Moore fills in admirably for Brown on MU defense

Tuesday, November 13, 2007 | 10:29 p.m. CST; updated 5:39 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008
William Moore (1) leaps in the air at a recent Missouri Tigers fooball game.

COLUMBIA — Tiger safeties William Moore and Pig Brown consider each other more than defenders of the middle of the Tiger secondary.

Much more.

“That’s my partner in crime,” Brown said. “We’re like brothers because we can look at each other and not say anything but know that the other guy needs to bring it.”

In 2006, the two met with Brown coming to MU as a junior college transfer and Moore entering his third year in the Tiger program. And, until Brown was injured, both were having break-out seasons in the defensive secondary.

But when Brown injured his Achilles’ tendon, Moore knew that it was his time to step in and keep the defensive backfield in check for his running mate.

“I did take it hard but when Pig told me it would be OK I knew it would, too.” Moore said. “I’m playing for Pig and just playing every down like it’s my last,”

And Moore, a redshirt junior, has responded in the two games since. He has made 17 tackles and two interceptions, and making key plays at important junctures of the game just as Brown seemed to do when he was on the field.

“He’s raised his game since we lost Pig and when you ask a guy to do that, it doesn’t always happen,” head coach Gary Pinkel said. “He is playing at an All-Big 12 level right now.”

Against Texas A&M on Saturday, Moore crashed through the Aggies’ offensive line on third down-and-nine to break up an attempted screen pass for a seven-yard loss. The stop led to a missed A&M field goal and a host of Tiger players on the sideline cheering for the effort.

None were more vocal than Brown­ — held up by crutches yet on the sideline acting as an extra coach for his team.

“I wanted to take my crutches and jump on the field congratulating him but I had wait for him to come off the field,” Brown said.

Monday afternoon as players met with the media, Moore heads to back toward the back of the Tom Taylor Athletic Complex, he passes by Brown. Without breaking stride, he gives Brown a soft pat on the shoulder as Brown addresses media members. Coincidently, Brown was evaluating Moore’s play on the field since his own injury.

Needless to say, Brown is not surprised by his partner in crime’s performance on the field.

“I’ve been confident in this guy all along,” Brown said as Moore passed by. “When I went down, I knew what he was capable of and I knew what he could do,” Brown said.

DEADLINE FOR BOWL TICKETS APPROACHING: Nov. 19 is the last day for donors to the Tiger Scholarship Fund to make their reservations for bowl game tickets. Forms should be returned to the Mizzou Ticket Office.

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