A non sequitur, you say. But West Virginia defensive coordinator Keith Patterson would beg to differ that it indeed does follow. With Moore, a quarterback transfer from Fairmont State, searching for playing time, a move to receiver was recommended. But now, before West Virginia's assumed biggest game of the opening month, Moore has been moved back to his high school and early collegiate position of quarterback to emulate the Sooner signal caller. It might not be a match made in heaven, but for this practice week, it's a match made for Almost Heaven.
"Yeah," Patterson said when asked if he had anybody who could mimic Knight, the redshirt freshman quarterback who rushed for 103 yards and three touchdowns in OU's 34-0 opening win over Louisiana-Monroe. "I think Logan's a pretty good player. I think they are similar in a lot of ways. (Logan) is a very heady quarterback and he can run. Smart, smart young man and he's given us a tremendous look."
Moore, who hasn't cracked, or even sniffed, the two-deep, might be performing his most important services as a Mountaineer this week. The Fairmont, W.Va. native, who played prep ball at Fairmont Senior, was the 2012 Scout Team Offensive Player of the Year and the scout team champion for games against Texas and Iowa State, taking a 2-0 record into the clash with Oklahoma. Moore, 5-11 and 200 pounds, physically matches the 6-1, 202-pound Knight. The WVU redshirt junior left Fairmont State fourth in school history in pass yards (3,456), third in touchdowns (31) and fourth in total offense (4,324).
"It's one of those things where we have to get out there and do what we do," Patterson said. "We have to make sure we are assignment sound, first and foremost, and the run fits are air tight. You have to be disciplined and assignment-sound. The second problem is when (Knight) does drop back to pass, you have to have rush lane integrity. It's not necessarily contain, but playing with good vision and making sure he doesn't get out on the perimeter. Because when he does get on the perimeter, he eats up big chunks of yardage."
Much like Moore, who, one could argue, is West Virginia's best running passer. The theme of the week is assignment football, and Moore gives West Virginia's 3-4 set the best chance at seeing a player similar to Knight, who bulldozed past expected starter Blake Bell. Both saw snaps in the first game, Knight hitting 11 of 28 passes for 86 yards, Bell throwing five times with three completions for 38 yards. The shockingly low totals give one an idea how strongly Oklahoma – typically a vertical throwing team which produces high-level passers – is relying on the run early.
Patterson said West Virginia, which played mainly base defense versus William and Mary, cannot abandon the blitz because of the fear of Knight leaking out for a big run. But it also has to pick and choose its spots.
"To me, it always depends upon the flow of the game," Patterson said. "I don't think it's going to keep me from being any less aggressive. We are going to do what we do. That's the nature of the way in which we build the defense. We want to be in attack mode, but also make sure we are sound and know how to execute the plan that we take into the game.
"And when you're dropping into coverage (as a linebacker), you can' just take your eyes off the quarterback and wall receivers. You have to make sure you have vision back to the quarterback. If he does bring it down, now we have to come up and corral him and make sure he doesn't turn some of those scrambles into 20-, 30-, 40-yard gains."
Patterson did say he thought West Virginia has a solid defensive front, and that "if you look at our guys in the middle, with not just Shaq (Rowell), but Christian Brown and (Kyle) Rose, who plays in there at times, those guys aren't easy to block. They are big physical guys. (Oklahoma) has a great center in the middle of their offense, and it's important. We have to get a push in the middle and have guys attacking and keep people from pushing up to the second level, and then get linebackers in position and get big and square and fitting up the run."