Fourteen Units Earn Honor Through Tough, Physical Play

NEW YORK, New York – October 21, 2015 – The Joe Moore Foundation for Teamwork has announced the second quarterly Joe Moore Award Honor Roll, which identifies notable performances by offensive line units in games played through October 10. The following universities earned a spot on the Honor Roll (in alphabetical order): Baylor, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Iowa, LSU, Michigan, Pitt, Stanford, Texas Tech, Toledo, UCLA and Utah. The Honor Roll teams have a combined record of 78-11 and include 11 of the top 25 teams in the latest AP Top 25 Poll. 

The Joe Moore Award Honor Roll includes units that display a high 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.

“It’s no coincidence that Joe Moore Honor Roll teams are among the best teams in their conferences,” said Jimbo Covert, Hall of Fame lineman at Pitt and current member of the JMA voting committee. “One important thing this award is doing is highlighting how critical offensive line play is to winning football. When they play tough and physical as a Unit, good things tend to happen.”

The Joe Moore Award Honor Roll for Games Played Through October 10 (in alphabetical order)

Baylor (#2, 6-0) - The Baylor offense is the most prolific in the country, ranking #1 in total offense and yards per play (8.94). They lead the nation in rushing yards per play (7.14) and average 7.18 yards per rush on first down. They are averaging 63.8 points per game, which leads the nation by far over second place TCU (50.1).

Clemson (#6, 6-0) - With essentially a brand new starting Unit, Clemson is 2nd in the ACC in total offense, averaging 448.5 yards per game. Center Jay Guillermo is a two-time ACC O-Lineman of the Week and true freshman LT Mitch Hyatt, a three-time nominee for ACC Rookie of the Week, became the first true Clemson freshman to start at left tackle in the season opener and through the season since 1944.

Florida (#13, 6-1) - With senior LG Trip Thurman the only Gator lineman with actual FBS game experience, there were many question marks coming in to the 2015 season. But the Gators O-line has galvanized to help lead the team to an impressive start, even with a young Unit that includes three starting sophomores and three true freshman reserves.

Florida State (#9, 6-0) - If the Seminole O-line Unit has anything to do about it, the Heisman race has another very serious contender: Dalvin Cook. Despite battling a strained hamstring, the sophomore RB is averaging 8.65 yards per attempt and is second in the nation in yards from scrimmage. The ‘Noles Unit has broken open 35 plays of 20 yards or more.

Georgia (NR, 5-2) - The Bulldogs are third in the SEC in rushing offense, averaging more than 215 yards per game and 5.76 yards per rush. They are averaging 6.47 yards per rush on first down and are tied for eighth in the nation with only 25 tackles for loss allowed. In supporting Georgia’s efficient passing game, the offensive line has allowed only eight sacks through seven games.

Iowa (#12, 7-0) - With their 7-0 start, the Hawkeyes have played their way into consideration as a legitimate playoff contender. After seven Big Ten games, Iowa is second in the conference in rushing, averaging 214 yards per game and fifth in total offense at 421 yards per game. They are fourth in the conference in scoring (32.9) and ninth in the nation in time of possession, holding the ball for an average of 33:15 per game. 

LSU (#5, 6-0) - The Tigers are 4th in the nation in total rushing yards, averaging more than 325 yards on the ground per game. No one has benefitted more from the LSU O-line play than Heisman front-runner Leonard Fournette, who became the fastest player in LSU history to rush for 1,000 yards and only the 10th player in NCAA history to do so in the first five games of the season. This Unit can pass protect, too, allowing only seven sacks through 6 games.

Michigan (#15, 5-2) - Toughness and teamwork embody Coach Harbaugh’s philosophy and the offensive line Unit has bought into the program, helping the Wolverines’ surprisingly quick resurgence back into the national picture. Big Blue is first in the conference in Red Zone efficiency, scoring on 24 of 25 visits there, with 17 touchdowns. They are sixth in the nation in time of possession, owning the line of scrimmage for an average of 34:05 per game.

Pitt (#25, 5-1) - Behind the Panther Unit, the team is averaging 169 yards rushing per game and freshman RB Qadree Ollison is fourth in the ACC in rushing with 559 yards through six games. With solid protection, QB Nathan Peterman is 13th in the nation in QB rating and the O-line Unit has helped the offense hold the ball for an average of 32.11 per contest, good for 23rd in the country.

Stanford (#10, 5-1) - En route to their 5-1 record, the Cardinal O-line has established itself as one of the toughest, most physical Units in the country. They have only allowed eight sacks and 26 tackles for loss in six games, leading to 38.5 points per game.  Sophomore RB Christian McCaffrey has earned Heisman notice by following his line to 844 yards on the ground, averaging 6.49 yards per carry.

Texas Tech (NR, 5-2) - Texas Tech is #2 in the nation in total offense, averaging 623.7 yards per game, and #3 in scoring, averaging 49.4 points per game. Despite attempting more passes than any team in the nation (346), the Red Raiders O-line has only given up seven sacks through seven games.

Toledo (#19, 6-0) - Off to their first 6-0 start since 1997, the Rockets are one of only two teams in the nation that have not allowed a sack this season (Navy). Toledo leads the MAC in rushing offense, averaging 204.5 yards per game and 5.4 yards per attempt. This year’s starting five had a combined three career starts heading into the 2015 season.

UCLA (NR, 4-2) - In wins over BYU and Arizona, the Bruins averaged 254 rushing yards per game, with eight TDs on the ground. This year, they are averaging 5.45 yards per rush on first down and 6.34 yards per rush in the 4th quarter. They’ve allowed only seven sacks in six games, allowing freshman Josh Rosen to burst onto the scene.

Utah (#3, 6-0) - The Utes have used a balanced offensive attack to get off to a 6-0 start that features wins against two ranked opponents (Oregon and Cal), going from a unranked team before the season to a real playoff contender. In yielding only seven sacks in six games, the Utah Unit has given senior QB Travis Wilson time to manage the passing game and they’ve made way for RB Devontae Booker to rush for 783 yards, 3rd in the Pac-12.

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.