ATHENS — Georgia’s offensive line was named a semifinalist for the Joe Moore Award on Tuesday. The award, given to the nation’s top offensive line, has routinely tabbed Georgia as one of the best offensive lines in the country. Georgia was a finalist last season, only for Michigan to end up winning the award.

Georgia’s recognition this season was earned despite talented offensive tackle Amarius Mims missing the previous six games with an ankle injury. The junior offensive tackle made his return to the lineup against Ole Miss, rotating in with Xavier Truss at right tackle.

“Our O-line’s gotten better with the year. I mean, we’ve had games where we played better than others, but sometimes that has to do with the opponent you play,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “We’re healthier, so with health comes depth and the ability to play more guys. I think we stayed fresher in terms of the guys we rolled in and played.”

Mims’ injury helped Georgia from a depth standpoint. Xavier Truss moved out to right tackle and against Ole Miss showed he could also man the left tackle spot. Truss started the season at left guard but Mims’ injury allowed Dylan Fairchild to step in as the starting left guard.

Fairchild has started the last seven games at left guard. Georgia has also rotated Micah Morris in as well, giving the Bulldogs seven contributors on the offensive line.

One that is one of the most talented in the country.

“I think we do a really good job of just playing for each other and being able to do that, you know, with guys splitting time, I think that speaks a lot about our line as a unit,” Fairchild said. “We’re really connected, and I think that just speaks a lot about how that shows — the connectivity.”

After giving up 3.0 sacks against an aggressive Missouri front, Georgia bounced back with a stellar game against Ole Miss. The Bulldogs rushed for 300 yards on the night and averaged 8.6 yards per carry. All of Georgia’s running backs feasted, with Kendall Milton having a career-best 127 yards.

Quarterback Carson Beck wasn’t sacked on the night, as he threw for 306 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win. The offensive line played a big part in Georgia’s domination of Ole Miss.

“It was to our standard. 300 rushing is a good number, but we’ve just got to keep it rolling,” Fairchild said. “Put this game to bed today and just try to keep going.”

Georgia will face an aggressive Tennessee defense this week, with the Volunteers ranking second in the SEC in both tackles for loss and sacks.

Having an offensive line as good as Georgia’s will go a long way in helping the Bulldogs wrap up their SEC slate with a win.

“It’s a big game every year we play Tennessee,” Smart said. “They’re a good program, we’re a good program and the two are going to match up. As far as our focus on it, our players respect the hell out of Tennessee. They know how hard it is to play them. We had to play them up there two years ago, and it’s tough. It’s a tough prep. We’ll be focused.”

Dylan Fairchild talks UGA offensive line