Friday, May 25, 2018
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Moore OK with record, but winning more important

ANN ARBOR - Nick Moore figures if he had set records and the University of Toledo had lost, it would be meaningless.

So after the game at the Big House yesterday, he deflected the attention away from himself and onto UT's 13-10 victory.

"It's not about me at all," Moore said. "I'm just glad that our team stuck together, in the hard times we stuck together, and we came out with a big win for our season."

Moore had a monster day. He hauled in 20 catches for a career-best 162 yards, breaking the record of 15 receptions previously held by his brother, Lance, and current teammate Stephen Williams. It was the sixth 100-yard reception game of his career.

"I never thought I would have that many catches, ever, not even in Little League, high school, anything," Moore said. "I'm just glad we got this big victory."

Moore came up big on third down time and time again, helping the Rockets have a huge time-of-possession advantage in what was mostly a field-position battle all day. He also helped his quarterback set a personal best.

Junior Aaron Opelt completed a career-best 33 passes in 50 attempts for 257 yards. Opelt's 33 completions tied for fifth-most in school history in a single game and he had the sixth-most attempts in school history.

"I feel comfortable with Nick going up against anybody," Opelt said. "All the catches he got, you've got to look at the yards after the contact. He broke a few and made some big plays. He's an excellent receiver and I love throwing to him."

Moore's 20 catches set a Michigan Stadium record and tied the Mid-American Conference mark. Eastern Michigan's Kenny Christian also had 20 catches vs. Temple in 2000. Moore now ranks seventh in school history with 144 receptions in his career.

SHAKING IT OFF: When kicker Alex Steigerwald missed a 21-yard field goal in the second quarter, it was the first time he had ever missed back-to-back attempts and the first time it had happened to UT since 2003. Steigerwald also missed a FG against Ball State last week.

Steigerwald rebounded to make two field goals, a 29-yarder in the third quarter and a career-long 48-yarder in the fourth.

"I've never been upset about missing," Steigerwald said. "I've always felt like it's the next kick you have to get. I build confidence off misses."

UT coach Tom Amstutz said after Steigerwald's miss, he didn't blame him, just offered encouragement.

"That miss was more timing, it was not Alex's fault," Amstutz said. "I told him that was not your fault, the execution of other things were wrong. You'll make your next field goal. He said, 'yeah, I know.'•"

FRESHMAN FOLLIES: Freshman Mark Singer has played in every game on special teams, but yesterday he was inserted in the most tense of situations. When senior Tyrrell Herbert left the game with cramps in the fourth quarter, Singer replaced him at free safety.

Singer proved his worth in a big way. With 3:44 remaining, Singer intercepted a Nick Sheridan pass that was tipped, UT's third pick of the game.

"I saw it was overthrown and knew there was possibly a tip going to happen," Singer said. "When I saw the ball tipped I just made a play on the ball."

ROSTER NOTES: Junior tailback DaJuane Collins started for the first time in three games. He had 10 carries for 65 yards. Center Buster Garrett played for the first time since he suffered an injury against Fresno State. Linebacker Archie Donald led the Rockets with 12 tackles.

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