their Zone, Iso, Outside Zone Lead and Power plays. This strategy showcases their OL’s ability to take good angles and sustain foot drive after contact on combo blocks in order to create vertical push. They’ll also leverage Unbalanced/Tackle Over and Bunch WR sets to give them favorable looks to run their pin-pull schemes. Most of Michigan’s pass plays (and explosive pass plays - passes completed for 16+ yards) have come from some sort of run-action, as underneath defenders respect Michigan’s OL’s ability to create holes at the point of attack (POA) too much to bail to their pass assignment too quickly. In addition to running boot-action passes to negate pressure, Michigan also used half/full-slide pass protection to pick up any sort of inside twist or blitz. OL Coach Tim Drevno brings a ton of experience to this unit, and his presence is making a positive impact already.
WISCONSIN DEFENSIVE OVERVIEW: The Badgers play a traditional 3-4 alignment, with their DE’s usually aligning in a 4 or 4i-technique (just inside the offensive tackle), and the nose aligning as a true 0 technique to cover up the Center directly heads up. In their base defense, the DL generally square up and play with 2-gap responsibility (stand up the OL, play the gap/space to either side of the OL), tying up blockers and allowing their LBs to flow to the ball. Versus LSU, Wisconsin did slant on a few occasions, giving them an opportunity to gain gap leverage at the snap. Due primarily to scheme, Wisconsin’s DL does not generate much in the way of pass rush from their defensive line, but overall, the Badgers do a very effective job of bringing pressure on the QB in passing situations and disrupting run plays through a variety of blitz packages, which they execute very well. OLB’s 47 Vince Biegel and 42 T.J. Watt both are high energy, high motor players who have nice length and show solid upfield burst and some development in their rush plan, and LB Jack Cichy is very active with good speed and motor, and shows good timing, quickness, and burst to close on the QB on A and B-gap blitzes. New DC Justin Wilcox is doing a really nice job with this unit.
UM LT #77 Grant Newsome vs UW OLB #47 Vince Biegel
KEEP YOUR EYE ON:
RT #78 Erik Magnusson
Michigan Wolverines Offensive Line Unit Game Notes
- With a 4-0 start and early expectations for a championship run, the Wolverines are piling up points, ranking 4th in the nation with an average of 52 points per game.
- The Wolverine O-line unit has opened holes for 30 rushes of 20 yards or more, ranking them 17th in the nation in long rushing plays.
- The Michigan rushing attack is averaging 229.75 per game and has delivered 15 touchdowns, which is best in the Big !0 and 4th in the nation.
- In their Big 10 opener against Penn State, Michigan finished with 515 total yards, including 326 on the ground, and their 49 points were the most they’ve ever scored against the Nittany Lions.
- The O-line unit has only allowed 5 sacks through four games.
- Michigan’s pounding running attack has gained 47 first downs, 21st in the nation in that category.
- The Wolverines will face the 10th best rushing defense in the country against Wisconsin.
STANFORD (#7) @ WASHINGTON (#10) – FRIDAY, 9/30, 9PM ET ON ESPN
The all-time series between Stanford and Washington is 41-41-4, but these team will be playing for a lot more than rivalry bragging rights. They’ll be playing to take early hold of the Pac 12 North division and to keep playoff hopes alive. While their O-line units have been inconsistent, both teams can still contend for the Joe Moore Award with strong finishes to the season.
Stanford Cardinal Offensive Line Unit Game Notes
- After starting the season with three wins against Power 5 teams (KSU, USC and UCLA), the Cardinal are on track for a playoff position. The offense is down from a year ago, but the O-line unit has shown improvement week to week.
- The O-line unit has only given up 4 sacks on the season for a total of 15 yards lost, tops in the Pac-12. They’ve also only allowed a total of five tackles for loss through three games.
- With only four turnovers through three games and only 13 penalties, which leads the Pac-12, the Cardinal have minimized mistakes.
- In the Red Zone, Stanford is perfect, having scored on every visit there this season.
Washington Huskies Offensive Line Unit Game Notes
- With and undefeated start of the season at 4-0, the Washington offense is already working on all cylinders, averaging 45.8 points per game, good enough to rank them 10th n the nation in that category.
- The Huskies’ balanced attack features the 2nd most efficient passing game in the nation, with an efficiency rating of 200.97.
- Washington leads the Pac-12 in tackles for loss allowed, giving up only 4.5 per game.
- In their overtime win against conference rival Arizona, Washington rushed for a season-high 352 yards on 51 carries.
- The win over the Wildcats extends their conference-best winning streak to seven games.
LOUISVILLE (#3) @ CLEMSON (#5) – 8PM ET ON ABC
In this huge ACC Atlantic division matchup of top 5 teams, Louisville and Clemson will meet in Death Valley to see who will control their playoff destiny. Lamar Jackson will hope to continue his amazing Heisman run, while Deshaun Watson will continue working his way back to last year’s form. Both QBs will need help from their O-line units, which will face elite defenses as they each make their impression on the Joe Moore Award committee.
Louisville Cardinals Offensive Line Unit Game Notes
- The Cardinals O-line unit has led the way for Heisman front-runner Lamar Jackson and the Louisville offense to lead the nation in total offense, averaging 682 yards per game.
- They also lead the nation in scoring, averaging 63.5 points per game.
- The O-line unit has only given up three sacks in four games.
- The Cardinals are 2nd in the nation in rushing yards (1,273) and 9th in passing yards (1,455).
- Louisville has only allowed seven tackles for loss all season and ranks 2nd in the nation in that category.
- So far this season, they have outscored their opponent by an average of 41 points per game, including a 63-20 win over Florida State.
Clemson Tigers Offensive Line Unit Game Notes
- With their win over Georgia Tech, Clemson goes to 4-0 on the season and has won 19 straight regular season games.
- The Tigers continue to lean heavily on team leader and QB, Deshaun Watson, who is second on the team in rushing while being 3rd in the ACC in passing attempts.
- The O-line unit has done a great job protecting their Heisman-hopeful, giving up only three sacks in four games.
- While the Tiger offense has been sluggish, they picked it up in their big conference road win at Georgia Tech, as they outgained the Yellow Jackets in total yardage, 442-124.
- The Clemson defense, ranked 3rd in the nation in total defense, will now face the number one offense in the country in a matchup against Louisville this weekend.
NAVY @ AIR FORCE – 3:30PM ET on CBS SPORTS NETWORK
Navy and Air Force are typically known for their prowess on the sea and in the air, respectively, but they have won their share of battles on the ground this season as both are in the top five in the nation in rushing offense. Even though defenses expect them to run most often, each team is averaging more than five yards per carry. A stat that has the Joe Moore Award voting committee taking notice.
Navy Midshipmen Offensive Line Unit Game Notes
- Navy comes into this rivalry game with a 3-0 record and are ranked 5th in the nation in rushing yards per game (316.3).
- The Midshipmen rank 4th in the nation in third down conversions, making a first down nearly 56% of the time.
- Even with a well-known run-first approach, Navy leads the AAC in rushing yards per game and averages over six yards per carry.
- The Navy O-line has opened up big holes for big plays, as Navy leads the AAC in rushing plays of more than 20 yards.
Air Force Falcons Offensive Line Unit Game Notes
- The undefeated Falcons (3-0) come into their matchup with Navy ranked second n the nation in rushing offense, averaging nearly 360 yards rushing per game.
- Air Force leads the Mountain West conference in third down conversions and ranks 10th in the country (53.2%).
- The Falcons O-line had only given up three sacks on the season for a total of seven yards lost.
- Despite the run-heavy offensive scheme, the Falcons are still averaging 5.28 yards per rushing attempt.
- In the Red Zone, Air Force has converted 15 out of 16 attempts, including 10 touchdowns.
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 at www.facebook.com/JoeMooreAward.
About the Scouting Academy
The Scouting Academy is an online-based instructional curriculum designed to better educate students in the player evaluation process of National Football League teams. Established by former NFL scout Dan Hatman, and taught by instructors with over 350 years of NFL front office and coaching experience, The Academy establishes a new standard in education for students seeking to enter the NFL in a player personnel capacity. By utilizing an online platform, The Scouting Academy offers a 16-week comprehensive curriculum that allows students to develop at their own pace.