Oklahoma has claimed yet another piece of major college football hardware, albeit this time as a group rather than individually.
One of three finalists for this year’s honor, Oklahoma was announced Tuesday as the 2018 winner of the Joe Moore Award for the Most Outstanding Offensive Line Unit in College Football in what was described as “an unprecedentedly close vote.” The other two finalists were Alabama and Georgia.
The award’s website states that “[t]he voting committee is comprised of college football experts, especially 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, colleagues of Coach Moore and select media.” As for criteria, the award “annually recognizes the nation’s Most Outstanding Offensive Line Unit that best displays toughness, effort, teamwork, consistency, technique, and ‘finishing.’”
OU is currently averaging 8.7 yards per play, which would break the old record of 8.6 ypp set by Hawaii in 2006 if it holds through their playoff run. The Sooners’ average of .71 points per offensive play would also be the highest total in more than two decades.
“All three finalists displayed the award criteria in impressive fashion, but Oklahoma made a statement with how consistently they finished and played through the echo of the whistle,” said Cole Cubelic, chairman of the Joe Moore Award voting committee, in a statement. “They showed a tone-setting attitude in both pass protection and run blocking that really caught the attention of the 200 plus member voting body that has collectively played and coached this position for over 800 years.”
The JMA is literally the biggest award in college football, weighing in at 800 pounds and standing nearly seven feet tall and six feet wide. Per the release, the trophy “will be displayed on the Oklahoma Sooners campus until the conclusion of the 2019 college football season.”
Previous winners of the award, named in honor of the legendary line coach Joe Moore of Notre Dame and Pitt, are Notre Dame (2017), Iowa (2016) and Alabama (2015).