UF tailback proves his mettle

Published: Saturday, September 1, 2007 at 8:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 1, 2007 at 8:08 p.m.

Forget about all those defenders in white jerseys. Florida's Kestahn Moore had no trouble eluding them.

What Moore couldn't do, however, was avoid the bad weather that forced Florida's 49-3 win over Western Kentucky to be called with 8:23 remaining.

Had a full game been played, it's likely Moore would have been celebrating his first career 100-yard rushing game.

"It's something I thought about," Moore said. "I can always go out there next week and try to get that 100-yard game."

Moore has plenty to be proud of nonetheless. A junior from Arlington, Texas, Moore set career highs Saturday by carrying the ball 16 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns.

It was a big performance for a player Florida is counting on to carry the burden as the team's featured tailback this season.

"I feel like I need to carry a heavy load," Moore said. "Every since I was young I carried the ball a lot of times. I think that showed that I can carry a big load whenever they want to give me the ball."

That didn't happen much in the first half. Moore only had five carries at halftime, but Florida's coaches made it a point at intermission to get Moore the ball in the second half.

"He deserved that," Florida coach Urban Meyer said. "We made a concerted effort in the second half to get him the ball. I thought Kestahn did good."

Meyer has praised Moore during preseason workouts, saying his attitude and work ethic were in line with the coach's expectations. Moore's importance to the offense was amplified by the loss of running back Mon Williams in the spring and the loss of Brandon James, who was suspended for Saturday's game following an arrest earlier this year.

Moore's touchdown runs Saturday were nothing impressive. He scored on a 3-yard and a 1-yard run. But Moore impressed Meyer with his 5.7 yards-per-carry average.

Moore's previous career highs were 13 carries for 88 yards against Iowa in the Outback Bowl two seasons ago.

Moore said he was hoping to get back out on the field and play after the game was halted, but understood the decision.

"It was raining hard, so it probably would have been real sloppy ball out there," Moore said. "But it was unfortunate it was canceled."

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