Steve Ensminger/Joe Brady – Louisiana State University
FootballScoop is proud to announce that Steve Ensminger and Joe Brady are the 2019 FootballScoop Offensive Coordinators of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.
LSU’s offense was something close to perfect this season. There are a lot of ways to summarize what the Tigers accomplished in 2019, but nothing suffices quite like that. Wide receiver J’Marr Chase won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver. The offensive line took home the Joe Moore Award as the nation’s top unit. And quarterback Joe Burrow brought home the second Heisman Trophy in school history
Heading into the national title game, Burrow is on pace to break the FBS single-season passing efficiency record, hitting 371 of 478 passes (77.6 percent) for 5,208 yards with 55 touchdowns against just six interceptions. Burrow is nearly a full percentage point ahead of Colt McCoy’s 11-year-old FBS completion percentage record, and stands three touchdown passes shy of tying Colt Brennan’s 13-year-old single-season record.
In 2019, Burrow mastered the art of efficiency and volume. He ranks second nationally in yards per attempt (10.9) and yards per game (372).
Of course, Burrow couldn’t have such a record-setting season on his own, and he had plenty of help. Chase won the Biletnikoff and he wasn’t even the leading receiver on his own team. He caught 75 passes for 1,559 yards, trailing Justin Jefferson’s 102 grabs for 1,434 yards and an equal number of touchdown catches. Terrrace Marshall, Jr., rounded out the trio by snaring 43 passes for 625 yards and 12 scores. Showing proof positive of Ensminger and Brady’s evolved scheme, tight end Thaddeus Moss caught 42 passes for 534 yards, while running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire brought in 50 passes for 399 yards on top of his 1,304 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground.
As a unit, LSU rolled up 7,898 yards and 89 touchdowns on 999 play calls to date. The Tigers lead the nation in total offense by nearly 25 yards per game and rank second in yards per play. Unsurprisingly, LSU leads the nation in gains of 10-plus yards (280), second in gains of 20-plus (102), fourth in 30-plus gains (49) and was one of six teams to record at least 25 gains of 40 or more yards.
With a date waiting against the nation’s top scoring defense, LSU’s 48.9 scoring average is the best in the nation since Baylor in 2013. The Tigers were held below 35 points once all season, and have scored 50 points as often (seven times) as not through 14 contests — including in four of their past five games. LSU has topped the 60-point mark three times, including in a College Football Playoff semifinal drubbing of Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl.
LSU more than tripled (37 points) Georgia’s second-in-the-nation scoring defense average of 12.6 points, dropped 42 points on a Florida defense that surrendered 15.5 a game, and the 46 points it scored on Alabama on Nov. 9 were the most the Crimson Tide had allowed at that time since 2003.
In addition to the individual awards won by Burrow and Chase and the unit award claimed by the offensive line, Burrow and Chase were also named First Team AP All-Americans. Center Lloyd Cushenberry joined Burrow, Chase and Edwards-Helaire on the All-SEC first team while offensive linemen Adrian Magee and Damian Lewis made the second team
This was Ensminger and Brady’s first year working together, and their path to LSU could not have been more opposite.
A former LSU quarterback himself, Ensminger — nicknamed “Slinger” — joined the coaching profession as Nicholls’ wide receivers coach in 1982. His career has taken him to offensive coordinator posts at McNeese, Louisiana Tech, Texas A&M and Clemson, as well as a stint as the head coach at Central High School and the wide receivers job at West Monroe High. He spent 2003-08 on Tommy Tuberville’s offensive staff at Auburn, 2009 as the passing game coordinator at Smiths Station High, then return to his alma mater in 2010. In his 10 seasons in Baton Rouge, Ensminger has coached tight ends and quarterbacks, serving as coordinator in 2016, moved back to tight ends coach in 2017, returned to the coordinator spot in 2018, and then happily shared the spotlight with Brady this season.
Ensminger’s daughter-in-law, Carley McCord, tragically passed away on the morning of LSU’s Peach Bowl appearance on Dec. 28.
Brady, 30, did not begin coaching until 2013, when he joined his alma mater William & Mary’s staff as linebackers coach after playing wide receiver for the Tribe. He spent 2015-16 as a graduate assistant at Penn State, then served as an offensive assistant for the New Orleans Saints in 2017-18. Brady won the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach in December.
“This award should say Joe Brady/Steve Ensminger,” Brady said at the time. “I’m only at LSU because of Steve Ensminger. I’ll never forget that.”
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by AstroTurf are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Graham Harrell [USC], Rhett Lashlee [SMU], Jeff Lebby [UCF], Rob Sale [Louisiana-Lafayette] and Ensminger and Brady) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year’s winner.
With LSU competing for the national championship during the AFCA convention next week, Emsinger and Brady will receive their awards at a time to be determined.
Previous winners of the Offensive Coordinator of the Year award are Kevin Wilson (Oklahoma, 2008), Bryan Harsin (Boise State, 2009), Gus Malzahn (Auburn, 2010), Kliff Kingsbury (Houston, 2011 and Texas A&M, 2012), Philip Montgomery (Baylor, 2013), Tom Herman (Ohio State, 2014), Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma, 2015), Lane Kiffin (Alabama, 2016), Josh Heupel (Missouri, 2017) and Mike Locksley (Alabama, 2018).
|1st Nationally – Scoring||2nd Nationally – Passing Efficiency|
|1st Nationally – Total Offense||2nd Nationally – Yards Per Play|
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