Missouri-West Virginia Notebook: J'Mon Moore, Chris Black Step Up

Some news and notes from Missouri's season opener at West Virginia...

One of the positives to emerge from Missouri's season-opening 26-11 loss at West Virginia on Saturday was the emergence of wide receivers J'Mon Moore and Chris Black

Moore had eight catches for 104 yards, both career highs. Black, the graduate transfer from Alabama, had six receptions for 102 yards and one touchdown.

According to Missouri sports information department, Moore and Black became the first Tigers teammates to record 100-yard receiving games since 2013. 

TARGETING THE TIGERS

Moore, a junior, was targeted a team-high 23 times by quarterback Drew Lock, who attempted 51 passes. Black was next on the team with seven targets. After those, tight end Sean Culkin and wide receivers Emanuel Hall and Dimetrios Mason each had four and redshirt freshman wide receiver Johnathon Johnson had three.

Eight other players were targeted once, including junior wide receiver Dominic Collins, who recorded a 22-yard reception. 

PLAYS ON PLAYS ON PLAYS

We’ve heard about the Tigers’ new-look offense wanting to play more uptempo and run more plays under new offensive coordinator Josh Heupel and we saw that against the Mountaineers. 

The Tigers ran 100 plays on offense, which the the most since running 100 plays against New Mexico in 2005 and just the fifth time in the modern era of running 100 or more plays, according to Missouri’s sports information department.

STARTING LINEUPS

The Tigers’ starting lineup on offense included some surprises.

They started two tight ends — Jason Reese and Kendall Blanton — but not the incumbent starter, Culkin. They started Ish Witter, last year’s leading rusher, over Oklahoma graduate transfer Alex Ross. The other wide receiver, along with Moore, was Hall, a sophomore. 

Hall, Blanton and four offensive linemen — Tyler Howell, Kevin Pendleton, Sam Bailey and Paul Adams — all made their first career starts on offense. Defensively, defensive end Jordan Harold, defensive tackle A.J. Logan and free safety Thomas Wilson made their first career starts. 

FRESHMEN WHO PLAYED

Missouri had 10 true freshmen travel to West Virginia and six of them saw action: defensive back Demarkus Acy, wide receiver Mason, offensive lineman Tre'Vour Simms, running back Damarea Crockett, linebacker Cale Garrett and kicker Tucker McCann

The results were mixed.

Mason had a 7-yard reception but also had another catch that didn’t count because of a penalty. 

McCann kicked a 24-yard field goal but also missed two more attempts. Crockett carried twice and gained four yards but had a costly fumble and did not get another opportunity after that. 

Freshmen who traveled but didn’t see action were quarterback Micah Wilson, offensive lineman Trystan Castillo, defensive tackle Markell Utsey and cornerback Christian Holmes.

CAPTAINS

The captains for the first game were redshirt senior tight end Culkin, redshirt senior middle linebacker Michael Scherer, redshirt senior defensive tackle Rickey Hatley, redshirt junior defensive end Charles Harris and sophomore quarterback Lock.

PLAYERS NOT ON TRIP

According to Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the following veteran players did not make the trip: safety Tavon Ross, wide receivers Desean Blair and Richaud Floyd, linebackers Grant Jones and Roderick Winters, cornerback Finis Stribling, offensive lineman Tanner Owen and defensive end Nate Howard.

Howard, a sophomore, is a possible redshirt candidate because of a knee injury after playing as a true freshman a year ago. Owen has been out with an undisclosed medical issue. 

RELATED CONTENT: 

MISSOURI LOSES SEASON OPENER AT WEST VIRGINIA

MISSOURI-WEST VIRGINIA PHOTO GALLERY

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com.

Want more BlackAndGoldIllustrated.com coverage? Become a member today to get insider information, members-only forums, exclusive videos, team shop offers and ticket discounts. Click HERE to learn more and get a 7-day free trial.


Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories