Oday Aboushi to start at left tackle, Morgan Moses to start at right tackle against UNC
After spending a little more than a week at right guard, true freshman Morgan Moses has been moved back to right tackle for the time being and will start at that position Saturday against North Carolina, Virginia Coach Mike London said Thursday.
London also said sophomore Oday Aboushi -- who has started all five games at right tackle so far this season -- will switch over to the other side of the offensive line and start at left tackle against the Tar Heels. Redshirt freshman Sean Cascarano will be the primary backup at both tackle positions Saturday.
The Virginia offensive line was forced to reshuffle this week after junior Landon Bradley, the usual starter at left tackle, broke his hand during last Saturday's 33-21 loss at Georgia Tech. Bradley had surgery Monday and will be out for the next few weeks, according to London.
"What's best for the team right now is Morgan at the right side and Oday over at the left," London said.
Moses -- who is listed at 6-foot-6 and 350 pounds -- began the season as Aboushi's backup at the right tackle spot. But London made it clear on several occassions that Moses would see immediate playing time during his first collegiate season, and prior to last week, Moses's playing time in games had been sporadic.
Replacing fifth-year senior B.J. Cabbell, Moses stepped in at right guard for close to 30 plays against the Yellow Jackets. Moses had practiced at that position during the week leading up to that game, and he said Wednesday he felt comfortable in that role.
Offensive Line Coach Ron Mattes said Wednesday that Moses had been getting practice reps at both the guard and tackle spots this week. London said that for the sake of Moses's development, he would prefer to be able to keep Moses at guard. But Bradley's injury robbed London of that luxury, and after reviewing two days' worth of practice film, London said that for now, Moses will move back to right tackle.
"It was amazing putting him back out at right tackle the recall that he had, so he actually has looked pretty good being back at the original position that we put him at," London said. "We'll probably keep him there for a while and see what happens with Landon Bradley's development. But Morgan, with the size and the skill level that he has right now, we'll keep him there and keep the learning curve as it is. And then move Oday over to the left tackle side in place of Landon Bradley."
London said Aboushi spent time at left tackle during training camp, and Mattes said Aboushi has taken practice reps at left tackle each week this season. Aboushi said Wednesday that he played left tackle last season and that the switch was not that big of an adjustment for him.
"I think he'll do fine," London said of Aboushi. "I think his learning curve is one that he played right tackle well, and you try to take your best lineman and you put him on the left side to protect the quarterback's blind side. He's a guy that has the challenge, and I think he's looking forward to the challenge with a couple of really good ends that North Carolina has."