Through one game this season, it was clear the Wildcats needed a better pass rush on third down.
Part of the answer, at least so far, was to put a linebacker in at defensive end on third down plays. In the two games since, that player, sophomore Charmeachealle Moore has two tackles, one for a loss and the other one a sack.
Moore came to K-State from the vaunted Dallas Skyline high school, where he ranked as one of the top 100 players in the state in 2010.
That’s also where he learned how to line up on defense with a hand down, as the 6-foot, 217-pound player played at defensive end.
Now, his role is to come in on third down and cause havoc. Although he only has two tackles, he’s helped created the pressure that keeps quarterbacks from being cool in the pocket.
“Just getting in, helping the team, getting off the field, that’s what we preach,” he said. “It’s exciting to have that role, come in and help the team off the field. I really think they could have got anybody to do the job, but I was blessed they chose me to do it. I think that whoever they would have got they could play fast, play hard, it would help improve the defense.”
Moore said his confidence is growing every practice, and every game as the Wildcats defense improves on third downs. Personally, though, he feels like he still has a long way to go, even with those week-to-week improvements.
As the Wildcats travel to Texas this week for a game in Austin, Moore said he knows they will be facing a tough team.
“They’re a hard-nosed team, play fast, play hard, do everything right, we’ve got to practice pretty hard this week,” he said. “It gets me excited to go back home and for my family to be able to see us play.”
For some players, the large crowds in Austin could be pretty intimidating. Even though Moore has never been there he doesn’t expect the crowd to be an issue.
“It’s just another game, we have the best fans here and they create a great atmosphere,” he said. “We’ll go down there and hopefully their fans have a great atmosphere and they feed on us and we have a great game.”
Moore admits he didn’t like the Longhorns growing up in Texas, laughing at whether they were his team or not.
And when it comes down to the Longhorns losing five straight games to K-State, Moore isn’t surprised with that trend at all.
“We have a great program here and we have great coaches — they put us in the right positions that give us the opportunity to play hard,” he said. “Over time, we’ve just been a better team.”
The most interesting thing about Moore, of course, might be his first name. Pronounced as ‘sure mike you well,’ most have come to know the linebacker as Mike. But he has played under his given name this season, the same name that his father, Charmeachealle Sr., gave him.
But where did that name come from? Well, you’d have to ask Moore’s grandmother.
“I know they say that announcer guy butchers it, but I never hear it,” he said. “I’m a junior, so it comes from my grandmother, but I don’t know where she got it from.”