Games feature Washington vs. Utah, Virginia Tech vs. Pitt, Michigan vs. Michigan State and Nebraska vs. Wisconsin

NEW YORK, New York – October 26, 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 Nine features Washington vs. Utah, Virginia Tech vs. Pitt, Michigan vs. Michigan State and Nebraska vs. Wisconsin.

This week’s “Power Breakdown” will feature the Pac-12 matchup of Washington/Utah, 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” – 10/29 WASHINGTON (#4) @ UTAH (#17) – 10/29 at 3:30pm ET on FS1

This week, Washington moved into the AP top four and might control it’s own destiny to the playoffs. The Huskies O-line unit has played well in both the running and passing games, but the Utah defense will be coming after sophomore QB Jake Browning. The Utes come in with the confidence of a 3-game winning streak, including a thrilling win over UCLA in which they scored 52 points and opened holes for RB Joe Williams to run for a school-record 332 yards and four TDs.

Washington Huskies Offensive Line Unit Breakdown, via The Scouting Academy


Washington primarily operates within 11 (1 TE, 1 RB) and 12 (1RB, 2 TE) personnel sets. Their run game is centered around the Power play; they’ll run multiple variations of it to give defenses different looks, like One-Back Power, Power Read and Power from a Wildcat formation. They like to run their inside zone runs with misdirection, whether that be a TE “rim” blocking (blocking across the formation away from the point of attack) or a slot WR coming in jet motion to show jet sweep (or take the ball and get on the perimeter).

Washington Huskies Offensive Line Unit Game Notes

  • Washington is 2nd in the nation in passing efficiency with a team rating of 200.54. QB Jake Browning has thrown 26 touchdown passes with only 2 interceptions.
  • The Huskies are 2nd in the Pac-12 in rushing offense, averaging more than 227 yards per game and nearly six yards per carry.
  • They lead the Pac-12 in yards per play (7.47) and also lead with 26 play of 30 yards or more.
  • They get the tough yards when they need them and lead the conference in 3rd down conversions (48%).

Utah Utes Offensive Line Unit Breakdown, via The Scouting Academy


Utah operates a shotgun single-back offense that features an Inside Zone-based series of RPO plays, along with frequent use of pulling and trapping on Gap-based run plays. The Utes also like to utilize the Split Zone, and typically pair a QB read option with their run plays. This group is at its best when Trap blocking with their pair of physical guards, creating huge lanes on the interior for their backs to exploit. This group does a good job keeping the QB clean and setting up chances for chunk plays down the field off PA. Some protection breakdowns pop up on film due to apparent misidentification of the defensive front. Despite spreading the field - typically with a 3x1 formation with the strength to the field side - Utah’s offense aims to be a physically imposing one that pounds away at the opposing front on the ground.

Utah Utes Offensive Line Unit Game Notes

  • The Utes’ balanced offense is 2nd in the nation in time of possession, holding the ball for 35:50 per game.
  • During their three-game winning streak, they are averaging 281.67 yards rushing per game.
  • This year, on third and short situations, the Utes are averaging more than four yards per rushing play and have gained first downs on 15 of 27 plays.

VIRGINIA TECH (#25) @ PITT – THURSDAY, 10/27 at 7:00pm ET on ESPN

Virginia Tech Hokies Offensive Line Unit Game Notes

  • The Hokies are averaging 35.9 points per game and hold the ball for nearly 33:00 minutes per game.
  • Virginia Tech leads the conference in rushing attempts and averages nearly 200 yards rushing per game.
  • While throwing the ball nearly 27 times per game, QB Jerod Evans has thrown 19 touchdown passes with only two interceptions.
  • The Hokies O-line unit has only allowed 11 sacks through seven games.

Pitt Panthers Offensive Line Unit Game Notes

  • The Panthers O-line unit is best in the ACC and 5th in the nation in sacks allowed, giving up only five sacks through seven games.
  • Pitt ranks 2nd in the conference in rushing offense, averaging 239.14 yards per game and more than five yards per carry.
  • They are 2nd in the conference in scoring, averaging 38.4 points per game, and have scored on more than 93% of their possessions in the Red Zone.
  • With their solid running game and efficient passing game, the Panthers are 2nd in the conference in time of possession (34:48).


Michigan Wolverines Offensive Line Unit Game Notes

  • The Wolverines lead the Big Ten in scoring, averaging 48.7 points per game, and is third in the nation in that category.
  • Michigan is 2nd in the conference in rushing offense, averaging 257.14 yards per game and 5.47 yards per carry.
  • The O-line unit has allowed only 11 sacks (many of which were not credited to the OL unit) on the season and the Wolverines lead the conference in passing efficiency with a 150.5 rating. 
  • On third and short situations, Michigan is averaging 5.62 yards per carry and has gained first downs on 15 of 21 rushing attempts.

Michigan State Spartans Offensive Line Unit Game Notes

  • The Spartans have lost five in a row, but they’ve shown improvement in recent games and continue to fight. 
  • Against Maryland, they ran for 270 yards and averaged more than six yards per carry.
  • Also in that game, they ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and gave up only one sack on 24 pass attempts vs heavy pressure.
  • Against Northwestern, they scored 40 points and threw for 424 passing yards.

NEBRASKA (#7) @ WISCONSIN (#11) – 10/29 at 7:00PM ET on ESPN

Nebraska Cornhuskers Offensive Line Unit Game Notes

  • The Huskers O-line Unit leads the Big Ten and is 7th in the nation in fewest sacks allowed, having given up only five sacks in the first seven games.
  • By giving their QB time to throw, they lead the Big Ten in yards per passing attempt (8.6) and have 27 passing plays of 20 yards or more.
  • They average 211 rushing yards per game and lead the Big Ten in third down conversions (48.96%).
  • Their O-line has helped the undefeated Huskers put games away on the ground, as they average over five yards per carry when leading by eight points or more.

Wisconsin Badgers Offensive Line Unit Game Notes

  • Against Nebraska, Wisconsin will face their fifth top 10 team in 8 games this season.
  • Against those teams, which feature some of the best defenses in the country, the Badgers have averaged 147 rushing yards per game.
  • Wisconsin is 2nd in the Big Ten in time of possession (34:24) and they lead the conference in fewest penalties, averaging just over three per game.
  • On third and short, the Badgers are averaging 4.85 yards per rushing attempt and have made first down on 11 of 20 attempts.

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 and follow the Joe Moore Award on Twitter (@joemooreaward), Instagram (@joemooreaward), and Facebook at 


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.