Now comes word that mercurial running back Lance Smith ("Rance Smith!") has been suspended for all of the Badgers' road games. This punishment appears to stem from the girlfriend/cab fare/shoe-stealing incident in July. I guess we jinxed Rance with all the talk about his quickness yesterday.
Besides the game at Minnesota and Saturday night's match-up at UNLV, this includes outings at Penn State, at Illinois, and at Ohio State. Uh oh. (You think Lance, an Ohio guy, would have been fired up to play in Columbus?) This means that for those key road games, the back up running backs will be true freshmen Zach Brown and John Clay. Clay is apparently quite talented, but missed half of training camp, and Brown tweaked his knee in one of his half dozen or so carries against Wazzu. Brown also looks (for better or for worse) like this--
Personally, I think the gold grille is awesome. Since you can only expect Brown and Clay to know some of the offense, the offensive play calling will be limited whenever they step on the field. So neither can really replace Lance, although they should be able to spell Hill for limited periods of time. All Badger fans should pray that P.J. stays healthy, because if he goes down on the road, like against a hard hitting Penn State or Illinois team, the Badgers' offense might turn vanilla in a hurry.
(In Zach's defense, you can find a more traditional headshot here.)