First-quarter update: Buckeyes missing C. Wells

September, 6, 2008
9/06/08
12:43
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State running back Chris "Beanie" Wells seems fine as he stands on the sideline. It's the Buckeyes offense that looks a bit gimpy.

After scoring on their first six possessions last week against Youngstown State, the Buckeyes are getting stonewalled by a speedy Ohio defense. Backup running backs Maurice Wells and Daniel "Boom" Herron have done nothing, though the holes have been nonexistent.

According to ESPN Research, Ohio State had 15 rushes for 90 yards and 166 totals yards in first quarter against Youngstown State last week. This week without Chris Wells: 28 total yards, 6 yards rushing.

Even after Ohio State's defense did what it hasn't done enough -- force a turnover -- the offense couldn't capitalize. Defensive end Lawrence Wilson made a great individual play, tipping a Theo Scott pass to himself and then racing to the Bobcats' 24-yard line. But the Buckeyes went nowhere and had to settle for a Ryan Pretorius field goal -- the game's only points so far.

A cheer went up after freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor took over late in the quarter, but he misfired on several passes, nearly getting picked off on a slant route that was thrown too hard.

Ohio State's offensive line needs to play a lot better next week against USC. Quarterback Todd Boeckman already has taken several big hits.

The Buckeyes' defense looks typically solid, and some bad news for Ohio as starting quarterback Theo Scott was carted off the field after the quarter. Junior Boo Jackson, who had an impressive spring, is now in for the Bobcats.

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