Alonzo Moore Q&A: 'This is a special place. The fans are great'
There are some big games this Saturday in the Big Ten. And one could argue none looms larger—or more vital–than Oregon’s trip to Nebraska.
This is a chance for the Cornhuskers to score an impressive win in the program’s quest to win a conference title for the first time since 1999. The significance isn’t lost on Nebraska wideout Alonzo Moore, who has emerged as a top target this season.
“This is a big one,” said Moore. “We have to be ready.”
No. 22 Oregon again features one of the nation’s most high-powered offenses, averaging 48.5 points and 577.0 yards per game. The Ducks are one of the most successful programs over the past several years. Since 2010, the Ducks’ 71 victories trail only Alabama among all FBS programs. No doubt, this would be the biggest win of the brief Mike Riley era—if Nebraska can pull off the victory.
If the Huskers want any shot at downing the Ducks, Moore probably needs to shine. The Winfield, La., product has been the Huskers’ top receiver through two games in 2016. Moore has posted career receiving highs in each of the first two games with 92 yards against Fresno State and 109 yards in the win over Wyoming last week. He has also produced the two longest receptions of his career over the past two weeks with a 57-yard TD against Fresno State and a 63-yard TD grab against Wyoming. The 6-2, 195-pound senior is averaging 33.5 yards on his six receptions in 2016 and ranks No. 4 in the nation in that category.
I caught up with Moore as he prepped for the Ducks.
Q: How are you feeling entering this visit from Oregon?
A: I had a great week of practice. That’s where it starts. Every day in practice, it’s a stage you build up. And the big stage is the game. That’s what you build up to. My coach is always on me, and he believes in me. Hearing his voice before games really gets me going. The total week of preparation is key.
Q: Tommy Armstrong became the school’s all-time leader in TD tosses last week with 57. Talk about his development.
A: He’s having a tremendous season and I am very proud to be part of it. I am able to catch some touchdowns and help him. I want to help him get more records throughout the season. He is having a great year, and I am very proud of him.
Q: Some feel Nebraska has the best set of wideouts in the Big Ten. Let’s break it down. Who has the best hands?
A: I would have to say Jordan Westerkamp. There is no question about that.
Q: Who is the fastest?
A: I would say probably Brandon Reilly. He’s the fastest guy.
Q: Who runs the best routes?
A: We all have strengths and weaknesses. I’m not sure any receiver is better than the other at running routes. We all run good routes.
Q: What is your favorite route?
A: I really don’t have one.
Q: What is the best part of your game?
A: The best part is catching the ball inside in traffic and taking off running. I am good going over the middle and am not afraid of contact.
Q: You have had a chance to watch some film of Oregon. How do the Ducks look?
A: They are a great team with a great tradition. It will be a good battle. They have speed and talent. It’s going to be a challenge.
Q: How big would it be to go 3-0 coming off a 6-7 season?
A: It would be huge for our program to go into conference play unbeaten. A fast start is always a good thing.
Q: What has been your most memorable catch?
A: Against Wisconsin last year, when I made a touchdown grab right before halftime (a 41-yard reception that gave Nebraska a 14-7 lead at the intermission).
Q: Can Nebraska win the Big Ten West?
A: I think so. If we go out and prepare each week like we should and can, the sky is the limit for this team. We need to play the game like we prepare. If we have a great week of preparation and an even better game, we can accomplish a lot.
Q: What’s the best part of playing football at Nebraska?
A: Coming out of that tunnel on Saturdays is very special. And so is coming off the field after a win. There is nothing like it. This is a special place. The fans are great.