Moore will rebound

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Urban Meyer hasn’t given up on Kestahn Moore. You shouldn’t either.

Moore is down right now after losing a fumble and mishandling a shotgun snap in the first quarter in the loss to Georgia. And some critical fans are ready to pile on the junior tailback from Texas. He doesn’t deserve it.

No one feels worse about his game-changing fumbles in the losses to Georgia and LSU than Moore. He was devastated by both and now he’s determined to bounce back in a big way.

He deserves a second chance. Or a third chance. And Meyer is going to give it to him. On Monday, Meyer announced that he’s going to give Moore the opportunity he gave struggling place-kicker Chris Hetland last season.

Hetland, you’ll recall, couldn’t seem to make a kick and Meyer opened the competition at the position with the caveat that someone would have to beat him out for the job in practice. Now, Moore is in the same position. The starting job will remain his unless someone can take it away from him in practice.

Here’s a prediction: that’s not going to happen.

There’s a reason Moore has been the starting tailback since last spring, and a reason Meyer is giving him this opportunity to hold onto his job. Because Moore is one of the most invested players on this team. His drive and his work ethic are second to none. He earned the starting role with a lot of sweat, a lot of heart, a lot of determination on the practice field and in the conditioning program day after day after day.

Moore’s approach has never wavered.

Moore is the kind of dedicated worker Meyer loves. His dedication is the kind that builds a trust between player and coach. Meyer trusts Moore. That was evident Monday when he said someone would have to beat Moore out for the starting role.

Meyer knows no one is going to outwork Moore this week. This is simply the way it has been since the spring and through eight games this season.

When I approached Moore after practice Monday night, he was reluctant to talk at first. But once he did, it was evident he’s now more driven, more determined than ever to hold onto the ball and make something happen in the running game.

He’ll earn the opportunity this week to be in the starting lineup Saturday. If no one could beat him out over all these weeks, it’s not going to happen now.

Granted, if Moore lays the ball on the field again Saturday against Vanderbilt, he’ll likely get pulled. But he deserves the chance to start this game.