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Georgia offensive line a finalist for national award
Since Kirby Smart and offensive line coach Sam Pittman have arrived in Athens, they’ve made it a priority to have one of the top offensive lines in all of college football. And on Tuesday, the Georgia offensive line was named a finalist for the Joe Moore Award, which is given to the nation’s top offensive line.
“The finalists embody what the Joe Moore Award is all about, which is hard-working, like-minded individuals working their tails off for the greater good without desire for personal gain,” said Aaron Taylor, CBS college football analyst and founder of the Joe Moore Award. “The voting was extremely close, but the 2018 Finalists separated themselves to the committee through consistency and setting the tone for their entire teams.
The other two finalists for the award are Alabama and Oklahoma, who are both in the College Football Playoff. Georgia just missed on the playoff after losing to Alabama in the SEC championship game.
“Each of our O-line finalists have some unique qualities that really helped them stand out as elite units, but what they share in common is toughness, effort, and finishing their blocks,” said Cole Cubelic, chairman of the Joe Moore Award voting committee. “It was refreshing to see that there is still a commitment to physical football in the modern era, and we appreciate the efforts of the O-line coaches to preserve this fundamental aspect of the sport.”
The Bulldogs offense had a standout season, as it averaged 7.3 yards per play this season — the most in Georgia history. UGA also led the SEC in rushing, as the Bulldogs averaged 251 rushing yards per game. For the second season in a row, the Bulldogs are very likely to finish with two 1,000 yard-rushers, as D’Andre Swfit has rushed for 1,037 yards and junior Elijah Holyfied is at 956 rushing yards with Georgia still having a game to play against Texas in the Sugar Bowl.
Pittman was named a semifinalist for the Broyles Award, which goes to the nation’s top assistant coach. Georgia also dealt with a number of injuries on the offensive line this year, as the Bulldogs had to rotate in multiple starters due to injury. Over the course of the season, Georgia has started four different alignments on the line, including three freshmen and three sophomores.
Two of Georgia’s offensive linemen were named First Team All-SEC by the SEC coaches on Tuesday, as sophomore Andrew Thomas and senior Lamont Gaillard made the team. Thomas and Gaillard were also named to the AP’s All-SEC team, but on the Second Team.
The Joe Moore Award will be given out later in December. If Georgia were to win the award, it may want to get a larger trophy case, as the Joe Moore Trophy stands a at a height of 6 feet and weighs 800 pounds. Notre Dame won the award last season.
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