Games feature Alabama vs. Texas A&M, Arkansas vs. Auburn, Wisconsin vs. Iowa, and Washington St. vs. Arizona St.
NEW YORK, New York – October 19, 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 the Joe Moore Award “Big Ugly Spotlight”. The list for Week Eight features Alabama vs. Texas A&M, Arkansas vs. Auburn, Wisconsin vs. Iowa, and Washington State vs. Arizona State.
This week’s “Power Breakdown” will feature the SEC matchup of Alabama/Texas A&M, 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.
WEEK 8 “BIG UGLY SPOTLIGHT” LIST FOR GAMES ON OCTOBER 22
“POWER BREAKDOWN” – TEXAS A&M (#6) @ ALABAMA (#1) – 3:30pm ET on CBS
In a game that could ultimately determine the SEC West champion, the Aggies head to Tuscaloosa with hopes of being the first team to challenge the Crimson Tide’s run toward another national championship. Both O-line units earned a place on the Joe Moore Award Midseason Honor Roll and lead offenses that are the top two in the SEC in scoring, with Alabama averaging 45.4 points per game and Texas A&M scoring 40.2.
Alabama Crimson Tide Offensive Line Unit Breakdown, via The Scouting Academy
ALABAMA O-LINE vs. TEXAS A&M DEFENSE OVERVIEW:
The overall match-up will depend on whether the Texas A&M defensive line can keep the Alabama offensive line off balance. To do that, they must blitz effectively, create mismatches with Myles Garrett, and use their twist/stunt game efficiently to take the Alabama offense out of their rhythm and timing. The Tide’s O-line and the Aggies D-Line will be a good match-up scheme-wise and whichever team displays the most physicality and mental toughness for all 60 minutes will be the one that comes out on top.
ALABAMA O-LINE BREAKDOWN:
Throughout this season, Alabama has evolved from a more traditional, two-back Power offense into a Spread-Option attack, led by freshman QB Jalen Hurts. They operate primarily in 11 or 12-personnel sets, but have the personnel to operate their core Zone, Power, Counter and Pin-Pull schemes, as well as the run-pass option (RPO). Alabama’s heavy hand on the inside run game sets up their “deep shot” and play-action pass plays, taking advantage of the 1-on-1 match-ups they have on the perimeter. In the drop-back game, the Crimson Tide will use both a half-man, half-slide protection scheme, as well as a full-slide protection with the running backs set to the weak side to firm up any interior blitz or twist.
TEXAS A&M DEFENSE OVERVIE:
Texas A&M plays a 4-3 defense that will use a true three-man front in passing situations, rotating up to eight different players on the defensive line. Their defensive line is great at getting off the ball quickly to create penetration in the backfield and disrupt plays before they ever get going. Defensive end Myles Garrett displays a very good ability to be strong at the point of attack to shed blocks and make tackles in the backfield and he exhibits good power moves when pass rushing to collapse the pocket and create sack fumbles. On the other side, defensive end Daeshon Hall is also a force to be reckoned with and will play on both sides of the ball to help create mismatches for Myles Garrett. He has very good ability to get off the ball with a good speed rush and counter move back inside to keep offensive tackles off balance.
Alabama Crimson Tide Offensive Line Unit Game Notes
- With a 6-0 start and early expectations for a championship run, Alabama is first in the SEC with an average of 45.4 points per game and they are making a case to repeat as Joe Moore Award winners.
- The O-line unit has protected true freshman QB Jalen Hurts, who has improved as a dual-threat throughout the season.
- Alabama ranks 2nd in the SEC in rushing yards per game (265.71) and 3rd in the conference in yards per rush attempt (6.24).
- Alabama’s offensive line has paved the way for 20 rushing plays of 20+ yards, which leads the SEC, and has protected the quarterbacks long enough to allow 27 plays of 20+ yards through the air, 2nd in the conference.
- In Saturday’s dominant 49-10 win over then #9 Tennessee, the Alabama O-Line:
– Created enough running lanes for the Tide to rush for 438 yards and five touchdowns
– They averaged 8.9 yards per rushing attempt and blew open holes for long touchdown runs of 29, 45 and 85 yards.
Texas A&M Aggies Offensive Line Unit Breakdown, via The Scouting Academy
TEXAS A&M O-LINE VS. ALABAMA DEFENSE OVERVIEW:For Texas A&M, the key will be to continue to have success moving the ball on the ground, especially on 1st and 2nd downs, and to stay out of obvious passing situations. This will require the young trio of center Erik McCoy and guards Colton Prater and Connor Lanfear to continue their collective growth and control Alabama’s very strong defensive interior. Aggie RT Jermaine Eluemunor, while showing the ability to hit his set point and mirror most 7/9 technique rushers in pass protection, has not faced a rusher with the upfield burst and “bend” to “run the arc” as Crimson Tide OLB Tim Williams this season. On the other side, LT Avery Jennesy will get an opportunity to showcase his ability against Alabama’s likely high 2017 draft pick Jonathan Allen.
TEXAS A&M O-LINE BREAKDOWN:
Texas A&M entered the 2016 season with only one returning starter on the offensive line, LT Avery Gennesy. Thus far, the new starters, including two freshmen (McCoy and Prater) and one sophomore (Lanfear) have performed well, allowing the Aggies to execute Head Coach Kevin Sumlin’s shotgun spread offense and rank 8th in the NCAA in rushing yards. Primarily utilizing 10 personnel sets, the Aggies utilize run pass options (RPO’s) off of Inside Zone and Split Zone concepts, relying upon QB Trevor Knight to read and exploit formation mismatches and force defenses to cover the width of the field. Texas A&M tackles Gennesy and Eluemunor are solid pass protectors, and have shown the ability to maintain pocket width and give Knight the opportunity to stretch the field vertically.
ALABAMA DEFENSIVE OVERVIEW:
The Alabama Crimson Tide run a 3-4 defense that rotates up to eight different players on the defensive line and OLB positions. Alabama’s defense relies on twists and blitzes from the LBs and DBs to stop the run and put pressure on the QB. The entire defensive line displays good extension in their arms to keep blockers off of them, with very good play strength to hold the point of attack. #54 LDE Dalvin Tomlinson shows good ability to “stun” blockers at the point of attack, reset the line of scrimmage, shed blockers and tackle ball carriers. #56 OLB Tim Williams shows a very good ability to get off the ball with a pass rush plan that keeps offensive tackles off balance the entire game.
Texas A&M Aggies Offensive Line Unit Game Notes
- The Texas A&M rushing attack has helped them surge to a 6-0 start to the season and has drawn attention to the Aggie O-line from the Joe Moore Award team.
- Texas A&M tops the SEC in total offense, averaging 532.8 yards per game, while averaging 40.2 PPG in their first six games.
- The Aggies lead the SEC with an average of more than 274 rushing yards per game, which ranks them 7th in the nation.
- The O-line unit has only allowed only six sacks through six games (t12 nationally).
- They are 4th in the SEC in total passing offense, averaging more than 258 yards per game through the air.
- The Aggies had a bye last weekend, so they will come in rested and prepared for this battle with Alabama.
ARKANSAS (#17) @ AUBURN (#21) – 6:00pm ET on ESPN
Both teams come into this SEC West matchup with momentum built from recent wins. Despite a tough schedule ahead, Auburn still has an outside chance at a West title, while Arkansas is hoping to ride this momentum all the way to a meaningful bowl game.
Arkansas Razorbacks Offensive Line Unit Game Notes
- The “Trench Hogs” have helped Arkansas to a 5-2 record, with their only losses this season coming to No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Texas A&M.
- They have protected the QB well, allowing Austin Allen to lead the SEC with 18 touchdown passes, with only six interceptions.
- With a successful balanced attack implemented, the Razorbacks average 445.6 total yards per game and 6.09 yards per play.
- Arkansas leads the SEC in time of possession, averaging 35:41 per game.
- In Saturday’s 34-30 win over #12 Ole Miss, the Arkansas O-Line:
– Held the point of attack to dominate time of possession, holding the ball for 40:38
– Protected QB Austin Allen long enough to throw for 228 yards and three touchdowns
– Opened holes to allow Rawleigh Williams to run for a career-best 180 yards rushing on 27 carries.
– With 2:20 seconds left in the game, they opened a hole on 2nd and goal for Jared Cornelius to score the game-winning touchdown.
Auburn Tigers Offensive Line Unit Game Notes
- The Tigers O-line unit was named to the Joe Moore Award Midseason Honor Roll.
- The Tigers have won three games in a row to improve to 4-2 and are have momentum and rest after a bye week.
- Their only losses have come to #4 Clemson and #6 Texas A&M.
- Auburn is 3rd in the SEC in rushing offense, averaging 262.83 yards per game, which is also 12th in the nation.
- Averaging more than 216 yards passing per game, the Tiger’s are ranked 4th in the SEC in total offense.
- Getting yards when they need them, Auburn is 3rd in the SEC in third down conversions (47.25%).
- Auburn is coming in rested after a bye week, last beating Mississippi State 38-14 on 10/8.
WISCONSIN (#10) @ IOWA – NOON ET on ESPN
After a tough overtime loss to #2 Ohio State and a close 14-7 loss to #3 Michigan, the Badgers are the highest ranked two-loss team and are looking to bounce back big time against the Hawkeyes, who find themselves in contention for the Big Ten West championship.
Wisconsin Badgers Offensive Line Unit Game Notes
- The Badgers O-line unit was named to the Joe Moore Award Midseason Honor Roll.
- Despite playing three of the top 15 defensive teams in the nation (Michigan, Ohio State, LSU), the Badgers O-line unit has only given up 12 sacks in six games.
- Against ranked teams, the Badgers are averaging 147 yards per game rushing.
- Wisconsin is 3rd in the Big Ten in time of possession, holding the ball ofr an average of nearly 34 minutes per game.
- In Saturday’s 30-23 OT loss to #2 Ohio State, the Wisconsin O-Line:
– Opened holes for 236 rushing yards at 5.1 yards per carry, the most yards OSU has given up in a game all season.
– Protected QB Alex Hornibrook long enough to throw for 214 yards and a touchdown.
– Helped break open several long runs, including a 68-yard scamper by Corey Clement.
Iowa Hawkeyes Offensive Line Unit Game Notes
- The Hawkeyes lead the Big Ten in red zone offense, having scored on 24 of 25 possessions (96%), including 20 touchdowns.
- They also lead the Big Ten in 4th down conversions, having made first downs on five of their six attempts.
- The O-line unit has opened holes for 40 rushing plays of 10 yards or more.
- Head Coach Kirk Ferentz was assistant offensive line coach under Joe Moore at Pittsburgh in 1980.
- In Saturday’s 49-35 win over Purdue, the Iowa O-Line:
– Helped the offense set the tone by scoring touchdowns on five of its six opening-half possessions, including a 13-play, 5:44 touchdown drive in the first quarter.
– Opened holes for 365 yards rushing and an average of 6.9 yards per attempt.
WASHINGTON STATE @ ARIZONA STATE – 10:00PM ET on Pac-12 NETWORK
With their win over UCLA, Washington State has won four straight and is chasing in-state rival Washington for a chance at the Pac-12 North title. Arizona State has been inconsistent, but looks to bounce back strong after their loss to Colorado and finish strong to keep improving on their 5-2 record.
Washington State Cougars Offensive Line Unit Game Notes
- The Cougars O-line unit was named to the Joe Moore Award Midseason Honor Roll.
- WSU is 2nd in the Pac-12 in passing offense, averaging 361.3 yards per game and 3rd in total offense averaging 501.5 yards per game.
- They are 2nd in the conference in fewest tackles allowed for loss, yielding 30 through 6 games.
- Despite a pass-heavy offense, the Cougars O-line unit has given up a sack only 4.18% of passing plays, third best in the conference.
- WSU is 2nd in the conference in third down conversions, converting nearly 49% into first downs.
- In last weekend’s win over UCLA, the Cougar O-line:
– Led an 18-play, 91 yard touchdown drive that lasted over seven minutes and gave the Cougars a 10-0 lead.
– Opened holes for three rushing touchdowns, including two plunges from the one yard line by Gerard Wicks.
– Dominated time of possession, holding the ball for 33:52.
Arizona State Sun Devils Offensive Line Unit Game Notes
- ASU leads the Pac-12 in red zone conversions, having scored on 26 of 27 possessions, including 19 touchdowns.
- ASU is averaging 36.3 points per game and is 2nd in the Pac-12 with 18 rushing touchdowns.
- The Sun Devils are 3rd in the conference in long passing plays, with 27 plays of more than 20 yards.
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.