Joe Moorhead Snubbed From Broyles Award
Joe Moorhead, affectionately dubbed the savior of Penn State’s offense, was left off the Broyles Award finalist list after being named a semifinalist.
The award is given to the nation’s top assistant coach, and there’s no denying Moorhead is at least in the conversation for that title. Here’s the list of coaches who made it ahead of him: Jeremy Pruitt (Alabama DC), Brent Venables (Clemson DC), Jim Leavitt (Colorado DC), Don Brown (Michigan DC), and Matt Canada (Pitt OC). All five men listed are world-class coaches in their own right, but it’s intriguing to find only one offensive coordinator named as a finalist.
Pitt’s Canada orchestrated one of the best offensive outputs in the nation this season. The Panthers, fresh off hanging 76 points on Syracuse in the highest-scoring FBS contest ever, have scored the most total points in program history this season. Nobody’s saying Moorhead definitively deserves the award over Canada, but he at least deserves a spot at the table after what he’s accomplished in only his first season in Happy Valley.
Penn State’s offense was anemic to say the least over the past two seasons despite having a talent like Christian Hackenberg at the helm. This season, Moorhead took the Lions from No. 100 overall in points per game with a little more than 23 per contest in 2015 to No. 25 nationally in 2016, where the Trace McSorley-led offense is putting up roughly 36 per game.
The Nittany Lions saw dramatic increases in every statistical category on the offensive side of the ball this season, and the on-field success the team’s experienced is no coincidence. Joe Moorhead’s genius and scheme has the Lions playing for a Big Ten Championship, and potentially a National Championship depending on how the chips fall.
Pruitt and Brown’s defenses both lead several statistical categories, and both deserve the award, but to leave Moorhead out of the discussion is a shame. Moorhead is arguably the nation’s best offensive coordinator, and it won’t be long before major Division I programs come knocking on his door.