First-year Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles was named Monday afternoon as one of 15 semifinalists for the Broyles Award, presented annually to college football’s top assistant.
Knowles has turned over a defense that gave up 372.6 yards and 22.8 points per game last season, while the Buckeyes are conceding just 283.4 yards and 16.9 points this fall, ranking for ninth and 10th, respectively is good in the country. They also forced 17 turnovers, including 10 interceptions and seven fumble recoveries.
Ohio State returned three of those turnovers for points, which ranks eighth highest in the country, including linebacker pick-sixes Thomas Eichenberg and defensive end JT Tuimoloau against Iowa and Penn State, respectively, and a fiddly recovery by linebackers Steele Chambers against Maryland.
Other semifinalists are Florida State Alex Atkinsgeorgia Death MonkenIllinois’ Ryan WaltersIowa Phil ParkerLSUs Matt houseMichigan’s Jesse MinterNorth Carolinas Phil LongoOregon’s Kenny DillinghamPenn State Manny DiazSouth Carolinas Peter LemboTCUs Garret Rileytennessee Alex Golesh and Washington’s Ryan Grub.
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Knowles aims to become the third assistant in school history to win the award, which is named after Arkansas’ longtime head coach and athletic director Frank Broyleswho joins the former defense coordinator Jim Heacock 2007 and former offensive coordinator Tom Herman in 2014.
Three finalists for this year’s awards will be announced on November 29, while the winner will be announced during a ceremony in Little Rock, Ark. on December 6. Knowles was a finalist for the award for his work at Oklahoma State last year, although it ultimately went to former Michigan offensive coordinator and current Miami (Fla.) offensive coordinator Josh Gattis.
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