JOE MOORE AWARD ANNOUNCES 2018 MIDSEASON HONOR ROLL
Fourteen O-Line Units Gain Attention of Voting Committee
NEW YORK (Oct. 16, 2018) — The Joe Moore Award for the Most Outstanding Offensive Line Unit in College Football today revealed the fourteen members of its 2018 midseason honor roll. The Foundation for Teamwork has presented the unique award since 2015.
Earning a spot on this year’s midseason honor roll are the O-lines of #1 Alabama, Appalachian State, Army West Point, Boston College, #8 Georgia, #14 Kentucky, Memphis, #22 Mississippi State, #16 NC State, #2 Ohio State, #9 Oklahoma, #12 Oregon, #7 Texas, and #23 Wisconsin.
This year’s honor roll members represent seven conferences and one independent (in alphabetical order): AAC (1), ACC (2), BIG TEN (2), BIG-12 (2), PAC-12 (1), SEC (4), SUN BELT (1), and Army. For games played through Oct. 13, teams on this year’s midseason honor roll have a combined record of 73-17 and include ten ranked teams.*
These units have gained the attention of the Joe Moore Award voting committee, as it moves closer to announcing the selection of the semi finalists on Nov. 20 and the finalists on Dec. 4. Selection of the 2018 Joe Moore Award winner will be made public after a surprise visit to the winning university’s campus in late December.
“It appears to be an up and down year for O-line play across the country, but the units on the 2018 Midseason Honor Roll have caught the attention of the committee for their play up to this point in the season,” said Aaron Taylor, CBS college football analyst and founder of the Joe Moore Award. Taylor played guard at the University of Notre Dame for the Award’s namesake, the legendary offensive line coach Joe Moore. “The bar will raise from here, but there could very well be a surprise unit or two that emerges late in the year like Iowa did in 2016.”
“It’s been fun to watch these honor roll units come together and really gel as the year progresses, but we’re keeping an eye on all O-lines as the season progresses to see how they finish the rest of October and November,” said Cole Cubelic, chairman of the Joe Moore Award voting committee. “Some units develop faster than others, and some O-lines are just beginning to wake up as we saw over the past couple of weekends. Having some depth and staying healthy appear to be critical already.”
Units of Interest:
In addition to the O-line units listed above, committee members also took note of the play and production of Baylor, Clemson, LSU, Michigan, Pitt, Texas A&M, TCU, Tulsa, and Utah.
Honor Roll Criteria and Selection Process
The Joe Moore Award voting committee judges solely on six criteria: toughness, effort, teamwork, consistency, technique and finishing. Evaluations for the midseason honor roll were made primarily through weekly review of actual game film and offensive line coach-provided cut-ups on the DragonFly Division I Network. In addition, STATS, one of the industry leaders in sports data analytics, provides advanced O-line data and analytics to give context and clarity which streamlines the film evaluation process.
2018 Honor Roll at a Glance (In Alphabetical Order)
Have paved the way in 2018 for 500 yards in total offense for a Crimson Tide record seventh game in a row.
Its five sacks allowed leads the SEC and is tied for seventh in the nation.
Despite its prolific passing attack, Alabama calls a run play 57% of the time, which average 5.5 yards per carry and 216.71 yards per game.
What the committee is saying: “Bama is Bama. Brent Key does a very good job with his guys. They have yet to be really tested, but they’ve passed every test so far.”
Offensive line coach: Brent Key
Appalachian State (4-1)
Appalachian State leads the SBC and is seventh in the nation in rush offense. (264.8 RUSH YPG)
Mountaineers ball carriers enjoy an average of 4.68 contact-free yards (Yards Before Contact/YBC) per rush.
The Mountaineers OL has paved the way for 6.49 rush yards per attempt which leads the SBC and is third in the nation.
What the committee is saying; “They are straining and play with great effort. Run off the ball. Everything is in sync. It is clear they have a physical mind set. Only loss to Happy Valley by 1 score is impressive.”
Offensive line coach: Shawn Clark
Army West Point (4-2)
Despite being in an “Alley Fight” (seven or more defenders in the box) a whopping 98% of the time, Army West Point’s 313.5 rush yards per game is second in the nation.
The Black Knights OL has stayed positive by only allowing a total of 15.0 tackles for loss on 394 rush attempts, a feat which leads the nation.
Army West Point rushed for 339 yards versus the currently ranked #9 Oklahoma Sooners, where the Cadets compiled a 44:41 to 15:19 advantage in ball possession over the Sooners.
What the committee is saying: “What they lack in size they more than make up for with intensity, effort, and toughness. They look to set tone whenever they have an opportunity. They always seem to roll some guys up.”
Offensive line coach: Brent Davis
Boston College (5-2)
The Eagles feel comfortable calling a run in “Gotta Have It” situations an impressive 82.6%, which is second in the ACC only behind Georgia Tech. “Gotta Have It”: (3rd/4th and 3 or less, and Goal to Go situations)
Despite the absence of leading rusher A.J. Dillon, the Eagles OL Unit paved the way for two 100-yard rushing performances versus Louisville (David Bailey and Ben Glines, a converted wide receiver).
When Boston College rushes the ball, their OL unit is in an “Alley Fight” (seven or more defenders in the box) 81.3% of the time, which is 24.6% higher than the ACC average.
What the committee is saying: “They’ve rebounded nicely since the road loss to Purdue. You can tell they’re well coached and are the identity of [Head Coach Steve] Addazio’s team. They look like Boston College OL from the early and mid 2000s. Physical. Sound Technique.”
Offensive line coach: Phil Trautwein
Georgia’s 228.29 rushing yards per game is second in the SEC.
The Bulldogs average 3.96 yards before contact (YBC) per rush, while rushing for 5.78 yards per attempt. The OL unit keeps the ball carrier contact-free for 68.5% of each rush.
Georgia’s OL has paved the way for five Bulldog ball carriers to average more than five yards per rush.
What the committee is saying: “Sam [Pittman] does a really nice job. Injuries have wreaked havoc on a unit that was playing at a high level until RG [Ben] Cleveland went down, and the substitutions started. Their effort and early body of work earns them a spot for now.”
Offensive line coach: Sam Pittman
Third in the SEC in RUSH YPG (223.0).
Junior RB Benny Snell Jr. is third in the SEC and ranks ninth nationally in rushing yards per game (117.5). He is 11th in the nation in total rushing yards (699).
When they run the ball in “Gotta Have It” situations (3rd/4th and Short and Goal to Go situations), they are successful an SEC leading 81.3% of the time, 14.5% higher than the league average.
What the committee is saying: “Overachievers. Play their tails off. Play as a unit. Played well against two of the better defensive fronts in the SEC.”
Offensive line coach: John Schlarman
Second in the AAC and fifth in the nation in rushing offense (275.43 RUSH YPG).
RB Darrell Henderson’s 1,133 total rush yards and 161.86 rush yards per game lead the nation.
Lead the nation in yards per carry (7.28 RUSH YPC).
What the committee is saying: “Memphis is legit. In 1Q of UCF there is a screen pass and some filthiness occurs. They are big and pass block well and have the toughness box checked.”
Offensive line coach: Ryan Silverfield
Mississippi State (4-2)
Only SEC team with two players in the top 10 in rushing yards per game: QB Nick Fitzgerald (102.6) is fourth, and RB Kylin Hill is sixth (79).
SEC’s top rushing offense (240.7), with a league leading “Quality Rush” percentage (rush either results in a first down or greatly increases the chances of gaining a first down on the next play) of 62.9%, which is 13.8% better than the league average.
Has started the same five offensive linemen in the Bulldog’s first six games.
What the committee is saying: “Middle three are great. Tackles are coming on. That offense goes because of what the offensive line does for the run game.
Offensive line coach: Marcus Johnson
North Carolina State (5-0)
Their two sacks allowed lead the ACC and are second in the nation.
Their OL has paved and protected their way to at least 24 first downs in all 5 games this season, which also stands alone as the most such games in the ACC this season.
Lead the country in third down conversion percentage (60.9%).
What the committee is saying: “This unit has improved each week. Consistency, teamwork, and finishing make them the best OL unit in the ACC. Bradbury is leading a unit that knows they must set the tone on the ground to balance a dangerous passing attack. 7 min in 2Q of BC game is perfect example of what they are doing best in stretch run game.”
Offensive line coach: Dwayne Ledford
Ohio State (7-0)
Lead the Big Ten in total yards per game (556.9 YPG)
QB Dwayne Haskins leads the Big Ten in passing yards per game (333 PASS YPG).
The Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in third down conversions (48.98%).
What the committee is saying: “Their athleticism stands out on tape, which is impressive as they may be the tallest OL in the country. I like Michael Jordan at center, he seems to fit well there.”
Offensive line coach: Greg Studrawa
Lead the Big-12 in rushing yards per game (208.83 RUSH YPG) and yards per attempt (6.27).
Their eight sacks allowed are second in the Big-12.
Sooners ball carriers enjoy an average of 4.79 yards before contact (YBC) on their 6.27 yards per attempt.
What the committee is saying: “Big physical, athletic, long group. That left side, man! They’re back to their old physical selves. Prove that pass protection doesn’t have to be passive. Look to punish and finish, even at the expense of technique.”
Offensive line coach: Bill Bedenbaugh
Second in the Pac-12 conference in rush yards per game (209.5 RUSH YPG).
“Quality Rush” percentage (rush either results in a first down or greatly increases the chances of gaining a first down on the next play) of 51.4% leads the Pac-12 conference.
Clean Pocket percentage (% of pass pro opportunities with no pressure allowed from OL) is second in the Pac 12 and is 9.3% better than the league average.
What the committee is saying: “May have the most physical OL in America. Clearly coached to finish and punish and they seem to enjoy it. Technique is coming. Rose to the occasion in biggest games versus Stanford and UW. Big bodies that move well. True freshman LT is a beast.”
Offensive line coach: Mario Cristobal/Alex Mirabal
Lead the Big-12 in “Negative Play Percentage” for runs resulting in negative yardage (8.2%), which is 2.4% better than the league average.
The Longhorns eleven sacks allowed are fourth in the Big-12.
Successful on 79.1% of their “Gotta Have It” situations (3rd/4th and Short and Goal to Go situations), 8% better than the Big-12 average.
What the committee is saying: “Improving unit that plays with more force than finesse. Still a work in progress from technique standpoint but getting better. Have leaned more heavily on the OL and running game since 2nd half of USC. Physical identity has led them to three victories over ranked opponents including OU.”
Offensive line coach: Herb Hand
The Badgers OL has helped their offense lead the Big-10 conference in rush yards per game (269.67 RUSH YPG).
RB Jonathan Taylor is the nation's second-leading rusher, averaging 158.3 yards per game. Taylor has topped the 100-yard plateau in all 6 games this year.
Wisconsin leads the Big Ten in rush yards per attempt (6.1), tackles for loss allowed (16), and Negative Play percentage (runs resulting in negative yards).
What the committee is saying: “They are a big, physical unit that works to strain and maintain. Keep good pressure. Get guys on ground. Not as athletic as they were a couple years ago but work well together as a group and work to impose their will.”
Offensive line coach: Joe Rudolph
The Joe Moore Award voting committee comprises 13 individuals who are highly knowledgeable about offensive line play, including former linemen, coaches, talent evaluators and media analysts. This group conducts in-depth analysis by reviewing game tape every week of the season to assess both the fundamentals and subtleties of overall O-line performance.
The 2018 voting committee includes Chairman Cole Cubelic (Auburn, SEC Network); Charles Arbuckle (UCLA, Indianapolis Colts); Randy Cross (UCLA, San Francisco 49ers); Gerry DiNardo (Notre Dame, head coach at LSU); Mike Golic, Jr. (Notre Dame, ESPN); Dave Harding (Duke, Blue Devil Network); Pat Hill (head coach at Fresno State, O-line coach at Atlanta Falcons); Barrett Jones (Alabama, St. Louis Rams); Duke Manyweather (Humboldt State, player and coach); Geoff Schwartz (Oregon, Carolina Panthers); Phil Steele (publisher or Phil Steele’s College Football Preview, ESPN); Aaron Taylor (Notre Dame, Green Bay Packers); and Lance Zierlein (NFL draft analyst, NFL.com).
After the semi finalists and finalists have been selected, a vote will be held to select the 2018 recipient of the Joe Moore Award by a voting body of 200-plus members. This voting body includes all current offensive line coaches at the Division I/FBS level, as well as former players, coaches, colleagues of Coach Joe Moore and select media members.
In addition to reviewing game tape every week of the season, the Joe Moore Award voting committee will later go through each of the finalists’ season-long highlight reels and multiple back-to-back quarters of game film.
Past Award Recipients
Past recipients of the Joe Moore Award include the offensive lines of the University of Alabama (2015), the University of Iowa (2016) and the University of Notre Dame (2017).
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, most notably for his work at Notre Dame and the University of Pittsburgh. Coach Moore sent 52 players on to the NFL, including Bill Fralic, Mark May, Russ Grimm, Jimbo Covert and others. The Joe Moore Award trophy, crafted by legendary sports sculptor Jerry McKenna, is the largest trophy in college football, standing at a height of 6 feet and weighing in at 800 pounds. The perpetual trophy is made available for display by the winning university until the conclusion of the following college football season.
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 (facebook.com/JoeMooreAward).
* AP Poll as of Oct. 14