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Appalachian State offensive line semifinalist for Joe Moore Award
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Appalachian State offensive line semifinalist for Joe Moore Award

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Appalachian State’s linemen mob kicker Chandler Staton after a game-winning field goal earlier this season. The line is nominated for one of the nation’s top honors.

BOONE— App State’s offensive line has been named one of 13 semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award, which is given annually to the top offensive line in college football.

With finalists being named Dec. 7, the other semifinalists come from Air Force, Arkansas, Baylor, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon, Oregon State and Wisconsin. App State has been recognized as a top-15 line nationally by the Joe Moore Award in three of the last four seasons.

Coached by Nic Cardwell, a six-man rotation up front features center Baer Hunter, right tackle Cooper Hodges, left tackle Anderson Hardy and three guards: Damion Daley, Isaiah Helms and Luke Smith.

App State ranks No. 3 nationally with only eight sacks allowed in 11 games and has the 10th-lowest percentage for quarterback pressures allowed. The Mountaineers are one of only two FBS teams with more than 300 passing attempts and less than 10 sacks allowed and one of only two FBS teams with two backs averaging at least 80.0 rushing yards per game.

“App State continues to put themselves in the conversation by having an edge and chippiness to their style of play,” according to the Joe Moore Award committee. “They seem to excel in the ‘Gotta Have Its’ and goal line plays and work combos with a consistency that is fun to watch.”

The eight sacks allowed have come with 324 pass attempts against defenses that have totaled 299 sacks (or 2.7 per game) when not playing App State. The Mountaineers have allowed one sack in the last five games following a no-sack performance by a Troy defense that had 36 in its first 10 games.

In the running game, Nate Noel leads the Sun Belt in rushing (1,013 yards this season, 92.1 per game) and Camerun Peoples (82.1 yards per game) leads the league with 13 rushing TDs. According to PFF, Noel has 26 rush attempts this season in which he’s gained at least 6 yards before being touched.

With the six-man rotation on the line, three of the four interior linemen began their college careers as defensive linemen.

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