In three of their first four games, the Cowboys have been almost unstoppable on the ground, and the one player who has benefited the most is junior Devin Moore. The shifty tailback is averaging nearly 110 yards per game and has the best yards-per-carry average in the Mountain West Conference (6.8). See what he had to say about the ’07 season in an exclusive interview with CowboyBlitz.com.
As the running game goes, so goes Wyoming.
At least, that has been the theme of the Cowboys’ first four nonconference contests. Already Devin Moore and Wynel Seldon have combined for more than 700 yards and are on pace for 20+ touchdowns on the ground by season’s end. The Pokes are averaging 172 yards rushing per game so far in ‘07(2nd in the MWC), and it has been the running game that has given them the edge in their three wins. A 2-0 start saw Wyoming’s tailback tandem put up 369 yards and three TDs as the Cowboys cruised past Virginia and grabbed a 14-point victory over Utah State.
When a tough Boise State defense plugged up the Pokes’ rushing lanes in Week Three, however, the Cowboys’ winning ways came to an end. The Broncos shut out Wyoming for more than three quarters while they built a 21-point lead. Moore and Seldon mustered just 46 yards on 16 carries, and the Cowboys saw their perfect 2-0 start receive its first blemish in the form of a 24-14 loss.
Boise State, it seemed, had found the blueprint for stopping the Cowboys’ offensive attack.
Blueprint or no, Ohio didn’t have an answer for the Pokes’ ground game a week later, and despite turning the ball over seven times, Wyoming rode their running backs to another early-season victory—this time a 34-33 nail-biter that had Cowboys fans glued to their TVs from start to finish.
The one player that seems to have thrived the most during the Pokes’ nonconference rushing dominance has been Moore. After a career day against Virginia, the fleet-footed back posted 85 yards on the Aggies in Week Two. At Ohio, he was nearly unstoppable, rolling up 198 yards, punching in two second-half touchdowns and averaging more than 10 yards per carry. Even with a disappointing 27-yard outing against the Broncos, the junior is on pace to finish with more than 1,300 yards on the ground in ‘07—a number that would rank him second all-time in Wyoming single season rushing.
We caught up with Moore last week to talk about his early-season success and get his thoughts on the Pokes’ offensive game plan for the rest of the year.
CowboyBlitz: How did it feel to get back on track at Ohio?
Devin Moore: “It felt great. I got to give thanks to the offensive line for opening up some huge holes, and I’m glad that the coach was calling the plays he was calling because it was at the right time, so to speak, and it just gave me an energy booster as far as going into this bye week. Coming into TCU hopefully we can do the same thing.”
CowboyBlitz: Was that your best game ever as a Cowboy?
Devin Moore: “I believe it was all-around the best game just because my folks were there, all my family members, and man, the numbers, I can’t complain about them.”
CowboyBlitz: It seemed like the running game struggled a little against Boise State, but against Ohio, the difference was like night and day. Did the Broncos just have an incredible defense?
Devin Moore: “Actually I think Ohio had a great defense, some fast guys swarming to the ball. The only thing with Boise State was that I just felt like I couldn’t get it going quick enough. The offensive line, they were doing their deal. They did a good job with Boise State. They opened up holes and everything. I should have hit the holes harder, and I regret doing it. One thing in life that you have to do is learn to live with regret, and that’s what I did and came out at Ohio and made the change, I guess.”
CowboyBlitz: You did have some pretty good plays late in the game against Boise State. Do you think you just needed to get the ball a little more, and you would have got things going?
Devin Moore: “You’ll never hear D-Mo, Lightning, whatever, you’ll never hear me say that. That’s not my deal. I’m sure the coaches—we have great coaches—they’ll make the calls. When they need to give me the ball, they’ll know.”
CowboyBlitz: The running game went very well at Ohio, and it wasn’t just you. Wynel Seldon played excellent as well. With the struggles this team has had through the air, do you see the play calling changing to a little more run and a little less pass as the season goes on?
Devin Moore: “However it goes. I think that’s putting up an argument for it, a little more run a little less pass. At the same time, we are a passing offense, and I have to respect that. We have a great quarterback. Karsten Sween, he’s a great quarterback. With that being said, if the run has to outweigh the pass sometimes just to help the pass, then so be it. And if the pass has to outweigh the run, then we’ll do that.”
Moore and the Cowboys will face Mountain West Conference preseason favorite TCU this Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.