Player Spotlight: Derek Moye
Measuring in at 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, wide receiver Derek Moye is one of the most imposing forces on the Penn State offense. A fifth year senior, he joined the team in 2007 as a redshirt freshman and has been steadily improving ever since.
In 2008, his redshirt freshman season, Moye played in 12 games. He led the team in average yardage, gaining an average of 23.7 yards on each reception.
From the start of the 2009 season, Moye proved that he was an asset to the Nittany Lions’ offense. In his first career start against Akron, he had six receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown.
Moye led the team in 2009 with 48 receptions for 785 yards and six touchdowns. He started every game and was ninth in the Big Ten in receiving yardage. Moye’s break-out season in 2009 earned him honorable mention All-Big Ten honors and also helped him to cement his place on Joe Paterno’s offense.
Moye had another big season in 2010: he led the team with 53 receptions for 885 yards and eight touchdowns. Moye ranked second in the Big Ten for average receiving yards per catch (16.7), fifth for total receiving yards and was tied for ninth in total receptions.
Moye started every game in 2010, which helped him improve his chemistry with both first-time Penn State starting quarterbacks, Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin. Moye meshed well with both, helping him not only earn yardage, but also honorable mention All-Big Ten honors for the second year in a row.
Entering 2011, Moye, who was named a Phil Steele's College Football Preview preseason first-team All-Big Ten selection, was poised to have another great season. In the first five games of the season so far, Moye has 26 receptions for 443 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 17 yards per reception.
Last week, when Penn State traveled to Indiana, Moye had his most productive game of the season so far. Moye had 158 receiving yards, and he also had his longest reception of the season, catching a 74-yard touchdown pass from McGloin.
Looking forward to this Saturday’s game against Iowa, Moye is optimistic, but also realistic about the struggles the Penn State offense has had so far.
“I feel like we’ve been average,” Moye said. “We haven’t made all the plays we should make. We just got to get in the red zone and finish drives.”
Moye knows exactly what he and his fellow offensive players need to do in order to be successful.
“It’s just a matter of executing,” Moye said. “If we get the little things cleaned up, I feel like we could have a really good offense.”
While he and the rest of his teammates work to improve their play, Moye puts his faith in the coaching staff, which has been openly criticized by fans and media alike in recent weeks.
“The coaches do a good job of being upstairs and being on top of the right plays to call,” Moye said.
And it is clear that the coaching staff has faith in Moye. Moye executes his routes expertly and has the ability to make big plays. Also working in Moye’s favor are his size and speed, which help him dominate opposing defenses.
Moye knows this weekend’s game against Iowa will be a challenge, but he is confident in going against their defense.
“They don’t really change their scheme up,” Moye said about the Iowa defense.
However, Iowa has been a challenge for the Penn State team over the years, which Moye did not fail to recognize.
“They’re a tough, physical team,” Moye said. “We feel like we have to match their intensity and match their toughness.”
Moye will be looking to make some big receptions when Iowa travels to take on the Nittany Lions Saturday, October 8th at Beaver Stadium.
Breanna Jacobs is a sophomore majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact her, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.