Alabama, Iowa, Ohio State
NEW YORK, New York – November 29, 2016 — The Foundation for Teamwork announced today three Finalists for the 2016 Joe Moore Award, given to the top offensive line unit in college football. The Finalists are Alabama, Iowa, and Ohio State.
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, Consistency, Technique, and “Finishing”.
“Good offensive line units are unique in that, intrinsically, the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts,” said Aaron Taylor, Chairman of the Joe Moore Award Voting Committee. “This year has made for an interesting process for the committee in that even the best O-lines struggled at times, but its been fun to watch so many of these talented and proud groups grind it out until the very end.”
The process of determining the Finalists is not an easy one. Since September, the experts on the award sub-committee have worked tirelessly to track O-line units nationwide by watching film, participating in weekly conference calls, and reaching out to both offensive and defensive coaches in all FBS conferences. In that process, the award sub-committee has also recognized several O-lines for their particularly noteworthy performances in individual areas of criteria. Western Michigan, for instance, stood out for their Consistency as they continue the greatest year in the program’s history. Utah was recognized for its Toughness and Physicality, while the sub-committee members praised Michigan for their Effort and Strain and Wisconsin for its Teamwork.
“In a year dominated by so many great defensive units, offensive lines really had their work cut out for them and the effort was outstanding,” said Bill Fralic, a three-time All-American offensive lineman and member of the College Football Hall of Fame. “Ultimately, we were drawn to the units that competed every week, battled through adversity and stepped it up big when their teams needed them most.”
Voting for the final Joe Moore Award Winning Unit will begin this afternoon and be completed by midnight on Tuesday, December 6th. The voting requires review of actual game film from each of the Finalists and will be conducted solely by people who played or coached the offensive line position, including all of the current offensive line coaches at the Division I/FBS level, as well as former players, coaches and colleagues of Coach Moore and select media.
The winner will be announced on Friday, December 9th at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, GA. That unit will be the recipient of the largest trophy in college football history. The actual trophy, crafted by legendary sports sculptor Jerry McKenna, weighs more than 500 pounds and is five feet wide by six and half feet tall.
The following O-lines earned a spot as Finalist, in alphabetical order (overall record):
- On film, the Crimson Tide O-line unit was especially noticed for their physicality at the point of attack, led by two of the best tackles in the country in Junior LT Cam Robinson and true Freshman RT Jonah Williams.
- Alabama leads the SEC in scoring offense averaging 39.4 points per game and 2nd in total offense, averaging 479.6 yards per game.
- The Crimson Tide is 2nd in the conference in both rushing offense (245.92 yards per game) and in yards rushing per attempt (5.71).
- Their physicality often leads to big plays, as Alabama leads the SEC with 33 rushing plays of 20 yards or more.
- The 2015 Alabama O-line unit was the recipient of last season’s Joe Moore Award.
Offensive Line Coaches: Brent Key, Mario Cristobal
Head Coach: Nick Saban
- Overcoming many early season injuries, the Hawkeye O-line unit steadily improved all season and was noted on film for its teamwork and technique.
- Iowa finished the season in superb manner with a three game winning streak, capped off by a 40-10 win over Nebraska that included an eight-minute, fourth quarter touchdown drive on which they ran the ball on all 13 plays.
- The Hawkeyes lead the Big Ten in Red Zone offense, having scored on 36 of 39 possessions (92.31%), and a league leading TD conversion rate of 72%.
- Despite facing run-stop defenses that average more than seven men in the box, Iowa is averaging 4.48 yards per carry and more than two yards before contact.
- Head Coach Kirk Ferentz was assistant offensive line coach under Joe Moore at Pittsburgh in 1980.
Offensive Line Coach: Brian Ferentz
Head Coach: Kirk Ferentz
Ohio State (11-1)
- Film review shows that the Buckeye O-line unit features a combination of athleticism and toughness that has separated them from most other units.
- While consistency has been a challenge at times, this unit has stuck together and found ways to excel in both critical and late-game situations when the team needed them to make plays, such as the overtime period in Ohio State’s 30-27 win over Michigan.
- The Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in scoring and in total offense, averaging 42.7 points and 479.5 total yards per game, more than 60 yards per game more than the 2nd ranked Michigan offense.
- They lead the Big Ten in rushing offense, averaging 258.33 yards per game and 5.54 yards per carry, gaining nearly four yards before contact.
- Ohio State also leads the conference in long rushing plays, with 98 plays of 10 yards or more.
Offensive Line Coach: Greg Studrawa
Head Coach: Urban Meyer
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.