By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. – It hasn't mattered. Kerryon Johnson rushes for 100-plus yards one game. Kamryn Pettway rushes for more than 100 the next.
But Auburn's running backs have had a lot of help this season, says Gus Malzahn.
"That says a lot about our offense line."
Auburn's offensive line was recognized Wednesday when it landed on the midseason honor roll for the Joe Moore Award, which honors college football's top offensive line at season's end. That award's committee says it looks for offensive lines "that display a high level of toughness, effort, teamwork, consistency, technique and 'finishing.'"
Auburn's offensive line has done it despite starting the season with only two players in the same position they finished last year, then flipping a couple of players around because of injuries after the fourth game this season.
Auburn has started all six games with Alex Kozan and Braden Smith at guards and Robert Leff at right tackle. Austin Golson started the first four games at left tackle, then switched to center after Xavier Dampeer suffered a leg injury. Darrius James has stepped in at left tackle the last two games.
In recognizing Auburn, the Joe Moore committee said the Tigers "continue to improve every week and their O-line unit looked dominant at times in their 38-14 win over Mississippi State. On the season, their powerful running game is ranked 2nd in the SEC and averages more than 262 yards rushing per game. When they need yards on third downs, the Auburn O-line unit has helped the offense convert nearly 50 percent of those into first downs. Tiger running backs are averaging 2.3 yards per carry before contact and have broken 18 big plays of 15 yards or more."
Seventeen teams made the Joe Moore midseason honor roll.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine