Alabama Named Finalist for Joe Moore Award for Best Offensive Line

Christopher Walsh

The University of Alabama offensive line was named one of four finalists for the Joe Moore Award on Tuesday morning. 

The other finalists for the most outstanding offensive line unit in college football were LSU, Ohio State and Oregon. 

For games played through December 7th, this year’s finalists have a combined record of 47-4 and average 512.3 total yards per game (compared to the national average of 404.1) and 198.2 rushing yards (170.5). 

Meanwhile, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was named a finalist for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award.

The other finalists are Utah defensive lineman Bradlee Anae, Utah defensive back Julian Blackmon, Iowa defensive lineman A.J. Epenesa, and Oregon offensive lineman Penel Sewell.

Tagovailoa won the award last season. 

Alabama won the first Joe Moore Award in 2015. 

The winner of the Joe Moore Award will be announced after a surprise visit to present the award in mid to late December.

Per the release about the Crimson Tide: 

• The Alabama offensive line, that has surrendered only 12 sacks in 381 pass attempts this season (just one every 31.8 pass attempts), ranks fifth nationally in fewest sacks allowed (1.0 per game).

• The offensive front has opened holes and provided time for an Alabama offense, that ranks 2nd nationally in scoring (48.3 ppg), 3rd in passing (343.5 ypg) and 7th in total offense (513.3 ypg).

• The ground game has also proven efficient with its top two running backs (Najee Harris and Brian Robinson Jr.) accounting for 5.5 yards per rush (1,513 yards and 16 touchdowns), with Harris ranking 31st nationally at 5.9 ypc.

• According to Championship Analytics (CAI), Alabama is one of the nation’s top teams as it relates to five-plus-yard runs, leading the SEC and ranking sixth nationally with 45.4 percent of the team’s rushing attempts resulting in a gain of five or more yards.

• What the Committee is Saying: The team may not be headliners this year, but that O-line is still putting in work. They play with repeatable, consistent footwork and hand technique, and they stepped it up against a talented Auburn front when their team needed it most.

• What the Committee is Saying, Part 2: "Fun group to watch. Physical. Tenacious. Sneaky athletic. Regularly get defenders on the ground. Sort through the trash and pass games (stunts) off well. QB has zero fear in pocket and trusts his guys. Contact power is evident right away. Run lots of gap scheme and “duo” (physical plays that feature double teams) in addition to zone and perimeter schemes. Will punish/finish if given the chance. RT is special. Technical freak with some power. Wins with feet and hands every snap. RG is a beast when he gets his hands on you. Center does a nice job inside. Auburn and LSU tapes were impressive.” 

“Each of our O-line finalists displayed some unique qualities that really helped them stand out as elite units, but what they share in common is physicality in the run game and being at their best when it was needed most,” Cole Cubelic, Chairman of the Joe Moore Award Voting Committee, said in a release.

"O-line play across the country was much improved this season, and this year's finalists are an incredible testament to the principles of toughness and teamwork that the Joe Moore Award is all about,” added Aaron Taylor, CBS college football analyst and co-founder of the Joe Moore Award. “Once again, the voting was extremely close down the stretch, but the committee felt that the 2019 Finalists separated themselves through the way they set the tone for their teams and routinely displayed the six award criteria."