Top 10 Bearcats: #9 Chris Moore

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The lanky Sophomore from Tampa came into his own in 2013 finishing third on the team in receptions and yards and first in touchdown catches with 9. Not bad for a guy who was making his first extended foray into the receiver rotation after being a reserve in 2012.

In 2012 Chris Moore played primarily on special teams early on in the season before earning some playing time towards the end of the season. He only caught 4 passes a year ago, but those passes went for 110 yards, two of them for long touchdowns. That proved to be a taster for how Moore would be deployed under Tommy Tuberville's staff.

The injury to Alex Chisum in training camp meant that Moore would be the defacto vertical route runner for the Bearcats. That's what he was in the beginning of the year, the vertical threat who's primary job was to take the top off the defense. Moore certainly did that job credibly. But he didn't really come into his own until the Bearcats brought another deep threat into the fold, the Arkansas transfer Mekale McKay.

McKay wasn't consistent enough to merit inclusion on this list. But his joining the receiver rotation, and a change in approach from Eddie Gran allowed Moore more freedom to operate in different areas of the field. Before McKay came around Moore worked the deep third of the field where ever he lined up. Once McKay was established as the deep threat Gran and Darin Hinshaw started to find new spots for Moore.

Those spots wound up being underneath the first layer of coverage between the hashes and outside the hashes in intermediate zones, i.e. 10 to 20 yards down field. At the end of the year that was Moore's patch, and it was a good patch to have. With his speed Moore is the kind of receiver who commands a cushion so the shorter throws aren't going to be as rigorously contested as the same throw would be for Shaq Washington for example. But at the same time Moore has the speed to go up top when required.

His final numbers for 2013 wound up being:

  • 73 targets
  • 43 receptions
  • 58 percent catch rate
  • 645 yards
  • 9 touchdowns*

*Tied for 7th for a single season

The best news of all is that he will be back next season, along with every other receiver not named Anthony McClung.

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