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COLUMBUS - Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said tailback Chris "Beanie" Wells will not play when the third-ranked Buckeyes take on Ohio tomorrow.
Wells injured his right foot in last weekend's 43-0 victory over Youngstown State. He has not practiced with the team this week and has spent much of the time wearing a protective boot.
"Beanie won't go this week," Tressel said yesterday afternoon. "I feel good about his progress, but it wasn't enough progress to practice through yesterday."
Asked if he worries that Wells may not be available when the Buckeyes play at No. 1 Southern California on Sept. 13, Tressel added: "No, not at all. Not at all. But that's easy to say today."
The junior running back was considered one of the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy behind returning winner Tim Tebow of Florida. Despite several nagging injuries last year, Wells rushed for 1,609 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Ohio State has not allowed him to speak with reporters since he was injured, although he was quoted as saying by a team spokesman that he was relieved that X-rays had not shown any broken bones. He was seen walking between meetings at the team's practice facility on Tuesday, carrying the protective boot while gingerly making his way in stockinged feet.
Running backs coach Dick Tressel, Jim's older brother, said on Wednesday night that Wells had not been permitted to have contact, or to even put weight on his injured foot.
"Any time you have a foot injury and you have to tote around 238 pounds at high velocity, it's a day-by-day thing," he said.
Jim Tressel said Chris Wells' inability to practice all but prevented him from playing against Ohio.
"I think there's a little bit of risk when you don't practice, not just in the injury department but in the execution department," he said.
The Buckeyes will rotate Maurice Wells (who is no relation), Brandon Saine, and Dan Herron at the position.
No. 24 SOUTH Carolina 17
NASHVILLE - Chris Nickson threw for a touchdown and ran for another and Vanderbilt finally beat a ranked opponent on its own field, upsetting South Carolina in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Vanderbilt (2-0) had made it a habit of knocking off SEC teams on the road with victories at Arkansas and Tennessee in 2005, an upset of then-No. 22 Georgia in 2006 and even pulled off the biggest victory in more than 70 years by downing then-No. 6 South Carolina last October.
South Carolina (1-1) had survived four interceptions in shutting out North Carolina State 34-0 last week. The Gamecocks couldn't escape their mistakes against Vanderbilt.36.16778 -86.77837