COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -Woody Hayes would have loved the Beanie and Terrelle Show.
Tailback Chris ''Beanie'' Wells rushed for 106 yards in his first game in a month and quarterback
ran for two scores and threw for another as No. 14 Ohio State went old school to beat Minnesota 34-21 on Saturday.
It was the first time the two started in the same backfield. All the Buckeyes did was rush for a season-best 279 yards on
''It's incredible to be with Terrelle,'' Wells said. ''What an athlete. We can provide a spark for the offense.''
In an era of everyone embracing the spread offense, the Buckeyes relied mainly on the option with some modern-day sets tossed
in. They passed for just 135 yards, throwing the ball only 22 times - which would have thrilled Hayes, master of ''three yards
and a cloud of dust.''
Call this version ''7.5 yards and a hint of black tire dust from the FieldTurf.''
Coach Jim Tressel didn't sound thrilled that his team was so grounded.
''I hope that we throw it more effectively down the road than we did today,'' Tressel said. ''It just didn't feel as if we
threw and caught and protected as well as we're going to have to.''
Wells, out after injuring his right foot in the season-opener, carried 14 times and showed his old form by racing for 28 yards
on his second attempt. He also vaulted a potential tackler on another big gainer that should make quite a few highlight shows.
In his second start as a true freshman, Pryor ran for 97 yards on eight carries, scoring on runs of 33 and 1 yard.
''Beanie makes us more confident,'' Pryor said. ''It takes the pressure off me.''
Pryor completed 8-of-13 passes for 70 yards, including an 8-yard scoring hookup with
. He also had a 31-yard touchdown catch from
, who Pryor replaced as starter a week earlier.
One observer was very impressed.
''He has all the talent in the world,'' said Minnesota quarterback
. ''It's all about how far he wants to go. It's pretty amazing to see a true freshman like that come in and do that.''
In the Big Ten opener for both teams, Ohio State (4-1) tuned up for next Saturday's showdown at No. 9 Wisconsin. Minnesota
(4-1) hoped to prove it had turned things around after last year's dismal 1-11 mark.
After picking up the 28 yards on his second carry, Wells received a loud ovation from a crowd of 105,175, as if they were
telling him, ''Welcome back. We missed you.''
The Ohio State offense obviously had missed him. In the three games he missed, the running game had been average and the passing
game erratic as the Buckeyes were stuffed by then-No. 1 Southern California 35-3 and struggled in wins over Ohio (26-14) and
The Buckeyes built a 20-3 halftime lead and never looked back against Minnesota.
On the next play after Wells' first big run, Pryor kept around the right end on a 33-yard carry, colliding with a tackler
at the goal line and falling into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
Minnesota, among the national leaders with a +11 in turnover margin, gave up the ball on two consecutive possessions. First
threw behind a receiver at the Ohio State 14, directly to Buckeyes cornerback
. Then Weber hit tight end
on a 12-yard first-down pass play when a slow whistle resulted in Ohio State safety
stripping the ball away. The play was reviewed but the fumble stood, leading Minnesota coach Tim Brewster to twice wave his
arms in anger at the officials.
While Ohio State was piling up a 34-6 lead, Wells took a handoff that was supposed to go up the middle and made a nifty cut
at the line to avoid traffic, then rumbled down field and hurdled diving defender
on the way to a 21-yard pickup.
''I tried to tell him he jumped too high,'' Pryor said with a laugh. ''He's going to get hurt. But that was a beautiful, beautiful
Woody would have felt the same way.