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Published: Tuesday, 9/9/2008

University of Toledo's Moore still 'day to day'

BY MAUREEN FULTON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Nick Moore's status as a decoy might not change this weekend against Eastern Michigan.

Moore, the University of Toledo's senior wide receiver, said yesterday his hamstring isn't yet fully healed and he will test it before the Rockets' game against the Eagles to see if he can play more snaps than he did against Arizona.

"Right now it's just day to day," Moore said. "Some days I feel better than others, some days I'm sore. I want to get it all the way to 100 percent so I don't have it keep nagging and it gets worse."

A third-team All-Mid-American Conference receiver last year, Moore and junior Stephen Williams were regarded before the season as one of the best tandems in the league. But Moore's injury allowed him to only go a few plays against Arizona, and quarterback Aaron Opelt didn't throw to him. Moore also served as the punt returner and signaled a fair catch on Arizona's only punt.

"I didn't practice much all week, and then coach (Chris) Hedden asked me how I was doing before the game," Moore said. "I told him I was doing alright but I wasn't where I would like to be, so he played me in a very limited role."

Moore said he is getting three treatments a day on the hamstring. As one of the Rockets' team captains, he is trying to maintain his leadership role even while he isn't playing much.

"It's frustrating, but I try not to let it get to me," Moore said. "I always live by everything happens for a reason."

STEIGERWALD HONORED: Junior kicker Alex Steigerwald was named the Mid-American Conference West Division special teams player of the week yesterday. Steigerwald scored 10 of UT's 16 points Saturday, with three field goals and an extra point. The Mayfield Village, Ohio native made field goals from 20, 21 and 35 yards.

OPENER TELEVISED: ESPNU has picked up the Rockets' home opener Sept. 20 against Fresno State. As a result, the game time has been moved to 8:15 p.m.

UT has three games scheduled to be on national television - Fresno State, Akron (Nov. 5, ESPN2 or ESPNU) and Bowling Green (Nov. 28, ESPN Classic). The Oct. 11 UT-Michigan game has not yet been assigned to a national network.

BURZINE STEPS IN: A few plays into the Arizona game, starting tight end John Allen left the game with an injury. Junior Tom Burzine replaced him and had two catches for 30 yards, including an 18-yard pickup on third down.

"I think I contribute both (blocking and receiving skills) but more from a blocking standpoint," Burzine said. "I'm excited, though. This is my year to get in the mix."

UT coach Tom Amstutz said Allen is "ready to roll" against EMU but said of Burzine, "he has good versatility."

MORE CARRIES?: The Rockets' running backs weren't much of a factor Saturday, with three players combining for 22 carries for 78 yards and no touchdowns. The Rockets had just one game last year where they had no rushing touchdowns and two games when they rushed for fewer than 100 yards.

"I've got healthy running backs, [but] they didn't do much this week," Amstutz said.

UT starter DaJuane Collins had just 10 carries for 54 yards, but "he might have a few more this week," Amstutz said.

Contact Maureen Fulton at:

mfulton@theblade.com

or 419-724-6160.



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