The answers to these questions will determine the
outcome of the biggest nonconference game of the year
1. How's Beanie's wheel?
The Buckeyes had a week to draw up an attack that did not include star running
back Beanie Wells, who was hobbled by a jammed big toe and right foot. The
results last Saturday were not promising: 272 yards of total offense and 5 for
15 on third-down conversions in a 26--14 win over Ohio (a 33 1/2-point
underdog). Wells is almost certain to play against the Trojans. If he's not
near the top of his game, Ohio State will be hard-pressed to keep it close.
2. Whither Terrelle?
Ohio State's dual-threat freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor was expected to
play about 20 snaps against Ohio, in relief of starter Todd Boeckman. With the
game so tight—the Buckeyes trailed 14--12 early in the fourth—Pryor got in for
only eight plays, meaning he'll be less prepared to mix it up against a USC
defensive scheme that has a history of yielding big yards to mobile
quarterbacks. Remember Vince Young?
3. Is Sanchez that good?
Before anyone declares quarterback Mark Sanchez an upgrade over John David
Booty—and he sure looked like it while picking apart Virginia in USC's
opener—let's see how he fares against an Ohio State defense that has nine
starters back from 2007 and intercepted four passes against Ohio. Trojans
receivers will have less space this week, and Sanchez will have less time to