Syracuse Orange sophomore running back Adonis Ameen-Moore was used sparingly in his inaugural season with the Orange.
Now in his second season, he is part of what has been called the "tank package", where Moore is the focal point of the offense in the redzone. In four games where Moore has been in this package, the team has scored four touchdowns.
But, late in this season Moore went out for two games with a knee injury, taking his expertise away from the field. Syracuse had a record of 1-1 in those games, win their win coming in the final three seconds of the game they had versus South Florida. "That's the hardest part, when you can't play," said Moore. "It's different from when you don't have an understanding if you [are] gonna play or not, but when somebody tells you, ‘You know you're not gonna play,' it's hard because these dudes are like my brothers. These dudes are my family. These are the only people I really have out here, besides my family out here…so like, when I see them out there, I'll be like, ‘Man, I wanna get out there with them…I wanna help them win, too.'"
"We all wanna win for each other," Moore continued. "With me not being out there, I'm not doing my part to help this family like live, you know what I mean, so that's kinda like the idea that kinda comes in my head."
Moore spoke on his current status after returning last week against Louisville, saying, "[I] hurt my knee, banged it up a little bit. Right now, I'm feeling real good. Knee feels just like it was before, so I'm feeling pretty good."
As previously stated, with Moore on the field, the Orange raise their level of play in the redzone. But in order to heighten their output in the redzone with Moore, they first had to trust him enough to give him an opportunity. Moore shared his appreciation for the opportunity given to him by the Syracuse coaching staff. "It means the world to me since that's a place that we have been struggling [in] this year that they feel the trust in me that I can actually help this team put points on the board, so I mean I'd say it's a tremendous feeling and I'm glad I can be on the field and actually help the team win," Moore expressed.
His importance on the field cannot be understated, as Moore not only bulldozes forward for touchdowns, but also has called attention to himself that have opened up other opportunities for scores. Linebacker Lewellyn Coker, who plays fullback in the "tank package", was aided by a fake to Moore against Louisville that helped set up his touchdown reception. Moore gave his take on that very play where Coker caught his first touchdown pass and scored his first-ever touchdown in his career. "Honestly the whole play was so crazy ‘cause what I originally seen [was] my D-end covering me and I see Coker stumble and I'm like, ‘Oh man that's crazy,'" Moore shared. "And I see him catch it and then I see him start stumbling with the ball and I'm like, ‘Oh you gotta get it' and when I see him actually capitalize…it was just a great feeling. I was happy for him. I know how hard the man work, how hard he works in the offseason, so I mean it was just a great feeling for me just to see him do that and get that."
Despite Coker being a defensive player, Moore is not surprised at why he is utilized in the "tank package" alongside him. "If all these people would be at practice and they see how Lewellyn Coker hits everybody they would be like, ‘Ok, I understand why he's in that position. I understand why he's there to block,'" said Moore.
"Coker, he's a dude who likes contact," Moore continued. "Contact is his thing so…he might be able to score touchdowns or block for a touchdown. He's just like me. He just wanna capitalize on any opportunity that we can get."
Being such a hard-hitter himself, Moore admitted that he is used to having to battle with players like Coker opposite him rather than getting to work with them. "It's different definitely having a linebacker in front of you when you [are] usually going against him…but we [are] on the same team so we…get used to it," Moore stated.
With the success of the "tank package", Moore has found himself asked to also shoulder the load when the Orange are looking to run down the clock, adding onto what he is already thankful for. "Oh I mean, it's just a great feeling," Moore shared. "I'm just happy that they…trust…to give that crucial opportunity to me ‘cause I mean, we definitely need those times where we need to like hold the ball and keep the ball out of the other offense's hands. And for them to have the trust in me like I can help us do that, and believe in me that I can help us do that, I mean it's a wonderful feeling."
As his success continues in the redzone and in closing out games, the Syracuse backfield continues to become even deeper and more difficult to defend, most likely meaning we will see a whole lot Moore of Adonis on the field.
The institution of the power running of Moore has given Syracuse a weapon on their offense that has kept the offense moving, including into the endzone. Moore talks with CuseNation.com about his play inside.
Adonis Ameen-Moore adds a special element to the Orange offense.