- 57.3 percent completion rate (146-of-255)
- 1,744 yards
- 11 touchdowns
- 7 interceptions
- 6.8 yards per attempt
- 123.4 QB rating
- 45 rushing yards
- 2 rushing touchdowns
At the end of summer practices, Hayden Moore was named the starting quarterback for the 2016 Cincinnati Bearcats. After he filled in admirably for Gunner Kiel as a freshman, Moore managed to go from understudy to main attraction, even if there was some scuttlebutt that Kiel was the better option.
The former three-star recruit didn’t exactly dominate with his chance as a starter, and an injury and poor play to Moore made the quarterback position a bit of a carousel, with Kiel and Ross Trail making starts and plays as well.
However, we are here to examine Moore’s efforts, which largely regressed compared to his nine-game showing in 2015. In seven games, all of which he is started, Moore connected on only 57.3 percent of his pass attempts for 1,744 yards. His 6.8 yards per attempt was nearly two yards fewer than his freshman campaign and he lost ground on completion percentage as well, as he completed 59.1 percent of his attempts in 2015.
If you’d like a silver lining, and I’m sure that you do, Moore did increase his touchdown production (11) while cutting down on his interceptions (seven). However, the fall in completion percentage and failure to throw the ball down field at an accelerated rate drove his quarterback rating down to 123.4 from 132.9 in 2015.
For what its worth, Moore added 45 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, although he got the majority of that in one game (against Purdue) and wasn’t exactly Michael Vick in Madden 2004.
The Best of the Best
Sept. 10 at Purdue
During hands down the best game he (and possibly any Bearcat QB) played all season, Moore completed only 19 passes, but racked up 250 yards and three scores in a 38-20 win over the Boilermakers. Those numbers may not sound that stunning, but don’t forget he also added 58 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Nov. 25 at Tulsa
Boy did UC fight hard to end the 2016 campaign on a high note, but it was for naught in a 40-37 overtime loss to Tulsa. Moore played a major role in the Bearcats’ valiant finale, completing 20-of-37 pass attempts for a season-high 371 yards and three touchdowns. He also set a season-high with a 165.0 quarterback rating.
For Next Year
Moore will once again be in the midst of a quarterback battle this spring and summer, with Trail right on his heels as well as some of the new recruits, particularly Torrance Gibson. Moore did end his season well against Tulsa and had some games where he flashed an ability to fit passes into tight spaces and play at a high level. This coming year will be a make or break one for him, however, because eventually those sparks have to turn into a flame or else they’ll be extinguished on the bench.