November 30, 2016

Offensive Line a Finalist for the Joe Moore Award

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Nov. 30, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State offensive line is one of three units in the running for the 2016 edition of the Joe Moore Award. Alabama and Iowa are the other two semifinalists.

The Joe Moore Award aims to recognize the toughest, most physical offensive line in the country, making it the only major college football award to honor a unit or group.

Led by offensive line coach Greg Studrawa, the Buckeyes used the same starting lineup in all 12 games, leading to a tightknit, cohesive unit. The line features three upperclassmen, a sophomore and a freshman.

Pat Elflein, a finalist for the Outland Trophy, is the lone senior on the unit, making the move to center this year after playing guard the last three seasons. Surrounding Elflein is junior left tackle Jamarco Jones, freshman left guard Michael Jordan, junior right guard Billy Price and sophomore right tackle Isaiah Prince.

The unit helped running back Mike Weber become the third freshman in program history to eclipse 1,000 yards joining the likes of Robert Smith and Maurice Clarett. The Buckeyes rank ninth in the nation in scoring (42.7 ppg) and rushing offense (258.3) and 24th in total offense (479.5 ypg).

The 258.3 yards rushing per game, 42.7 points per game and 479.5 total yards per game all rank No. 1 in the Big Ten. The Ohio State offense ranks sixth nationally and second in the Big Ten in time of possession (33:15). The offensive line allowed only 55 tackles-for-loss (4.58 per game) in 2016, which ranks first in the Big Ten and 10th nationally.

The Scarlet and Gray have played seven AP ranked teams in 2016, and in those games, the offensive line carved a path for 920 yards on 185 carries for an average of 131.4 yards per game including eight touchdowns.

The big men up front helped Ohio State rack up 200-plus rushing yards in 10 contests, including a season-high 410 yards (7.7 avg.) against Rutgers and another 359 yards (6.5 avg.) versus Bowling Green. Against Michigan State in Week 11, the offensive line helped Mike Weber (111 yards) and J.T. Barrett (105) eclipse the 100-yard barrier.

The winner of the Joe Moore Award will be announced at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta on Dec. 9.