The Kentucky offensive line is one of 22 units named to the midseason honor roll for the Joe Moore Award, recognizing the Most Outstanding Offensive Line Unit in college football, it was announced Monday by The Foundation for Teamwork.
This is the second consecutive season that the Kentucky offensive line, known as the “Big Blue Wall,” has been named to the honor roll.
Behind the “Big Blue Wall,” the Wildcats are fourth in the Southeastern Conference in rushing at 178.0 yards per game. Kentucky’s top three running backs (Christopher Rodriguez Jr., A.J. Rose and Kavosiey Smoke) are averaging 5.9 yards per rush (1,058 yards and seven touchdowns), while Rodriguez leads the SEC and ranks 18th nationally at 6.39 yards per carry.
All totaled, the Wildcats have 124 combined starts on the offensive line. Seniors Drake Jackson and Landon Young have started in a combined 62 consecutive games.
What the committee is saying: “What makes the play of Kentucky’s offensive line even more impressive this season is how they have handled the sickness and then passing of their beloved offensive line coach John Schlarman. After a two-year battle with cancer, Schlarman passed away on Nov. 12, 2020. Despite battling extensive treatments, he rarely missed a game or practice, serving as an example to “finish.” When asked why he never wanted to miss he simply stated, “for the team.” He coached his final game in UK’s upset over Tennessee on Oct. 17, 2020. The former Wildcat and All-SEC lineman returned to his alma mater to join Mark Stoops’ staff in 2013, slowly building the “Big Blue Wall’ that would become his legacy. His offensive lines were semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award in 2016 and 2019.”
The Joe Moore Award voting committee judges on six criteria that historically proven to distinguish winning O-line play: toughness, effort, teamwork, consistency, technique and finishing.
Evaluations for the midseason honor roll were made solely through weekly review of actual game film and offensive line coach-provided cut-ups on XOS Thundercloud.
These units have gained the attention of the Joe Moore Award voting committee as it moves closer to announcing the selection of semifinalists on Dec. 7 and finalists on Dec. 21. Selection of the 2020 Joe Moore Award winner will be made public in late December or early January after a surprise announcement on the winning unit’s campus, as mutually agreed upon and circumstances allow.
2020 Joe Moore Award Midseason Honor Roll
- Air Force
- Coastal Carolina
- Iowa State
- North Texas
- Notre Dame
- Ohio State
- San Diego State
- Texas A&M
- Virginia Tech