Tuesday, August 11, 2009

BUCKEYES LINEBACKING UNIT RECEIVES CRUSHING BLOW — MOELLER DONE FOR THE SEASON

It was confirmed on Tuesday by Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel that starting strong-side linebacker, Tyler Moeller, will miss the 2009 season because of a head injury he suffered while vacationing in Florida with his family last month.

There's no denying that the loss of Moeller is a huge blow to a Buckeyes linebacking unit trying to replace longtime starters' James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman.

Moeller's speed and intensity will be greatly missed, especially against USC on September 12, where the Trojans' quickness seemed too much to handle for the Buckeye linebackers in last year's meeting in Los Angeles.

Now, the question is, who will fill the bill?

Senior Austin Spitler is currently running with the first team at strong-side backer, but the Bellbrook-native is cut from the old mold of bigger, more physical OSU linebacker. You know, the type that dominates the Big Ten, but has problems against teams like USC, Florida and Texas — squads with tons of speed.

Look for sophomore Etienne Sabino and true freshman Dorian Bell, to emerge as the top guys once the season gets cranking. Both players are fast, athletic and give the Buckeyes the best chances to combat the quickness outside of the Big Ten.

Please read Wednesday's Bryan Times for more on Moeller.