Seven Units Earn Honor Through Tough, Physical O-Line Play
NEW YORK, November 21, 2017 — The Joe Moore Award announced the seven semi-finalists for the 2017 most outstanding offensive line unit in college football. *No. 1 Alabama, *No. 6 Auburn, *No. 7 Georgia, *No. 9 Notre Dame, *No. 3 Oklahoma, *No. 20 Stanford and *No. 5 Wisconsin (in alphabetical order) are all among the offensive line units in the running to be one of the three Joe Moore Award finalists, who will be named on Monday, November 27. The eventual winner of the Joe Moore Award will be recognized in mid-December during a surprise, on campus visit to the winning Unit’s school.
This year’s semi-finalists represent four conferences and one Independent: SEC (3), BIG TEN (1), BIG-12 (1), PAC-12 (1), and Notre Dame. For games played through Nov. 18, the 2017 Joe Moore Award Semi-Finalists have a combined record of 68-9 and average 465.30 total yards per game (compared to national average of 402.50 ypg) and 247.57 rushing yards per game (national average 175.25 ypg).
“There is a noticeable improvement in O-line play this season compared to last year. It’s been exciting to watch the effort and resilience of these O-lines over the course of this challenging and competitive season,” says Aaron Taylor, CBS College Football Analyst and Founder of the Joe Moore Award.
“Once again the cream has started rising to the top, and the committee strongly feels that the common thread with this year’s semi-finalists and the success of their teams are a direct result of the O-lines’ level of play,” says Cole Cubelic, SEC Network sideline analyst, and Chairman of the the Joe Moore Award Voting Sub-Committee, which is comprised of only those who have coached or played the position on the collegiate stage and beyond. “With only a few more opportunities left in 2017, the Voting Sub-Committee is looking forward to seeing which units separate themselves when it matters most.”
Joe Moore Award Semi-Finalists Selection Process:
The Joe Moore Award is earned based upon the following six (6) criteria: Toughness, Effort, Teamwork, Consistency, Technique, and Finishing. As in year’s past, evaluations are made via review of actual game film and Offensive Line coach provided cut-ups on the DragonFly Div I Network. In addition, STATS, one of the industry leaders in sports data analytics, provides advanced offensive line data and analytics to help streamline the film evaluation process.
Joe Moore Award Semi-Finalists (in alphabetical order):
Alabama leads the SEC and is ninth in the nation in rushing offense (270.3 RUSH YPG).
Alabama’s 6.03 yards per attempt lead the SEC and is tied for seventh nationally.
Alabama is sixth in the nation with 42 tackles for loss allowed.
Alabama averages 4.26 yards before contact (YBC) per rush attempt. FBS average is 3.22 YBC.
Have not rushed for fewer than 100 yards in any game this season.
Offensive Line Coach: Brent Key
Auburn’s OL unit has paved the way for RB Kerryon Johnson to lead the SEC in rushing (1,172 RUSH YDS), despite Johnson missing 2 games.
Auburn calls a run an incredible 84% of the time in 3rd/4th and three or less, and goal-to-go situations. National average is 71.2%, which means the coaches trust their OL in key situations.
Auburn has rushed for 300+ yards in four different games, tied for the most in the SEC.
Auburn’s 30 RUSH TD are tied for 14th in the nation and are third in the country.
All of the above has been accomplished with six different starting combinations. Notably, senior Austin Golson has started four different positions (LT, LG, OC, RT), and is the first Tiger OL to do so since Auburn started tracking OL starts in 1986.
Offensive Line Coach: Herb Hand
Georgia’s OL has paved the way for an average of 267.4 RUSH YPG, which is second in SEC and 10th in the nation.
Georgia’s OL has allowed only 14 sacks, third in the conference and tied for 19th nationally.
The Dawgs OL has helped their team rush for at least 200 yards in nine of eleven games this season.
Georgia has 36 rushes of 20+ yards which leads the SEC and is fourth in the nation.
Offensive Line Coach: Sam Pittman
Notre Dame (9-2)
Notre Dame RBs enjoy an average of 4.33 yards before contact (YBC) per rush attempt. FBS average is 3.22 YBC.
Notre Dame averages 290.5 RUSH YPG which is sixth in the nation.
Notre Dame has blocked for the 10th best rusher at RB (Josh Adams, 1,337) and the 11th best rusher at QB (Brandon Wimbush, 704).
RB Josh Adams is first in the nation in 70+ yd runs (4), first in 60+ yd runs (7), second in 50+ yd runs (8), second in 40+ yd runs (8), second in 30+ yd runs (13) and third in 20+ yd runs (28) among RBs.
ND rushed for 515 yards at Boston College, the third most for ND in the modern era, including a Notre Dame QB record of 207 RUSH YDS.
Offensive Line Coach: Harry Hiestand
Leads the nation in total offense (588.7 YPG).
The Sooners are 31st in the nation as a team in rushing (206.9) despite not having a single rusher higher than 88th in the nation (Rodney Anderson, 68.1 RUSH YPG).
Leads the nation in passing yards per attempt (11.8), giving Baker Mayfield plenty of time to complete his passes.
Oklahoma has 73 pass plays of 20+ yards, which is 10 more than any other team in the nation.
Offensive Line Coach: Bill Bedenbaugh
Stanford’s OL has paved the way for the nation’s leading rusher, Bryce Love (172.3 RUSH YPG).
RB Love’s season is even more notable considering Stanford’s OL is in an “Alley Fight” (running against seven or more defenders in the box) 79.6% of the time. FBS average is 57.5%. The more crowded the defender box, the harder it is to run the football.
The Cardinal OL allowed only 12 sacks this season, tied for the Pac-12 lead and 11th in the nation.
Stanford has 31 rushes of 20+ yards is 2nd in the Pac-12
Offensive Line Coach: Mike Bloomgren
OL has paved the way for Freshman RB Jonathan Taylor has 1,657 RUSH YDS, the most for a freshman since Samaje Perine had 1,713 in 2014 and within striking distance of Adrian Peterson’s 1,925 in 2004.
Wisconsin’s OL is in an “Alley Fight” (running against seven or more defenders in the box) and incredible 89.7% of the time. FBS average for Alley Fights is 57.5%.
Wisconsin has not rushed for less than 100 yards in any game this season, including eight games of 200+ rush yards.
Wisconsin is holding the ball for an average of 35:24 per game, 2nd most in the nation.
Offensive Line Coach: Joe Rudolph
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 group or 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, and Iowa in 2016.
About The Foundation for Teamwork
The Foundation for Teamwork is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to fostering teamwork in all societal endeavors and bringing 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.
*AP Poll as of Nov. 19