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Kentucky Football offensive line named Joe Moore Award semifinalist

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These big uglies are beautiful to watch.

Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats’ offensive line has been named a Joe Moore Award semifinalist, which honors the nation’s best offensive line.

Earlier this season, UK’s offensive line was named to the midseason honor roll for the Joe Moore Award, and they’ve only improved since then, so it’s no surprise to see them nominated for the season-long award.

The Wildcats’ rushing attack game is averaging 231.4 yards per game, which ranks second in the SEC and 16th nationally. They’ve done so despite missing three starting linemen from a year ago, the school’s all-time leading rusher, and this year’s top two quarterbacks due to injury, while the current starter is a converted receiver.

Four players have rushed for more than 300 yards this season in quarterback Lynn Bowden Jr. (822), and running backs A.J. Rose (619), Kavosiey Smoke (484) and Christopher Rodriguez (341).

All of this has been doner under the watch of offensive line coach John Schlarman, a UK alum that has battled cancer and continued to coach up his group. Just this past week, Scharlman underwent a procedure for his treatment, then returned to the sideline to coach up his unit as they paved the way for 401 rushing yards in a 38-14 win at Vanderbilt.

“Just remarkable, you know. He really is. John is just amazing, to be honest with you,” head coach Mark Stoops said after the game. “He had some treatment this week and then he had to go back for another little procedure. I don’t want to get too invasive with his business, he doesn’t want any attention, but he had to drive his own car down here, had somebody drive him down on Friday after another procedure and he shows up at practice. We thought he was going to have to miss it but sure enough, we got here and he pops in with a smile on his face like nothing’s going on and goes about his business.”

The 2019 Joe Moore Award winner will be made public after a surprise visit to the winning university’s campus in late December.