Virginia turning to Oday Aboushi -- 'Plan B' -- at left tackle
Throughout training camp and the first six weeks of the regular season, Virginia coaches had sophomore Oday Aboushi take practice reps at left tackle, just in case. If junior starter Landon Bradley was to go down with an injury, they wanted Aboushi -- the team's starting right tackle -- to be able to switch sides relatively seamlessly and fill in.
Well, that time has come. Bradley suffered a broken hand last Saturday at Georgia Tech and will miss the next few games. In Bradley's place, Aboushi will start at left tackle Saturday against North Carolina, and true freshman Morgan Moses will start at right tackle, Coach Mike London announced Thursday.
"We had a Plan B, and unfortunately we had to go to our Plan B right now," Offensive Line Coach Ron Mattes said Wednesday. "So he's been taking snaps there every week, and basically, it's just getting all the pass sets down and flipping all the plays around in your head. Basically the biggest difference is the footwork. Get the footwork down, and you'll be okay. And he's doing fine on it."
Aboushi said Wednesday that after playing left tackle last season and spending some practice time at that position each week this year, the move has not been too daunting of an adjustment.
"I'm used to playing both," he said. "It's nothing new."
Aboushi -- listed at 6-foot-6 and 295 pounds -- acknolwedged that maintaining the "next man up" mentality is easier said than done, but right now his team needs him to play left tackle, so he has no choice other than to meet the challenge.
As Mattes said, the primary adjustment in playing either side of the offensive line is having to flip all the movements around to the opposite of what previously had been routine.
"Where you were pushing off your left foot, now you're pushing off your right foot," Mattes said. "It takes practice, and it takes working it. Fortunately we've been working it all through summer, so it's not a big deal. If it came to a point where we hadn't been working him in there and threw him in at left tackle this week, I'd be a little more concerned. But we've been doing this now for six, seven weeks, so he's used to it."
| October 14, 2010; 1:36 PM ET
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