Suspended Buckeyes stepping up early

NEW ORLEANS -- The big question entering the Allstate Sugar Bowl was how Ohio State's five suspended juniors would respond after a stretch of scrutiny.

So far, so good.

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor has made good decisions as both a passer and a runner, and he's getting plenty of help from running back Dan Herron. Tackle Mike Adams has anchored a dominant Buckeyes offensive line, and reserve defensive lineman Solomon Thomas teamed up on a sack of Arkansas' Ryan Mallett.

Herron already has 44 rush yards and a touchdown on seven carries, and Pryor is finding holes in the Hogs' secondary.

There's still a long way to go, but Ohio State's primary concern doesn't appear to be a major factor.

Buckeyes lead 14-7.