Games feature Ohio State @ Michigan State, Virginia Tech @ Notre Dame and Indiana @ Michigan.

NEW YORK, New York – November 17, 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 Twelve features Ohio State @ Michigan State, Virginia Tech @ Notre Dame and Indiana @ Michigan.

Semi-Finalists for the Joe Moore Award will be announced on November 22, with five (5) Finalists determined by the week of December 5. The Joe Moore Award winning unit will be announced after the conclusion of the regular season.

This week’s “Power Breakdown” will feature the Big Ten matchup of Ohio State/Michigan State, 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. 




After their lopsided win over Maryland and Michigan’s loss to Iowa, the Buckeyes seem headed for an epic showdown against the Wolverines in the regular season finale, not only for a trip to the conference championship, but also for an invitation to the playoffs. The Ohio State O-line has played a major role in their success and will need to continue that stellar play in the final weeks. Michigan State, meanwhile, has had a disappointing season by their standards, but they rebounded nicely last week against Rutgers and Head Coach Mark Dantonio will be looking to finish the year strong. O-line coach Mark Staten will have his unit ready to play and focused on improving every week.

Ohio State Buckeyes Offensive Line Unit Breakdown, via The Scouting Academy


The entire O-line unit has started in every game this season and will face a Spartan defense that might be missing star Malik McDowell (ankle). The Buckeyes use a Shotgun Spread zone-based run scheme and will typically use 11 (1 TE, 1 RB) personnel with various alignments (including Empty Backfield). Most runs use some type of read for the QB, involving either a more standard Inside Zone run by the RB or an Inverted Veer. The size and athleticism of the Ohio State O-line unit will be overwhelming against many DL groups. They do have some trouble dealing with slants (especially on Run plays) on the interior. Pass protection is generally just five players and they handle 4-man rushes very well, but they will keep a RB or TE in when setting up deep play action or when facing heavy pressure. At times, they can have communication breakdowns that may be expected with a line featuring three 1st-year starters.

Ohio State Buckeyes Offensive Line Unit Game Notes

  • The Buckeyes are 1st in the Big Ten and 4th in the nation in fewest tackles allowed for loss and are 3rd in the Big Ten in fewest sacks allowed.
  • They lead the Big Ten and are 2nd in the nation in scoring, averaging 46.5 points per game.
  • They lead the Big Ten in total offense, averaging 511.4 yards per game and 6.5 yards per play and they lead the conference in rushing offense, averaging 267 yards per game.
  • Ohio State leads the Big Ten in 3rd down conversions (52.63%) and have been especially good at 3rd and short situations, where the average 6.93 yards per rushing play and have converted 34 of 40 attempts on the ground.

Michigan State Spartans Offensive Line Unit Breakdown, via The Scouting Academy


This match-up features two perennial trench powerhouses who are going through “building” years, so to speak. Three out of Ohio State’s top five contributors on the defensive line are freshman or first-year starters. The same is the case for Michigan State’s O-line unit. While Michigan State can capitalize on Ohio State’s interior players’ inadequate eye level/gap control in the run game to create big runs, the Ohio State DL is more than capable of wining this match up. They have more strength, better hand usage and more speed on the edges; #59 Tyquan Lewis is the best player in this entire match-up and will present a great challenge for the Spartans #79 T Kodi Kieler or #70 G Tyler Higby due to his hand usage, explosiveness and speed. Michigan State will need to be patient and rely on the power run game; #65 G Brian Allen may not be very strong, but he is tough and is very technically sound (especially with his hands). This could give him an advantage over Ohio State’s interior players on the DL. With patience, it is possible that MSU’s good collection of running backs can find a seam and generate some explosive plays.

Michigan State Spartans Offensive Line Unit Game Notes

  • The Spartans are averaging 5.83 yards per offensive play and 406.3 yards per game.
  • In their 49-0 win over Rutgers last week, Michigan State ran for 277 yards and held the ball for 35:37. They did not allow a sack and allowed only three tackles for loss.
  • RG #65 Brian Allen, an undersized, but tough, disciplined technician who was named to the 2016 Outland and Rimington Trophy Watch Lists.


Virginia Tech Hokies Offensive Line Unit Game Notes

  • Tied with North Carolina atop the Coastal Division, Virginia Tech can advance to with a win against Virginia in next week’s final game, so coaches will be trying to avoid their players looking past a determined Notre Dame team.
  • The Hokies come into this game ranked 5th in the high-powered ACC conference in total offense, averaging 443.7 yards and 186.1 rushing yards per game.
  • In their seven wins this season, they are averaging 39 points per game and have won those games by an average of 23.9 points per game.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Offensive Line Unit Game Notes

  • A season that started with high hopes now leaves the Irish needing to win their final two games – against two ranked teams – in order to finish 6-6 and become bowl eligible.
  • They have been forced to rotate several players through the O-line, especially at right guard, so OL coach Harry Hiestand has not had the consistency and reliability he is used to.
  • All that said, the Irish are averaging more than six yards per play and rank 25th in the nation in fewest tackles allowed for loss (4.9 per game).
  • In last week’s 44-6 win over Army, the Notre Dame O-line unit dominated the line of scrimmage, allowing zero sacks and only three tackles for loss. More impressively, Irish RBs averaged four yards per carry before contact.


Indiana Hoosiers Offensive Line Unit Game Notes

  • The Hoosiers are 3rd in the Big Ten in total offense, averaging 467.3 yards per game and more than six yards per play.
  • Indiana is 2nd in the Big Ten in passing offense, averaging 302.7 yards per game through the air and 8.3 yards per passing attempt.
  • Behind the Indiana O-line unit, junior QB Richard Lagow has been accurate, completing 61% of his passes, but an otherwise stellar season has been marred by 13 interceptions.
  • While they tend to rely on the pass, the Hoosiers get tough yards when they need them, averaging 4.87 yards per carry on third and short situations, with 19 first downs in 31 tries.
  • In their five wins this season, the Hoosiers are averaging 230 yards rushing and 32.6 points per game.

Michigan Wolverines Offensive Line Unit Game Notes

  • Michigan’s balanced offense ranks 2nd in the Big Ten in passing efficiency (149.83) and 2nd in the conference in rushing offense, averaging 236.3 yards rushing per game.
  • The Wolverines are 2nd in the Big Ten and 6th in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 44.5 points per game, and they are 2nd in the conference in total yards per game (467.8).
  • The O-line unit has given up only 14 sacks through ten games, allowing QB Wilton Speight to rank 3rd in the Big Ten in quarterback rating (148.88).
  • The Wolverines lead the nation in rushing touchdowns (37) and average nearly six yards per carry when they are leading by eight points or more.

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.