Big Ten: Ryan Roberson
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
|Andy Lyons/Getty Images|
|OSU running back Chris 'Beanie' Wells could be playing his final collegiate game at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Monday night.|
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It's been 43 days since Ohio State's last game, but running back Chris "Beanie" Wells hasn't spent all this time preparing one of his patented pre-game pep talks.
"It ends up happening at the moment," Wells said. "I don't pre-write anything. I just say how I'm feeling."
Wells' off-the-cuff style resonates with his teammates, who look forward to hearing from their emotional leader, especially before big games like Monday's showdown against No. 3 Texas in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (Fox, 8 p.m. ET).
"Very emotional," guard Steve Rehring said of Wells' speeches.
"He might have been more fired up than anybody in our locker room for the [USC] game," fullback Brandon Smith said, "and he didn't even dress."
Wells will be in uniform Monday night as he tries to help No. 10 Ohio State knock off Texas. Much of the focus this week has been on Ohio State's 28 seniors, but Wells also could be playing his final collegiate game before entering the NFL draft, where he's expected to be one of the first two running backs selected.
The setting and the situation will only add fuel for a player who thrives on big games and big moments. Add in the fact that Wells is as healthy as he's been since sustaining a foot/toe injury in the season opener, and Ohio State could have a better chance that many think.
"He is a difference maker," Ohio State senior tight end Rory Nicol said. "He does something to the morale of the team. It's like [cornerback] Malcolm [Jenkins] always says, a little spark kindles a great fire.
"Often times, he's that spark."