LEXINGTON, Ky. --- As one of only three true freshmen playing for Kentucky this season, Ellery Moore has likely earned himself a spot on the Southeastern Conference's list of top newcomers.
He'll have to do it on the merit of his first eight games, however, as UK officials announced Wednesday that Moore would undergo surgery to repair a torn medial collateral ligament and detached meniscus suffered in last week's 17-14 loss at Mississippi State.
Moore, a 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive tackle from Massillon, Ohio, had recorded 21 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks mostly as a reserve. His best game was against Ball State when he tallied a career-high seven tackles and 2.5 TFL.
"He was a good fixture in the rotation," UK coach Guy Morriss said. "He was one of the guys playing really well, especially for a freshman.
"It leaves us shorthanded again. We get one back, we lose another one. But injuries are something you have to expect and move on."
"The bad thing about that deal is that Ellery was getting better on a weekly basis," defensive coordinator John Goodner said. "I don't know if you remember the play against Mississippi State, but there was a toss on the sideline that they broke when we missed a tackle, and Ellery was running with our secondary guys (to make the stop). When you look at that on film, a guy who weighs 280 pounds, he's running."
Goodner noted that Moore hurt the knee early in the game, but played through the pain before informing the training staff of the severity.
"He's a tough guy," Goodner said.
Moore is expected to have surgery next week. His status for spring practice is uncertain at this time, but UK officials are optimistic he'll be ready.
"I'll be close," Morriss said. "He'll have a lot of rehab work to do, but they tell me he could be ready."
Kentucky also announced Wednesday that senior offensive tackle Matt Brown has a stress fracture in his upper right arm to go along with an ailing shoulder injury he's been nursing throughout the season. He's being listed as day-to-day, but Morriss expressed doubt that Brown would be able to return to action.