THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA WINS THE 2018 JOE MOORE AWARD

THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA WINS THE 2018 JOE MOORE AWARD

Accolade Honors Nation’s Top College Football O-Line Unit

NORMAN, OK (Dec. 18, 2018) — The University of Oklahoma offensive line was selected today as the winner of the 2018 Joe Moore Award for the Most Outstanding Offensive Line Unit in College Football, announced The Foundation for Teamwork, which has presented the unique award since 2015. The Sooners are the first team from the BIG-12 Conference to win the only award in college football that recognizes a group or a unit.

The announcement of the 2018 Joe Moore Award winner was made during a surprise visit today to Oklahoma’s campus. The Joe Moore Award trophy, crafted by award winning sports sculptor Jerry McKenna, is the largest trophy in college football, standing at a height of almost seven feet and weighing in at over 800 pounds. It will be displayed on the Oklahoma Sooners campus until the conclusion of the 2019 college football season.

Coached by co-offensive coordinator Bill Bedenbaugh, OU’s offensive line was the driving force behind an offense that is on pace to break the single-season FBS record for yards per play. The Sooners are averaging 8.7 yards per snap this year, a mark that would top the record of 8.6 yards per snap set by Hawaii in 2006. Bedenbaugh’s offensive line unit has been instrumental to OU's success on that side of the ball, also paving the way for quarterback Kyler Murray’s Heisman Trophy winning season.

“In an unprecedentedly close vote, Oklahoma’s offensive line unit narrowly edged out Alabama and Georgia in what many voters felt was their toughest decision yet,” said Aaron Taylor, CBS college football analyst and co-founder of the Joe Moore Award. Taylor played guard and tackle at the University of Notre Dame for the Award’s namesake, the legendary offensive line coach Joe Moore. “Coach Bedenbaugh’s unit seemed to separate itself in the eyes of the voters by their attitude, how well they worked up to the second level and finished their blocks.”  

Oklahoma leads the country in points per game (49.5) and yards per contest this season (577.9) despite ranking tied for 107th out of 130 teams in plays per game (just 66.1). OU is also averaging 0.71 points per offensive play. Going back to 1996, the highest end-of-season figure was 0.69 by 2013 national champion Florida State. What makes those numbers even more impressive is the fact that the Sooners had to replace two All Big-12 First Team offensive line starters in Erick Wren and Orlando Brown, two-time All-American and 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield at quarterback, and one of the country's top running backs, Rodney Anderson, who was lost for the year in this season's second game due to injury.

“All three finalists displayed the award criteria in impressive fashion, but Oklahoma made a statement with how consistently they finished and played through the echo of the whistle,” said Cole Cubelic, chairman of the Joe Moore Award voting committee. “They showed a tone-setting attitude in both pass protection and run blocking that really caught the attention of the 200 plus member voting body that has collectively played and coached this position for over 800 years.”

Oklahoma's starting line has featured redshirt junior left tackle Bobby Evans (13 starts), senior left guard and Outland Trophy semifinalist Ben Powers (12 starts), redshirt freshman center Creed Humphrey (11 starts), senior right guard Dru Samia (13 starts) and redshirt junior right tackle Cody Ford (13 starts). Redshirt senior Jonathan Alvarez also started two games at center and one at left guard. All 5 starters with 11 or more starts earned 2018 All-Big 12 Honors.

What Voters Said

“They were technical and fundamentally sound. Consistently finished their blocks. Always looking for work, especially on second level blocks which sprung many of the big runs. Once they had the line of scrimmage secured and displaced, they turned up the intensity and continued tracking and engaging defenders downfield. Beautiful.”

“They exemplified teamwork. They really worked well together in their combination blocks and showed passion to wear their opponents out. Good fundamentals. Finished their blocks. There were a lot of [defenders] on the ground when the play was over and they followed through downfield.”

“A bunch of athletic beasts. The ‘100% Pure Beef, Pancakes on the Side’ motto on the [Joe Moore Award] aprons fits this unit perfectly.”

“Very efficient in both protection and run game. I thought they played with the most attitude. All of the finalists were tough and physical, but it seemed like Oklahoma went out of their way to try punish their opponent any chance they got.”

“They improved throughout the season, playing their best ball late. They are a physical group that looks to impose their will on opponents. Also, because of their 108th ranked defense, they couldn’t have a bad series or half. They had to play well and score often. That factored in for me. There’s a certain amount of pressure to that and I think they rose up to meet it.”

No. 4 Oklahoma will make its 52nd bowl appearance when it takes on No. 1 Alabama in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. CT.

Award Criteria and Selection Process

The Joe Moore Award voting committee judges solely on six criteria: toughness, effort, teamwork, consistency, technique and finishing.

Evaluations were made through weekly review of actual game film and offensive line coach-provided cut-ups on the DragonFly Division I Network. In addition, STATS, the industry’s leader in sports data analytics, provides advanced O-line data and analytics to give context and clarity, and to help streamline the film evaluation process. The voting committee also went through each of the finalists’ season-long highlight reels and multiple back-to-back quarters of game film.

The 13-member Joe Moore Award voting committee selected a midseason honor roll in October 2018, followed by selection of semifinalists in November and finalists in early December. After the regular season, a voting body of 200-plus members selected the 2018 winner of the Joe Moore Award. This voting body includes all of the current offensive line coaches at the Division I/FBS level, as well as former players, coaches, colleagues of Coach Moore, select media members and the Joe Moore Award voting committee.

Voting Committee

The Joe Moore Award voting committee comprises individuals who are highly knowledgeable about offensive line play, including former linemen, coaches, talent evaluators and media analysts. This group conducts in-depth analysis by reviewing game tape every week of the season to assess both the fundamentals and subtleties of overall O-line performance.

The 2018 voting committee includes Chairman Cole Cubelic (Auburn, SEC Network); Charles Arbuckle (UCLA, Indianapolis Colts); Randy Cross (UCLA, San Francisco 49ers); Gerry DiNardo (Notre Dame, head coach at LSU); Mike Golic, Jr. (Notre Dame, ESPN); Dave Harding (Duke, Blue Devil Network); Pat Hill (head coach at Fresno State, O-line coach at Atlanta Falcons); Barrett Jones (Alabama, St. Louis Rams); Duke Manyweather (Humboldt State, player and coach); Geoff Schwartz (Oregon, Carolina Panthers); Phil Steele (publisher or Phil Steele’s College Football Preview, ESPN); Aaron Taylor (Notre Dame, Green Bay Packers); and Lance Zierlein (NFL draft analyst, NFL.com)

Past Award Recipients

Past recipients of the Joe Moore Award include the offensive lines of the University of Alabama (2015), the University of Iowa (2016) and the University of Notre Dame (2017).

About the Joe Moore Award

The Joe Moore Award is the only accolade in college football to honor a position group. It is named after Joe Moore, widely regarded as one of the best offensive line coaches in college football history, most notably for his work at Notre Dame and the University of Pittsburgh. Coach Moore sent 52 players on to the NFL, including Bill Fralic, Mark May, Russ Grimm, Jimbo Covert and others.

Joe Moore Award Credo

Teamwork. It’s what defines football as a sport and it is displayed in its greatest glory – in its most profound necessity – in the play of the offensive line. For it is there that individual achievement only matters if the entire unit is performing. When we execute together, great things happen. But if one player missteps, the rest of the team pays the price. That idea – along with hard work and the willingness to strive to be your best – embodies what Coach Joe Moore instilled in his players.

But it’s about more than just football. It’s about how we live our lives, how we contribute to society, how we participate in the realization of great things. Teamwork is a bond. It’s a promise. And it’s a commitment to put the greater good above ourselves. It’s the greatest form of individual achievement because it requires total sacrifice – of focus, of effort, of ego. The road to success requires a universal commitment to purpose that creates an unbreakable bond between each of us. And it makes that success one of the greatest achievements on the planet.

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 (facebook.com/JoeMooreAward).

###

JOE MOORE AWARD ANNOUNCES 2018 FINALISTS

JOE MOORE AWARD ANNOUNCES 2018 FINALISTS

Field of Nation’s Top College O-Lines Narrowed Down to Three Units 

NEW YORK (Dec. 4, 2018) — The Joe Moore Award for the Most Outstanding Offensive Line Unit in College Football today revealed the selection of three finalists for this year’s national honor, announced The Foundation for Teamwork, which has presented the unique award since 2015.

Finalists in the running to be named the top collegiate O-line in the country include (in alphabetical order) *No. 1 Alabama, *No. 5 Georgia, and *No. 4 Oklahoma.

For games played through Dec. 1, this year’s finalists have a combined record of 36-3 and average 528.1 total yards per game (compared to the national average of 406.1 total ypg) and 235.9 rushing yards per game (compared to the national average of 176.99 rushing ypg).

The award’s voting committee will announce the recipient of the 2018 Joe Moore Award after a surprise visit to the winning university’s campus in late December.

“The finalists embody what the Joe Moore Award is all about, which is hard-working, like-minded individuals working their tails off for the greater good without desire for personal gain,” said Aaron Taylor, CBS college football analyst and founder of the Joe Moore Award. “The voting was extremely close, but the 2018 Finalists separated themselves to the committee through consistency and setting the tone for their entire teams. In addition to the Finalists, I was particularly impressed by Clemson’s growth over the season and Memphis’ tenacity.” Taylor played guard at the University of Notre Dame for the award’s namesake, the legendary offensive line coach Joe Moore.

“Each of our O-line finalists have some unique qualities that really helped them stand out as elite units, but what they share in common is toughness, effort, and finishing their blocks,” said Cole Cubelic, chairman of the Joe Moore Award voting committee. “It was refreshing to see that there is still a commitment to physical football in the modern era, and we appreciate the efforts of the O-line coaches to preserve this fundamental aspect of the sport.” 

Finalist Criteria and Selection Process

The Joe Moore Award voting committee judges solely on six criteria: toughness, effort, teamwork, consistency, technique and finishing. 

Evaluations for finalists were made primarily through weekly review of actual game film and offensive line coach-provided cut-ups on the DragonFly Division I Network. In addition, STATS, the industry’s leader in sports data analytics, provides advanced O-line data and analytics to give context and clarity, and to help streamline the film evaluation process.

2018 Joe Moore Award Finalists at a Glance

Alabama Crimson Tide (13-0)

  • Alabama has scored points on 68.2 percent of drives in which they picked up a first down, the fourth-highest percentage in the nation. Combine that with the fact that the Tide have gone three-and-out on just 9.3 percent of their offensive drives – fourth lowest in the FBS – and it’s no surprise that Alabama has averaged an SEC-record 47.9 points per game. 

  • Alabama has rushed for negative yards on just 54 of their 492 rush attempts this season (11.0 percent), its second lowest mark in the last 20 seasons. Crimson Tide rushers have scored 31 touchdowns this season, most in the SEC. 

  • The Crimson Tide have allowed a sack on just 3.4 percent of drop-backs this season, the second-lowest mark in the SEC and their lowest sack rate in the last 25 seasons. Thanks to that protection, Alabama has averaged 10.8 yards per pass play on third down, second most in FBS.

Offensive line coach: Brent Key

Head coach: Nick Saban

Georgia Bulldogs (11-2)

  • Georgia is averaging 7.3 yards per play this season, fifth most in the FBS this season and the highest mark in program history. The Bulldogs have gone three-and-out on just 9.6 percent of drives, fifth lowest in the FBS - and averaging 3.27 points per drive, fourth most in the nation.

  • The Bulldogs have averaged 6.4 yards per rush on first and second down, most in the SEC and fifth most in FBS. Georgia racked up 250 rushing yards in eight games this season, tied with Georgia Tech for the most among Power-5 schools and tied for fourth most in FBS, trailing only Army, Navy, and Memphis.  

  • Georgia’s line has allowed its passers to complete a program-record 68.6 percent of passes and post a 1.6 percent interception rate, the third-lowest mark in program history. Bulldogs passers have been especially effective when opponents blitz, posting a team passer rating of 200.4, third highest among FBS teams with at least 25 pass attempts against the blitz. 

Offensive line coach: Sam Pittman

Head coach: Kirby Smart

Oklahoma Sooners (12-1)

  • Oklahoma’s high-powered offense has been a big story this season, as the Sooners lead FBS in points per game, yards per game, and yards per play. The Sooners have gone three-and-out on just 6.8 percent of drives - nearly two percent better than second-place Army - and they’ve averaged .711 offensive points per snap, the highest mark in FBS in the last 25 seasons.  

  • Oklahoma rushers have averaged 6.7 yards per carry this season, second in FBS and the highest mark in Big 12 history. The Sooners have rushed for negative yards on just 15.2 percent of carries this season, second lowest in the Big 12.  

  • The Sooners has passed for an average of 11.1 yards per drop-back this season, the highest rate in Division I history. Oklahoma has been especially good at moving the chains, as 48.8 percent of its total drop-backs have resulted in a first down or touchdown, the highest rate in the FBS. 

Offensive line coach: Bill Bedenbaugh

Head coach: Lincoln Riley

Voting Committee

The Joe Moore Award voting committee comprises 13 individuals who are highly knowledgeable about offensive line play, including former linemen, coaches, talent evaluators and media analysts. This group conducts in-depth analysis by reviewing game tape every week of the season to assess both the fundamentals and subtleties of overall O-line performance. 

The 2018 voting committee includes Chairman Cole Cubelic (Auburn, SEC Network); Charles Arbuckle (UCLA, Indianapolis Colts); Randy Cross (UCLA, San Francisco 49ers); Gerry DiNardo (Notre Dame, head coach at LSU); Mike Golic, Jr. (Notre Dame, ESPN); Dave Harding (Duke, Blue Devil Network); Pat Hill (head coach at Fresno State, O-line coach at Atlanta Falcons); Barrett Jones (Alabama, St. Louis Rams); Duke Manyweather (Humboldt State, player and coach); Geoff Schwartz (Oregon, Carolina Panthers); Phil Steele (publisher or Phil Steele’s College Football Preview, ESPN); Aaron Taylor (Notre Dame, Green Bay Packers); and Lance Zierlein (NFL draft analyst, NFL.com).

Looking Ahead

The next step will be for a voting body of 200-plus members to select the 2018 recipient of the Joe Moore Award. This voting body includes all of the current offensive line coaches at the Division I/FBS level, as well as former players, coaches, colleagues of Coach Moore, select media members and the Joe Moore Award voting committee.

In addition to reviewing game tape every week of the season, the Joe Moore Award voting committee will go through each of the finalists’ season-long highlight reels and multiple back-to-back quarters of game film.

Past Award Recipients

Past recipients of the Joe Moore Award include the offensive lines of the University of Alabama (2015), the University of Iowa (2016) and the University of Notre Dame (2017).

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, most notably for his work at Notre Dame and the University of Pittsburgh. Coach Moore sent 52 players on to the NFL, including Bill Fralic, Mark May, Russ Grimm, Jimbo Covert and others. The Joe Moore Award trophy, crafted by legendary sports sculptor Jerry McKenna, is the largest trophy in college football, standing at a height of 6 feet and weighing in at 800 pounds. The perpetual trophy is made available for display by the winning university until the conclusion of the following college football season. 

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 (facebook.com/JoeMooreAward).

*College Football Playoff Poll as of Dec. 2

###

JOE MOORE AWARD ANNOUNCES 2018 SEMIFINALISTS

JOE MOORE AWARD ANNOUNCES 2018 SEMIFINALISTS

Ten O-Line Units in the Running for Top National Honor

NEW YORK (Nov. 20, 2018) — The Joe Moore Award announced its annual selection of the semifinalists representing this year’s Most Outstanding Offensive Line Units in college football.  The Joe Moore Award has presented the unique award since 2015.

The ten semifinalists include #1 Alabama, Arizona State, #2 Clemson, #5 Georgia, Memphis, #3 Notre Dame, #6 Oklahoma, #24 Pittsburgh, #7 Washington State, and Wisconsin.

This year’s semifinalists represent six conferences and one independent (in alphabetical order): AAC (1), ACC (2), BIG TEN (1) BIG 12 (1), PAC 12 (2), SEC (2), and Notre Dame. For games played through Nov. 17, this year’s semifinalists have a combined record of 90-20 and average 485 total yards per game (compared to the national average of 409 total yards per game) and 223 rushing yards per game (compared to the national average of 174 rushing yards per game).  In addition, the following O-line units received Honorable Mention recognition for their play this season (alphabetical order): Appalachian State, Army, Kentucky, Utah State and UAB.

“As the 2018 college football season heads into the home stretch, the committee felt the semifinalists distinguished themselves by embodying the six award criteria in a way that really stood out on tape,” said Cole Cubelic, SEC Network sideline analyst and Chairman of the Joe Moore Award Voting Committee. “In the end, consistency, technique and physicality will determine who ultimately earns this year’s award.”

The Joe Moore Award voting committee will announce its selection of finalists on Dec. 4, 2018, and the selection of the 2018 Joe Moore Award Winner will be made public after a surprise visit to the winning university’s campus in late December.

“The committee strongly feels the common thread with this year’s semifinalists is that the O-line’s level of play has been integral to the success of their teams,” said Aaron Taylor, CBS college football analyst and co-founder of the Joe Moore Award. Taylor played guard at the University of Notre Dame for the award’s namesake, the legendary offensive line coach Joe Moore. “We’ll expect to see more consistency moving forward however, so these next couple of weeks should tell us all we need to know about which of these units is really ready to earn this year’s distinction as the Most Outstanding Offensive Line Unit in college football. The bar will be raised considerably moving forward.”

Semifinalist Criteria and Selection Process

The Joe Moore Award voting committee judges solely on six criteria: toughness, effort, teamwork, consistency, technique and finishing.

Evaluations for semifinalists were made primarily through weekly review of actual game film and offensive line coach-provided cut-ups on the DragonFly Division I Network. In addition, STATS, one of the industry leaders in sports data analytics, provides advanced O-line data and analytics to give context and clarity, and to help streamline the film evaluation process.

 

2018 Semifinalists at a Glance

Alabama (11-0)

  • The Crimson Tide O-line has paved the way for 500+ total yards in 10 of 11 games, which is currently the most such games in FBS.

  • The Tide lead the SEC and are T-9th in the FBS with just 10 sacks allowed. 

  • Alabama is on pace to become the fourth team on record (since 2000) to average at least eight yards per play over the course of a season.

  • What the committee is saying: “One of the best units. Again. Probably a little better pass blocking than run blocking this year. LT is as consistent as they come.”

Offensive line coach: Brent Key

Head coach: Nick Saban

Arizona State (7-4)

  • The Sun Devils have only allowed 15 sacks this season, which is 2nd in the PAC 12 and T-24th in the FBS.

  • Arizona State’s O-line has paved the way for RB Eno Benjamin to gain 1,444 rushing yards this year, just 121 yards shy of the school record of 1,565 (Woody Glenn, 1972).

  • Benjamin is currently 4th nationally with 131 yards per game and T-12th in PAC-12 with 12 rushing touchdowns.

  • What the committee is saying: “Scrappy unit. C moves very well in space when he’s pulling. Their hands are where they are supposed to be. They all reset their hands in pass pro well, if they miss. RT is huge. They work to finish. You can see the effort.”

Offensive line coach: Dave Christensen

Head coach: Herm Edwards

Clemson (11-0)

  • Only team in FBS with 400+ total yards of offense in all 11 games.

  • Clemson’s O-line has paved the way for the Tiger rush game to gain 6.6 yards per carry, which leads the ACC and is second in the FBS.

  • Of the 6.6 yards per carry, an impressive 71% of the yards come before the ball carrier is touched (4.7 yards before contact), which is 6th best in the in the FBS.

  • What the committee is saying: “Judging by FSU and BC games Clemson has played themselves on. Finally starting to bring some pop. Pass pro is solid and LG mauls people in run game.”

Offensive line coach: Robbie Caldwell

Head coach: Dabo Swinney

Georgia (10-1)

  • Despite starting four different alignments on the O-line this year, Georgia leads the SEC in Rushing Offense at 257 yards per game and also leads in SEC-only games at 232.

  • Georgia is on pace to have one of the best scoring averages in UGA history this season. The Bulldogs have scored 40+ points in six games this year and are averaging 39, which is second in the SEC.

  • Georgia calls a run play on 85% of “Gotta Have It” run plays, defined as 3rd and 4th down and three yards or less, or goal-to-go situations. This is among the highest in the country and indicates that the coaches have a high degree of confidence they will convert.         

  • What the committee is saying: “One of the better coached units I’ve seen. Not quite last year’s unit, and RG 74 being out hurts. But to start a true freshman and operate at the level they do [with all the injuries] is commendable.”

Offensive line coach: Sam Pittman

Head coach: Kirby Smart

 

Memphis (7-4)

  • The Tigers O-line has paved the way for RB Darrell Henderson to rush for 1,521 yards, which is 2nd in the FBS.

  • One of only three FBS teams in top ten in yards per play (7.4, 4th in FBS), pass yards per attempt (8.9, 10th in FBS), and rush yards per attempt (6.4, 3rd in FBS).  The other two are 2018 JMA Semifinalists Georgia and Oklahoma.

  • Thanks to one of the most physical O-lines in the country, Memphis’ offense averages 523 yards of offense per game, which is 7th best in the FBS.

  • What the committee is saying: “They play like a unit of misfit toys with a chip on their shoulders. Tougher than talented and more gritty than pretty but they deserve recognition.”

Offensive line coach: Ryan Silverfield

Head coach: Mike Norvell

 

Notre Dame (11-0)

  • The Irish O-line has paved the way for the offense to gain more than 400 yards of offense in of 11 games (only 14 teams have more 400+ yard games).

  • Notre Dame has averaged 185.5 rushing yards/game in its four victories over AP top-25 opponents. The Irish rank fourth in the FBS in rushing yards/game among teams with at least four games played against AP top-25 foes.

  • Notre Dame gained 365 yards rushing on 50 carries against the Florida State defense, the most allowed by the Seminoles since Georgia Tech gained 401 yards on the ground against Florida State on Oct. 10, 2009. 

  • What the committee is saying: “Solid improvement from Week 1. Not always pretty or consistent, but rose to occasion against a very good FSU front 7. Shoot hands well and initial footwork is solid. Always looks to finish. Maybe a year away, but it’s there.”

Offensive line coach: Jeff Quinn

Head coach: Brian Kelly

Oklahoma (10-1)

  • Despite losing preseason All-Big 12 running back Rodney Anderson for the season in Week 2, Oklahoma leads the Big 12 and ranks ninth nationally with its 260 rushing yards per game.

  • OU is the nation's only team this year with at least 30 rushing touchdowns (36) and at least 30 passing TDs (35).

  • Behind the Sooners’ offense line, Oklahoma leads the nation with 6.9 rush yards per carry, with an incredible 5.2 of those yards coming before the ball carrier is touched.

  • What the committee is saying: “Very well coached and better than the unit last year after flipping Bobby Evans to LT. The IOL (interior O-line) plays with great physicality and maintains a functional base / move the point of attack. The OT’s show good range to disrupt [pass] rush plans. They move as one, especially on their bread and butter ‘counter’ look.”

Offensive line coach: Bill Bedenbaugh

Head coach: Lincoln Riley

 

Pittsburgh (7-4)

  • For the season, Pitt is churning out 247 yards per contest on the ground. That average ranks 14th nationally and 3rd in the ACC.

  • The Panthers have averaged an incredible 346 rushing yards per game over their last four games.

  • The Panthers O-line paves the way for their ball carriers to convert 87% of “Gotta Have It” situations (3rd/4th and three or less, and goal-to-go). This is 23% better than the FBS average.

  • What the committee is saying: “Didn’t see this coming at all, but no denying what they’ve done over the last 4-5 games. Physical and look to punish whenever possible. Lots of free face massages and pancakes. Blue collar group.”

Offensive line coach: Dave Borbely

Head coach: Pat Narduzzi

 

Washington State (10-1)

  • Washington State has allowed just seven sacks this season on 537 pass attempts, fewest sacks allowed in the PAC-12 and tied for 3rd-fewest allowed in the country (one sack for every 76 pass attempts).

  • The Cougars O-line protects a passing attack that leads the FBS with 405 passing yards per game and is T-4th with 37 TD passes.

  • The power five average for “clean pockets” (pass pro opportunities with no pressures allowed by an O-lineman) is 80% yet, despite being a pass heavy offense, Washington State’s O-line provides a clean pocket 86% of the time which leads the PAC-12 and is among the best in the country.

  • What the committee is saying: “One of hardest units to judge because of pass heavy scheme. But they are excellent at what they do [pass protection] even though they aren’t asked to do a whole lot. Pocket holds up really well. Extremely consistent.”

Offensive line coach: Mason Miller

Head coach: Mike Leach

Wisconsin (7-4)

  • Wisconsin ranks 4th nationally in rushing at 277 yards per game.

  • Wisconsin’s O-line has paved the way for Jonathan Taylor to gain a nation leading 1,869 rush yards, almost 350 more rush yards than next-highest total in the FBS (Memphis RB Darrell Henderson has 1,521 rush yards).

  • Wisconsin has gained 150+ rush yards in every game this season, one of only four FBS teams that can make this claim (also Army, Houston and Oklahoma).

  • What the committee is saying: “Been a tough year for Wiscy, but they win because of their OL, not despite it. It looks “familiar”. Very good base and technique. Efficient footwork, the ability to create leverage with pad level and with hand usage. Toughness and mental processing are there.”

Offensive line coach: Joe Rudolph

Head coach: Paul Chryst

 

Voting Committee

The Joe Moore Award voting committee comprises 13 individuals who are highly knowledgeable about offensive line play, including former linemen, coaches, talent evaluators and media analysts. This group conducts in-depth analysis by reviewing game tape every week of the season to assess both the fundamentals and subtleties of overall O-line performance.

The 2018 voting committee includes Chairman Cole Cubelic (Auburn, SEC Network); Charles Arbuckle (UCLA, Indianapolis Colts); Randy Cross (UCLA, San Francisco 49ers); Gerry DiNardo (Notre Dame, head coach at LSU); Mike Golic, Jr. (Notre Dame, ESPN); Dave Harding (Duke, Blue Devil Network); Pat Hill (head coach at Fresno State, O-line coach at Atlanta Falcons); Barrett Jones (Alabama, St. Louis Rams); Duke Manyweather (Humboldt State, player and coach); Geoff Schwartz (Oregon, Carolina Panthers); Phil Steele (publisher or Phil Steele’s College Football Preview, ESPN); Aaron Taylor (Notre Dame, Green Bay Packers); and Lance Zierlein (NFL draft analyst, NFL.com).

Looking Ahead

After the finalists are selected on Dec. 4, a vote will be held to select the 2018 recipient of the Joe Moore Award by a voting body of 200-plus members. This voting body includes 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 members.

In addition to reviewing game tape every week of the season, the Joe Moore Award voting committee will later go through each of the finalists’ season-long highlight reels and multiple back-to-back quarters of game film.

Past Award Recipients

Past recipients of the Joe Moore Award include the offensive lines of the University of Alabama (2015), the University of Iowa (2016) and the University of Notre Dame (2017).

About the Joe Moore Award

The Joe Moore Award is named after Coach Joe Moore, widely regarded as one of the best offensive line coaches in college football history. He is most notably recognized for his work at Notre Dame and the University of Pittsburgh. Coach Moore sent 52 players on to the NFL, including Bill Fralic, Mark May, Russ Grimm, Jimbo Covert and others. The Joe Moore Award trophy, crafted by legendary sports sculptor Jerry McKenna, is the largest trophies in all of sports, standing at a height of 6 feet and weighing in at 800 pounds. The perpetual trophy is made available for display by the winning university until the conclusion of the following college football season.

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 (facebook.com/JoeMooreAward).

* AP Poll as of Nov. 18, 2018

###

2018 Midseason Honor Roll


JOE MOORE AWARD ANNOUNCES 2018 MIDSEASON HONOR ROLL

Fourteen O-Line Units Gain Attention of Voting Committee

NEW YORK (Oct. 16, 2018) — The Joe Moore Award for the Most Outstanding Offensive Line Unit in College Football today revealed the fourteen members of its 2018 midseason honor roll. The Foundation for Teamwork has presented the unique award since 2015.

Earning a spot on this year’s midseason honor roll are the O-lines of #1 Alabama, Appalachian State, Army West Point, Boston College, #8 Georgia, #14 Kentucky, Memphis, #22 Mississippi State, #16 NC State, #2 Ohio State, #9 Oklahoma, #12 Oregon, #7 Texas, and #23 Wisconsin.

This year’s honor roll members represent seven conferences and one independent (in alphabetical order): AAC (1), ACC (2), BIG TEN (2), BIG-12 (2), PAC-12 (1), SEC (4), SUN BELT (1), and Army. For games played through Oct. 13, teams on this year’s midseason honor roll have a combined record of 73-17 and include ten ranked teams.*

These units have gained the attention of the Joe Moore Award voting committee, as it moves closer to announcing the selection of the semi finalists on Nov. 20 and the finalists on Dec. 4. Selection of the 2018 Joe Moore Award winner will be made public after a surprise visit to the winning university’s campus in late December.

“It appears to be an up and down year for O-line play across the country, but the units on the 2018 Midseason Honor Roll have caught the attention of the committee for their play up to this point in the season,” said Aaron Taylor, CBS college football analyst and founder of the Joe Moore Award. Taylor played guard at the University of Notre Dame for the Award’s namesake, the legendary offensive line coach Joe Moore. “The bar will raise from here, but there could very well be a surprise unit or two that emerges late in the year like Iowa did in 2016.”

“It’s been fun to watch these honor roll units come together and really gel as the year progresses, but we’re keeping an eye on all O-lines as the season progresses to see how they finish the rest of October and November,” said Cole Cubelic, chairman of the Joe Moore Award voting committee. “Some units develop faster than others, and some O-lines are just beginning to wake up as we saw over the past couple of weekends. Having some depth and staying healthy appear to be critical already.”

Units of Interest:

In addition to the O-line units listed above, committee members also took note of the play and production of Baylor, Clemson, LSU, Michigan, Pitt, Texas A&M, TCU, Tulsa, and Utah.

Honor Roll Criteria and Selection Process

The Joe Moore Award voting committee judges solely on six criteria: toughness, effort, teamwork, consistency, technique and finishing. Evaluations for the midseason honor roll were made primarily through weekly review of actual game film and offensive line coach-provided cut-ups on the DragonFly Division I Network. In addition, STATS, one of the industry leaders in sports data analytics, provides advanced O-line data and analytics to give context and clarity which streamlines the film evaluation process.

2018 Honor Roll at a Glance (In Alphabetical Order)

Alabama (7-0)

  • Have paved the way in 2018 for 500 yards in total offense for a Crimson Tide record seventh game in a row.

  • Its five sacks allowed leads the SEC and is tied for seventh in the nation.

  • Despite its prolific passing attack, Alabama calls a run play 57% of the time, which average 5.5 yards per carry and 216.71 yards per game.

  • What the committee is saying: “Bama is Bama. Brent Key does a very good job with his guys. They have yet to be really tested, but they’ve passed every test so far.”

Offensive line coach: Brent Key

Appalachian State (4-1)

  • Appalachian State leads the SBC and is seventh in the nation in rush offense. (264.8 RUSH YPG)

  • Mountaineers ball carriers enjoy an average of 4.68 contact-free yards (Yards Before Contact/YBC) per rush.

  • The Mountaineers OL has paved the way for 6.49 rush yards per attempt which leads the SBC and is third in the nation.

  • What the committee is saying; “They are straining and play with great effort. Run off the ball. Everything is in sync. It is clear they have a physical mind set. Only loss to Happy Valley by 1 score is impressive.”

Offensive line coach: Shawn Clark

Army West Point (4-2)

  • Despite being in an “Alley Fight” (seven or more defenders in the box) a whopping 98% of the time, Army West Point’s 313.5 rush yards per game is second in the nation.

  • The Black Knights OL has stayed positive by only allowing a total of 15.0 tackles for loss on 394 rush attempts, a feat which leads the nation.

  • Army West Point rushed for 339 yards versus the currently ranked #9 Oklahoma Sooners, where the Cadets compiled a 44:41 to 15:19 advantage in ball possession over the Sooners.

  • What the committee is saying: “What they lack in size they more than make up for with intensity, effort, and toughness. They look to set tone whenever they have an opportunity. They always seem to roll some guys up.”

Offensive line coach: Brent Davis

Boston College (5-2)

  • The Eagles feel comfortable calling a run in “Gotta Have It” situations an impressive 82.6%, which is second in the ACC only behind Georgia Tech. “Gotta Have It”: (3rd/4th and 3 or less, and Goal to Go situations)

  • Despite the absence of leading rusher A.J. Dillon, the Eagles OL Unit paved the way for two 100-yard rushing performances versus Louisville (David Bailey and Ben Glines, a converted wide receiver).

  • When Boston College rushes the ball, their OL unit is in an “Alley Fight” (seven or more defenders in the box) 81.3% of the time, which is 24.6% higher than the ACC average.

  • What the committee is saying: “They’ve rebounded nicely since the road loss to Purdue. You can tell they’re well coached and are the identity of [Head Coach Steve] Addazio’s team. They look like Boston College OL from the early and mid 2000s. Physical. Sound Technique.”

Offensive line coach: Phil Trautwein

Georgia (6-1)

  • Georgia’s 228.29 rushing yards per game is second in the SEC.

  • The Bulldogs average 3.96 yards before contact (YBC) per rush, while rushing for 5.78 yards per attempt. The OL unit keeps the ball carrier contact-free for 68.5% of each rush.

  • Georgia’s OL has paved the way for five Bulldog ball carriers to average more than five yards per rush.

  • What the committee is saying: “Sam [Pittman] does a really nice job. Injuries have wreaked havoc on a unit that was playing at a high level until RG [Ben] Cleveland went down, and the substitutions started. Their effort and early body of work earns them a spot for now.”

Offensive line coach: Sam Pittman

Kentucky (5-1)

  • Third in the SEC in RUSH YPG (223.0).

  • Junior RB Benny Snell Jr. is third in the SEC and ranks ninth nationally in rushing yards per game (117.5). He is 11th in the nation in total rushing yards (699).

  • When they run the ball in “Gotta Have It” situations (3rd/4th and Short and Goal to Go situations), they are successful an SEC leading 81.3% of the time, 14.5% higher than the league average.

  • What the committee is saying: “Overachievers. Play their tails off. Play as a unit. Played well against two of the better defensive fronts in the SEC.”

Offensive line coach: John Schlarman

Memphis (4-3)

  • Second in the AAC and fifth in the nation in rushing offense (275.43 RUSH YPG).

  • RB Darrell Henderson’s 1,133 total rush yards and 161.86 rush yards per game lead the nation.

  • Lead the nation in yards per carry (7.28 RUSH YPC).

  • What the committee is saying: “Memphis is legit. In 1Q of UCF there is a screen pass and some filthiness occurs. They are big and pass block well and have the toughness box checked.”

    Offensive line coach: Ryan Silverfield

Mississippi State (4-2)

  • Only SEC team with two players in the top 10 in rushing yards per game: QB Nick Fitzgerald (102.6) is fourth, and RB Kylin Hill is sixth (79).

  • SEC’s top rushing offense (240.7), with a league leading “Quality Rush” percentage (rush either results in a first down or greatly increases the chances of gaining a first down on the next play) of 62.9%, which is 13.8% better than the league average.

  • Has started the same five offensive linemen in the Bulldog’s first six games.

  • What the committee is saying: “Middle three are great. Tackles are coming on. That offense goes because of what the offensive line does for the run game.

Offensive line coach: Marcus Johnson

North Carolina State (5-0)

  • Their two sacks allowed lead the ACC and are second in the nation.

  • Their OL has paved and protected their way to at least 24 first downs in all 5 games this season, which also stands alone as the most such games in the ACC this season.

  • Lead the country in third down conversion percentage (60.9%).

  • What the committee is saying: “This unit has improved each week. Consistency, teamwork, and finishing make them the best OL unit in the ACC. Bradbury is leading a unit that knows they must set the tone on the ground to balance a dangerous passing attack. 7 min in 2Q of BC game is perfect example of what they are doing best in stretch run game.”

Offensive line coach: Dwayne Ledford

Ohio State (7-0)

  • Lead the Big Ten in total yards per game (556.9 YPG)

  • QB Dwayne Haskins leads the Big Ten in passing yards per game (333 PASS YPG).

  • The Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in third down conversions (48.98%).

  • What the committee is saying: “Their athleticism stands out on tape, which is impressive as they may be the tallest OL in the country. I like Michael Jordan at center, he seems to fit well there.”

    Offensive line coach: Greg Studrawa

Oklahoma (6-1)

  • Lead the Big-12 in rushing yards per game (208.83 RUSH YPG) and yards per attempt (6.27).

  • Their eight sacks allowed are second in the Big-12.

  • Sooners ball carriers enjoy an average of 4.79 yards before contact (YBC) on their 6.27 yards per attempt.

  • What the committee is saying: “Big physical, athletic, long group. That left side, man! They’re back to their old physical selves. Prove that pass protection doesn’t have to be passive. Look to punish and finish, even at the expense of technique.”

Offensive line coach: Bill Bedenbaugh

Oregon (6-1)

  • Second in the Pac-12 conference in rush yards per game (209.5 RUSH YPG).

  • “Quality Rush” percentage (rush either results in a first down or greatly increases the chances of gaining a first down on the next play) of 51.4% leads the Pac-12 conference.

  • Clean Pocket percentage (% of pass pro opportunities with no pressure allowed from OL) is second in the Pac 12 and is 9.3% better than the league average.

  • What the committee is saying: “May have the most physical OL in America. Clearly coached to finish and punish and they seem to enjoy it. Technique is coming. Rose to the occasion in biggest games versus Stanford and UW. Big bodies that move well. True freshman LT is a beast.”

Offensive line coach: Mario Cristobal/Alex Mirabal

Texas (6-1)

  • Lead the Big-12 in “Negative Play Percentage” for runs resulting in negative yardage (8.2%), which is 2.4% better than the league average.

  • The Longhorns eleven sacks allowed are fourth in the Big-12.

  • Successful on 79.1% of their “Gotta Have It” situations (3rd/4th and Short and Goal to Go situations), 8% better than the Big-12 average.

  • What the committee is saying: “Improving unit that plays with more force than finesse. Still a work in progress from technique standpoint but getting better. Have leaned more heavily on the OL and running game since 2nd half of USC. Physical identity has led them to three victories over ranked opponents including OU.”

Offensive line coach: Herb Hand

Wisconsin (4-2)

  • The Badgers OL has helped their offense lead the Big-10 conference in rush yards per game (269.67 RUSH YPG).

  • RB Jonathan Taylor is the nation's second-leading rusher, averaging 158.3 yards per game. Taylor has topped the 100-yard plateau in all 6 games this year.

  • Wisconsin leads the Big Ten in rush yards per attempt (6.1), tackles for loss allowed (16), and Negative Play percentage (runs resulting in negative yards).

  • What the committee is saying: “They are a big, physical unit that works to strain and maintain. Keep good pressure. Get guys on ground. Not as athletic as they were a couple years ago but work well together as a group and work to impose their will.”

    Offensive line coach: Joe Rudolph

Voting Committee

The Joe Moore Award voting committee comprises 13 individuals who are highly knowledgeable about offensive line play, including former linemen, coaches, talent evaluators and media analysts. This group conducts in-depth analysis by reviewing game tape every week of the season to assess both the fundamentals and subtleties of overall O-line performance.

The 2018 voting committee includes Chairman Cole Cubelic (Auburn, SEC Network); Charles Arbuckle (UCLA, Indianapolis Colts); Randy Cross (UCLA, San Francisco 49ers); Gerry DiNardo (Notre Dame, head coach at LSU); Mike Golic, Jr. (Notre Dame, ESPN); Dave Harding (Duke, Blue Devil Network); Pat Hill (head coach at Fresno State, O-line coach at Atlanta Falcons); Barrett Jones (Alabama, St. Louis Rams); Duke Manyweather (Humboldt State, player and coach); Geoff Schwartz (Oregon, Carolina Panthers); Phil Steele (publisher or Phil Steele’s College Football Preview, ESPN); Aaron Taylor (Notre Dame, Green Bay Packers); and Lance Zierlein (NFL draft analyst, NFL.com).

Looking Ahead

After the semi finalists and finalists have been selected, a vote will be held to select the 2018 recipient of the Joe Moore Award by a voting body of 200-plus members. This voting body includes all current offensive line coaches at the Division I/FBS level, as well as former players, coaches, colleagues of Coach Joe Moore and select media members.

In addition to reviewing game tape every week of the season, the Joe Moore Award voting committee will later go through each of the finalists’ season-long highlight reels and multiple back-to-back quarters of game film.

Past Award Recipients

Past recipients of the Joe Moore Award include the offensive lines of the University of Alabama (2015), the University of Iowa (2016) and the University of Notre Dame (2017).

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, most notably for his work at Notre Dame and the University of Pittsburgh. Coach Moore sent 52 players on to the NFL, including Bill Fralic, Mark May, Russ Grimm, Jimbo Covert and others. The Joe Moore Award trophy, crafted by legendary sports sculptor Jerry McKenna, is the largest trophy in college football, standing at a height of 6 feet and weighing in at 800 pounds. The perpetual trophy is made available for display by the winning university until the conclusion of the following college football season.

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 (facebook.com/JoeMooreAward).

* AP Poll as of Oct. 14

###