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Buckeye backs live up to hype

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoThey heard the hype. They knew what they were in for. But in the end, they were simply overmatched.All week leading up to its showdown with Ohio State, the Wisconsin defense knew it would have its hands full with the Buckeyes’ backfield tandem of Chris “Beanie” Wells and Terrelle Pryor. And not coincidentally, it was this duo that scored both of Ohio State’s touchdowns Saturday night — one to start the game and one to end it — en route to a 20-17 comeback victory.It was Wells who got things started for the Buckeyes with a 33-yard touchdown scamper on the game’s opening drive.“He’s a big guy, a great player,” cornerback Allen Langford said of Wells. “He’s an All-Big Ten-type player. He’s a guy that we have to tackle well. He got some big plays, and that’s just the way it goes.”The junior finished with 168 yards on 22 carries and one score.“They blocked him well, and we didn’t react,” head coach Bret Bielema said. “He was able to get some yards on some bounce plays. There’s a play that sticks out in my mind on the near sideline when he was able to stiff arm Allen Langford and was able to get some runs on the edge.”Wells set the tone early for the Buckeyes, but Pryor, the 6-foot-6-inch, 227-pound true freshman, delivered the knockout punch, scurrying for an 11-yard touchdown run on an option left to retake a 20-17 lead with only 1:08 to play.“He’s elusive, he’s a big body,” Bielema said. “There were a couple times when we were just hanging on, or just barely on him and he was able to fight through some tackles, so he presents a challenge to get him down on any given play. It’s something that we did good some of the time, but ultimately in the end, on the last play, we weren’t good enough.”Pryor finished the game, however, with only 20 net rushing yards on 15 carries, as the Badgers were able to bring him down behind the line of scrimmage a total of four times.“He’s a great athlete. That’s something we’ve seen on film,” Langford said. “He’s able to break tackles and get outside, so we wanted to focus in on getting him down and containing him.”Discounting the Buckeyes’ first and final possessions, the Badger defense was fairly consistent in keeping the Wells-Pryor one-two punch under control. And the defensive lapses weren’t because they were surprised at what they faced, either.“They are real good players,” defensive end O’Brien Schofield said. “We expected them to be great runners, especially Pryor. He was able to do some things; we kept him contained for the most part, but his athleticism allowed him to score that touchdown.”“We knew Pryor and Beanie were going to get their yards,” middle linebacker Jaevery McFadden added. “It was all about limiting them and containing them, and I felt like we were doing that, then that last drive we just let it slip away.”With the game on the line, it was last year’s No. 1 high school recruit and OSU freshman making his first career start on the road who prevailed.“He was able to keep the ball in Ohio State’s hands and able to go down the field,” Bielema said. “Even after the negative yards on the [drive’s] first play, being able to execute that run, my hat goes off to him.”last_img read more