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Hayti's Moore produces for MU
The sophomore returned an interception for a touchdown and recovered a fumble Saturday against Texas Tech.
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Brandon Massey isn't quite sure who has the record for "production points" that Missouri coaches dish out after games for tackles, turnovers and touchdowns.
In his four years at No. 19 Missouri (6-0, 2-0 Big 12), Massey doesn't remember many players scoring above 40, but fellow safety William Moore racked up that many in his performance against Texas Tech on Saturday.
"That's kind of unheard of," Massey said. "I've gotten close before, but I've never scored 40."
Moore, a sophomore from Hayti, Mo., earned production points for recovering a fumble, returning an interception 22-yards for a touchdown and having a hand in 10 tackles. The interception came in the second quarter, right after Xzavie Jackson's 17-yard interception return for a touchdown.
The two scores gave the Tigers a 24-0 lead on their way to a 38-21 win in Lubbock, Texas. Moore said it was the best game he has played in his two years at Missouri.
"I'm just going out taking care of my assignments, making some plays out there," he said.
Taking care of his assignments is something Moore has concentrated on this season, mostly because it cost him a starting spot at free safety in preseason practice.
Moore played in place of the suspended Jason Simpson in last season's Independence Bowl win over South Carolina and was listed as the starter at free safety through preseason camp.
He lost the job just before the Murray State game this year to David Overstreet, the Tigers' leader in tackles at strong safety a year ago.
Overstreet's move to free safety and Massey's switch to strong safety was disappointing for Moore, but he knew defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus' reason for the demotion.
"The big thing with our team is do your job," Moore said. "I've got a problem with forgetting my assignments and go try and make something else happen."
Eberflus has never questioned Moore's athleticism or ability. Eberflus has even said that Moore is one of the most athletic players on the team, and that's part of his problem. Eberflus calls it "controlling his athleticism."
"When you play football you have to be very quick, you have to be very athletic, but you still have to be in control," he said. "I think when he does that, you see good things."
Eberflus, who also coaches the safeties, said Moore has done a lot better job of that the past few games.
Texas Tech's high powered offense foouri to employ its nickel packages more often, which led to an increase in playing time for Moore.
Eberflus said Missouri will continue to rotate four safeties into the game when the Tigers play Texas A&M (5-1, 1-1) on Saturday.
Moore backs up Overstreet at free safety and Pig Brown plays behind Massey at strong safety. Moore adds depth to the position that Eberflus said he has never had in his six years at Missouri.
"I've never rotated four guys in there," he said. "I've always just had two, maybe three guys; it's certainly a luxury to have."to have."