Tears Of Joy

Tigers get Moore than some expected from their sophomore tailback.

Auburn, Ala.--When Casinious Moore had more rushing yards on Auburn's first two possessions than he did the entire 2000 season, that was a sign that it was going to be a big night for the redshirt sophomore from Anniston, Ala.

Despite a second half concussion that knocked Moore down but not out, he finished with 160 yards on 20 carries, which was 54.6 percent of Auburn's offensive output in a 16-14 victory over Mississippi State.

Casinious Moore on his 50-yard touchdown run.

"It was a physical game out there and Casinious Moore really stepped up for us," says senior wide receiver Tim Carter. "He did a great job for us and so did the offensive line. They came through for us when we needed it."

At halftime, Moore had gained 120 yards on 10 carries, scoring the only touchdown of the half on a 50-yard run. "The touchdown was one of our outside zone plays," Moore says. "You have to be patient and wait for it to develop. There was a big hole there. We had some great blocking. I followed the fullback, Brandon Johnson, and Kendall (Simmons) and Hart McGarry on the left side. It was open. I just hit it."

"I give all of the credit to the offensive line," says Moore. "They did a great job of blocking tonight."

After taking a shot in the head late in the third quarter, Moore was sidelined until he could convince team doctor Mike Goodlett that he was well enough to play. "I was a little dizzy," admits Moore, who had to pass what looked like sobriety tests on the Auburn sideline.

Moore returned to action for Auburn's do-or-die game winning drive, running 22 yards on the first five plays of the drive to push the ball into Mississippi State territory and set the stage for Damon Duval's game winning 47-yard field goal.

"It makes me want to work hard each week to get better," Moore says of his 160-yard effort. "I know I can do better than I did tonight. I just have to continue to work hard and not get complacent."

Moore says the victory was a big one for the team, moving the Tigers to 3-0 in conference play. He also notes that it was big for the seniors, who had yet to beat Mississippi State. Senior offensive tackle Simmons, whose hometown is Ripley, Miss., says that Moore speaks the truth. "This is great, great, great," the big tackle notes.

Casinious Moore walks off a winner.

As much as Simmons enjoyed the win, so did Moore, who left the field awash in tears of joy on a night that signalled his comeback from major knee surgery is totally complete.


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