FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas’ offensive line under first-year coach Cody Kennedy has been outstanding this season and the nation has taken notice.
The Razorbacks’ offensive line is a semifinalist for the Joe Moore Award given to the top unit in the nation. The other semifinalists are Air Force, Appalachian State, Baylor, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Oregon and Oregon State.
This is what was said about Arkansas.
#25 Arkansas (7-4)
The Hogs’ o-line has paved the way for 20 rushing plays of 20+ yards, which ranks third in the SEC and is tied for 22nd-most in the country. Arkansas is averaging 222.3 yards per game rushing, the program’s best average since setting a school record when two-time Doak Walker Award winner Darren McFadden led the way in 2006.The Razorbacks’ o-line is one of two offensive lines in FBS to have paved the way for four rushers to gain 400+ yards this season. It’s the first time an Arkansas offense has had four 400+ yard rushers since 1975.The Arkansas offense has been explosive, especially on the ground leading the SEC and ranking second in FBS with 92 runs of 10+ yards this season.Through 11 games this year, the Hogs’ o-line is allowing just 2.0 sacks per game down from 3.4 last season.What the committee is saying: “This is a physical group with some limited athleticism that consistently wins with effort and strain. It’s got Sam’s [Pittman] fingerprints all over it. These guys attack defenders, ‘look for work’ and are willing finishers. If they stalemate, they still strain and will accelerate when defender comes off to make the tackle and they get movement or pancake. Rare to see that. Solid combination blocks both play side and backside on zone schemes. Play 42 of Mississippi State LG 62 get crumpled on a pull, but keeps coming and still tries to finish the guy off on his knees like he’s in that Monty Python scene. Will throw hands in pro, especially OT’s. All five usually win with hands, although they lost the hand leverage battle vs a very good Bama front, but still fought and competed. They’re the essence of what this award is about.”
Offensive line coach: Cody Kennedy
Click here for the full press release from the Joe Moore Award.