With two members of its football team in advantageous positions to win two of the nation’s most prominent individual awards LSU is also a finalist for a prestigious group honor.
For the first time since winning the Joe Moore Award in 2019 – symbolic of college football’s top offensive line – LSU was named a finalist for the honor on Wednesday along with Georgia, Oregon and Washington. The Tigers are coached by offensive line coach Brad Davis.
The winner of the Joe Moore Award will be announced in mid-December when the awards committee comes to campus and presents the trophy to the winning unit.
“LSU is a bunch of bullies that plays with a tough, physical edge that is fun to watch,” the Joe Moore committee said in a release. “With all the attention on their QB (Jayden Daniels), their incredible finish (9-3 record), strain, and effort often got missed. But it’s all over the tape. Everywhere.”
Junior wide receiver Malik Nabers is a finalist for Friday’s Biletnikoff Award and Daniels a finalist for Saturday’s Heisman Trophy.
LSU won the Joe Moore Award on its way to a 15-0 record and national championship in ’19. Four members of that unit are currently starting in the NFL: Damien Lewis (Seattle), Lloyd Cushenberry (Denver), Saahdiq Charles (Washington) and Ed Ingram (Minnesota).
Daniels has been the engineer behind LSU’s top-ranked offense that averages 46.4 points and 547.8 total yards with Nabers serving as his chief target.
One of the strengths of the offense has been a unit that’s enjoyed the same starting combination in 11 of 12 games this season.
“Interesting unit that plays with physicality and looks to finish whenever it gets the chance,” the Joe Moore committee said. “Scheme and mobile QB help, but they have been consistent for most of the year and give that elite QB a lot of time to operate. Run their feet and strain well. All seem to anchor well in pass pro and they are expected to win 1 on 1 and usually do. Ain’t always pretty, but always effective.”
Sophomore left tackle Will Campbell was a first team member of the All-SEC Coaches’ first team and sophomore right tackle Emery Jones Jr. was selected to the second team.
Campbell played a team-high 731 snaps and didn’t allow a quarterback sack this season. He’s started in all 25 games in his career. Left guard Garrett Dellinger, who has started in 33 of 22 games, played 723 snaps in ’23 with right guard Miles Frazier, who’s started in 26 of 25 games, played 711 snaps followed by Jones, who has started in 22 of 25 games, played in 634 snaps and center Charles Turner III, who has started in 39 of 26 games, saw action on 689 snaps.
Freshman Lance Heard, who started against Army, has 195 snaps, while fellow true freshman center DJ Chester has played 81 snaps.
LSU’s reached the 40-point mark nine times, including six of their eight SEC games, and have topped the 500-yard mark on nine occasions. LSU had 701 yards in the 52-35 win over Florida, the most ever given up by the Gators and the Tigers amassed 500-plus yards eight other times this season.
LSU was the only team to rank in the Top 10 in both rushing (213.5) and passing (334.3). The Tigers produced six straigth 200-yard games during the season and their 32 rushing TDs rank seventh nationally.
The Tigers, who average 6.33 per rushing play, only had two negative plays on designed runs.
“This group attacks defenders and accelerates their feet on contact in a way that creates incredible movement at the point of attack,” the Joe Moore committee said. “Very rarely missed men, and I think I only saw one or two tackles for loss in the five games I watched. It wasn’t always as consistent across the board as they will be in the next year or two, but when they do it right, it looks exactly like it’s supposed to look.”