It’s fitting that New Mexico tailback DonTrell Moore graduates next month with a degree in criminology, considering Mountain West Conference opponents regard what he’s done to them over the years a felony. Moore, the school and conference career rushing leader with 4,830 yards, ranks No. 2 among active NCAA rushers, behind only Memphis’ DeAngelo Williams. He presents another formidable test for Air Force, which visits New Mexico on Saturday in the regularseason finale. Despite suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the Emerald Bowl vs. Navy last December, Moore has returned to lead the conference with 1,155 rushing yards, adding 362 yards on 30 receptions. He is running away with the conference scoring title with 96 points (16 touchdowns) and has 58 touchdowns during his career with the Lobos, also a conference record. “DonTrell Moore has been a thorn in a lot of people’s side in this conference the last four years,” said Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry, who pointed out Moore is one of six players in NCAA Division I-A history to rush for 1,000-plus yards in four seasons. “Not only is he a good runner with the football under his arm, he’s also a good pass receiver. We’ll see him playing on Sunday afternoons after this year.” New Mexico (6-4) hopes to go to a bowl game with Moore leading the way. “They should probably have a parade for him,” Falcons quarterback Shaun Carney said. “He’s a great player and had a great career there. It’s his last home game of the year, a big day for him.” Air Force (3-7) is seventh among the nine MWC teams in rushing defense, allowing 168.2 yards per game, and Moore has gained 298 yards against the Falcons the past two seasons. Air Force knows the most effective way to stop Moore is to the keep the All-American on the sideline. “It’s always been a big part of our mentality here at Air Force to stay on the field as long as we can,” Carney said. “We’ve played against a few good players like DonTrell Moore in the past. And you’ve got to stay on the field as long as you can and keep off the field those big-time players.” While New Mexico would like a seventh win to improve its bowl standing, Air Force wants to finish a disappointing season with a victory. “We’d like slipping in there very quietly, busting their bubble and slipping out quietly, and ending up the season like we did last year against Colorado State,” DeBerry said, alluding to the Falcons’ victory over the Rams. “It makes the winter a little bit shorter and a little more pleasant and gives us some impetus going into next season.” CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0250 or email@example.com
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