Saturday, September 13, 2008

OSU/USC: Intersectional game of the year

By Rick Morris

Tonight's OSU/USC game has lost some of its appeal because of the Beanie Wells injury, one that Jim Tressel indicates will keep him out of tonight's game. The Bucks' remaining chances in this game come down to a handful of players:

^ Ray Small must be the explosive #3 receiver in the slot that the team recruited him to be. If he's ever to register as "The Poor Man's Ted Ginn," tonight's the night.

^ "Little Animal" must play at a Butkus level tonight, causing at least one turnover as he did in the Texas game two years ago.

^ Dan Herron and Brandon Saine must bring some explosiveness out of the tailback position. The less Mo Wells, the better. The underclassmen aren't nearly as big as Beanie, but they are super-dangerous in space, especially Saine.

^ Terrelle Pryor must provide "Tebow-esque" play off the bench for Ohio State, especially since the other play from the QB position will probably be pedestrian at best.

The scenario exists for an upset, presuming all of the above. But like most observers, I just don't see it under the circumstances. OSU covers the 11 1/2 point line, but just barely, 28-17.

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