Ever wondered what a Mizzou team that was comprised of only Missouri kids would look like? Or wonder how good an only-Texan Mizzou squad would do? Well, you’re in luck! This offseason, the Rock M Masthead is assembling the best team of Mizzou players by state that they graduated high school from. We compiled a list of the significant starters on every team from the year 2000 on and voted on the best players at their position group in order to create three “All-State” Mizzou squads: Team Missouri, Team Texas, and Team USA. Over the next nine weeks you’ll read about these Mizzou Greats that hailed from the respective regions and, hopefully, come away impressed with just how good these fictional teams could actually be.
Tiger defensive backs have been big on reliability but short on impact talent. It’s time to see how they stack up and who comes out on top!
What’s your favorite defensive position to watch? For me, the answer to that question is a true do-it-all safety, and there hasn’t been a better all-around Mizzou safety in my lifetime than William Moore.
Early in Willy Mo’s career, he was a hard-hitting thumper who saw most of his action at or near the line of scrimmage. He had just two interceptions his first two seasons (both of which were returned for touchdowns).
Much like the rest of the team, everything came together in 2007 when Moore had his best season of his Mizzou career. He finished that year with 115 tackles, nine tackles for loss, two sacks, eight interceptions, 13 passes defended, two forced fumble and a defensive touchdown in Mizzou’s beatdown of Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl.
The result was Mizzou’s single-season record for most interceptions in a season (8). His mark in 2007 tied the second most interceptions in a single season by a Big 12 defender in (at least) the last 20 years. His 11 career interceptions are the most by a Mizzou defender in the last 30 years.
The big hits, the timely interceptions and the postseason awards are just part of Moore’s appeal. Mizzou fans fell in love with Willy Mo the person as much as they fell for William Moore the player. From his black & gold car to his 22” rims that he affectionally called his “Tony Temples”, Willy Mo was one heck of a character.
In the end, Moore left Missouri as a team captain, an All-Big 12 selection and a second Team All-American. One of the best safeties to ever do it in a Mizzou uniform is a more than worthy selection for Team Missouri.