The Sweep

SI.com's All-American Blog Team

Views
851
Comments
12

By Cory McCartney, SI.com 

The day began with the much-anticipated debut of Terrelle Pryor. There hadn't been this much excitement in Columbus since a sweater vest sale at Macy's.

But the wind would be effectively knocked out of the 102,000-plus inside Ohio Stadium, as All-America running back Chris "Beanie" Wells was knocked out of the game.

Wells took a handoff on an inside run, planted his feet and the ball hit the turf. He fell backward and was writhing in pain on the ground before being helped off the field by trainers with an apparent right ankle injury.

Wells returned to the sideline a short time later with a walking boot, but no crutches. He was able to put pressure on the ankle, which is very refreshing for Bucks fans. But it poses a couple of major questions for the Buckeyes:

1) How bad is the injury?
2) Will he be ready to play against USC on Sept. 13?

The simple fact that he was back on the sideline is a good sign for Ohio State. Wells played much of last season with an injured left ankle and a bum wrist and still rushed for 1,609 yards. Also, he can rest next week against Ohio before taking on the Trojans.

But what if? What if Wells can't go against the Trojans or even longer? The backups -- senior Maurice Wells, sophomore Brandon Saine and redshirt freshman Daniel Herron -- are capable, but they're combined career yardage is less than Wells ran for just last season and none of them can match the mix of speed and strength that Beanie possesses.

Without Wells, Ohio State's best bet running the football may be that all-world freshman that set off a frenzy in his collegiate debut: Mr. Pryor. But despite a strong first impression (4-of-6 passing, nine runs for 52 yards and a touchdown) Jim Tressel likely won't put that much pressure on Pryor at this point in his career. Yes, he's a ridiculous talent but let's not forget, the only action he's seen at this point is against Youngstown State.

For the time being, Ohio State fans have exchanged their nail-biting for a sigh of relief after seeing Beanie on the sideline. But if for some reason he isn't on the field against the Trojans (and beyond), Ohio State's national title hopes obviously take an enormous hit. Without Wells, this team just isn't anywhere near as dangerous. Even with Pryor energizing the crowd.

Comment

Remember to keep your posts clean. Profanity will get filtered, and offensive comments will be removed.


Truth & Rumors

MOST POPULAR

  1. 1
    Tuukka Rask takes blame for Bruins' Game 1 loss
    Views
    2357
    Comments
    231
  2. 2
    Smush Parker allegedly punches high schooler
    Views
    1902
    Comments
    139
  3. 3
    Clippers, Warriors exchange barbs
    Views
    243
    Comments
    124
  4. 4
    Quarterback freefalling down draft boards
    Views
    6766
    Comments
    90
  5. 5
    Joel Quenneville's Midnight Hawk favored to win Illinois Derby
    Views
    488
    Comments
    88

SI.com

SI Photos