Buckeyes' C. Wells doubtful to play vs. No. 1 USC

The Baltimore Sun

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said yesterday that it is doubtful that starting running back Chris "Beanie" Wells will play tomorrow night against No. 1 Southern California.

Tressel said Wells felt lingering soreness in his right foot after he worked out Wednesday night. Wells did not practice with the team yesterday morning just before it departed for Los Angeles.

"We were hoping he'd wake up this morning and feel even better than yesterday," Tressel said. "But it didn't happen. We'll see from here."

Wells injured his right foot in the fifth-ranked Buckeyes' opener against Youngstown State, did not play last week against Ohio and has not had contact in partial practices this week. He flew with the team yesterday afternoon.

Tressel did not rule out the possibility of the junior's seeing action, but did not sound optimistic.

"Beanie practiced about 20 carries yesterday, and maybe 20 percent of the practice," Tressel said. "We didn't have him work today. He had more soreness this morning than we had hoped for. A late afternoon practice followed by a morning practice, we're hoping that's a little bit of the reason why. So we'll just have to play it by ear."

With Wells out of last week's come-from-behind 26-14 win over 33 1/2 -point underdog Ohio, freshman Dan Herron, sophomore Brandon Saine and senior Maurice Wells handled the load at tailback. They also saw most of the action in practice this week.

Tressel said the three would share the job of replacing Chris Wells, who rushed for 1,609 yards and 15 touchdowns last season.

South Carolina:: Five players were involved in a lunchtime fight on campus. A report from the university's police department listed the five as victims of a civil disturbance at the Russell House in the middle of campus. Coach Steve Spurrier said after practice he knew little about the incident but said none of his players was hurt. The Gamecocks host No. 2 Georgia tomorrow.

Hurricane Ike:: The Washington State-Baylor game has been moved up tonight to avoid complications with Hurricane Ike on the Texas coast this weekend. The game, originally scheduled for 11:30 a.m. tomorrow, is now set for 7:30 p.m. today. ... Tomorrow's Arkansas-Texas game has been pushed back to Sept. 27 because of the hurricane.

Virginia:: Quarterback Peter Lalich won't accompany the Cavaliers to Connecticut for tomorrow's game, coach Al Groh said, so that he can concentrate on legal problems. Lalich is heading to court regarding his probation later this month.

Last night's game

North Carolina 44, Rutgers 12:: T.J. Yates threw three touchdown passes as the Tar Heels routed the host Scarlet Knights (0-2). The Tar Heels (2-0) intercepted four passes, including three by starter Mike Teel.

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