Buckeyes need young DBs to step up

NEW ORLEANS -- Ohio State's defensive backs have answered the bell all season.

They lost three players to season-ending injuries, including nickel safety Tyler Moeller.

And each time they stepped up.

They'll need to do so again to finish off Arkansas in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

All-Big Ten cornerback Chimdi Chekwa won't return after suffering what Jim Tressel called a serious injury in the first half. Tressel said Chekwa, who appeared to injure his elbow or arm, will undergo surgery later this week.

Chekwa is Ohio State's top cover man, so the Buckeyes will need players like Travis Howard and Christian Bryant to buckle down. Ohio State's secondary has limited huge plays but also dropped two catchable interceptions.

Buckeyes lead 28-13 midway through the third quarter.