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Breaking Down The Buckeyes: Complete Pryor Evaluation October 30, 2009 Source: Bucknuts.com - Matt Littlefield, who has spent the past six years as the Midwest area college scout for the Kansas City Chiefs and prior to that worked three years in the pro personnel department of the Jacksonville Jaguars, writes in a Bucknuts column his complete evaluation of Buckeyes QB Terrelle Pryor. Read his perspective in the Op-Ed Blog..."
Top Defensive Line Prospect Will Be A Buckeye Steve Miller, from Canton (OH) McKinley, called Jim Tressel yesterday evening and committed to the Ohio State. Miller, one of the top defensive end prospects in the country, becomes the second member of Ohio State's class of 2011, joining Toledo defensive end Kenny Hayes. A 6'4" 231lb DE who runs a 4.8 40, Miller is one of the top five prospects in the Ohio class of 2011. He had 116 tackles and six sacks as a sophomore and has 78 tackles and eight sacks this season in seven games. "Steve Miller is special and that’s even before you start talking about him as a football player," McKinley coach Ron Johnson said. Miller already had dozens of offers and interest from schools including Florida, USC, Notre Dame, Michigan, Tennessee, Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Stanford, UCLA, California and Duke among others. Welcome aboard, Steve!
McKinley's Miller headed to Ohio State October 29, 2009 Source: Canton Repository - "With bookends in place, Jim Tressel has a year and a half to fill the library between them. Ohio State got its second verbal commitment for the class of 2011 — another big defensive end — and the Buckeyes came to Stark County to get him. McKinley’s Steve Miller phoned Tressel on Thursday evening to accept the Buckeyes’ football scholarship. Miller, a junior, is the second commitment for the 2011 recruiting class. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound defensive end joined Toledo Whitmer defensive end Kenny Hayes (6-5, 240) as the only members of the class so far. Miller, an All-Ohioan as a sophomore a season ago with 13 sacks and 116 tackles, chose Ohio State over prominent programs such as Florida, Nebraska, UCLA, Michigan and many others.
"Everything is out of the way and there’s nothing hanging over me," said Miller, who’s missed the last three games with an ankle injury. "It was time to pull the trigger on it." Ohio State was an easy, if not obvious, choice because Miller grew up a Buckeye fan. "Who’s kidding who here? When you’re an Ohio kid and the place you always dreamed of going offers you the opportunity, it’s pretty easy to pull the trigger," McKinley head coach Ron Johnson said..."
New Mexico State Game 10/31/09:
Offensive Player of the Week: Dane Sanzenbacher, WR
Defensive Player of the Week: Ross Homan, LB
Attack Force Award: Anderson Russell, S
Jim Parker Lineman Award: Jake Ballard , TE
Special Units Player of the Week: Donnie Evege, CB
Jack Tatum Hit of the Week Award: TBA
Scout Team Champions: Offense: Kenny Guiton; Defense: Grant Dziak; Special Units: Joe Gantz
Donnie Evege the face of OSU special teams play November 1, 2009 Source: Dayton Daily News - "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For New Mexico State and especially its kick returners, the sight of Donnie Evege roaring down the field for Ohio State — with his sprinter’s speed, his long dark hair rippling out the back of his helmet, that kamikaze pilot’s singular intent — had to be a dreaded one. But up in the Ohio Stadium stands Saturday, Oct. 31 — from the vantage point of Donnie Sr., and his wife Chrissy, parents of the former Wayne High School star — the whole thing looked quite divine.
"Any time your child goes through something like he did the past two years, your heart goes out to them," Donnie Sr. said. "To see him running around full speed and helping his team out there now is exciting." And Evege did help the Bucks in their 45-0 dismantling of New Mexico State. The redshirt sophomore’s three tackles — tied for second most by a Bucks player — all ended Aggie kick returns with a bruising exclamation point.
Two years ago — as the Bucks were preparing for their game at Penn State, same as this week — Evege was a redshirt freshman on the scout team. Attempting to smother an A.J. Trapasso punt in practice, he took the full brunt of the kicker’s leg just beneath his right knee. He suffered a meniscus injury that required surgery, put him in a hip-to-ankle brace and cost him the rest of the 2007 season and all of last year, too. "It can be tough — realizing life goes on for the other guys and you’re injured and kind of dealing with the unknown by yourself," said Donnie Sr. "At least he had some things to keep him occupied."..."
Quote Of The Day: "We’re going to play a good football team. I haven’t looked at enough tapes yet to know how good they are, but I’m sure they’re going to be really good. I know they were kicking the ears in of somebody today (New Mexico St. 45-0). I saw part of their game last week (a 38-7 win over Minnesota) and they were good. I think we’ll play a little better then what we’ve been playing, practice hard and see what happens." - Joe Paterno within minutes of his team’s come-from-behind 34-13 victory at Northwestern on Saturday
Buckeyes get a breather as big games loom ahead : There are two schools of thought when big games loom ahead. One, it's good to have a breather game just before, to work on some things and maybe get the regulars some rest in the second half, while getting key backups or future contributors valuable playing time. Two, it's of little help to go from a gimme-game to a challenging one. A let-up in competition can prove detrimental. Ohio State, ranked 15th in the country, played option No. 2 on Saturday, facing a New Mexico State team not even as competitive as its 3-6 record indicates. Not only did the Buckeyes blitz the Aggies, 45-0, they outgained them by a mere 497 yards. (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Going Long: November Challenges Await: Here are some excerpts from what Duane Long, of the Duane Long Report, wrote for Bucknuts.com: ...I think we saw a more settled Terrelle Pryor today. I saw more of the throws that still make me believe he could be a No. 1 overall draft pick...Who is the best back on this team? Every time he is given a chance, Jordan Hall looks like he could be the man...I am concerned about left tackle. They need to leave Andrew Miller alone. Jim Cordle is getting killed out there. I am not convinced he can be a right tackle. I am absolutely convinced he cannot be a left tackle. The coaches need to quit on this one...My biggest concern is Aaron Pettrey. First, I want to say it was bush league for the New Mexico State player to cut block a kicker. How many have the Buckeyes lost this year to cut blocks? The block should be outlawed. If he is out any length of time the Buckeyes could lose a game because of it...I saw nothing from Devin Barclay that makes me think he can win a game for them. (Source: Bucknuts.com)
Non-Conference Walk Overs: This was Ohio State's fourth game against a WAC team, the last against San Jose State in 2002. Games like this will be less of an issue in the future, at least at this point in the schedule. Starting in 2010, the Big Ten is expanding its season by one week, pushing the last game until after Thanksgiving and building an off week into the schedule. So in 2010 and 2012, all four of Ohio State's nonconference games will be played before the Big Ten season. Filling a schedule early in the year provides more options than squeezing a game into the middle of the conference season. In 2011, an opponent for Oct. 15 has not get been determined. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Economic Impact: The overall affect of the economy on Ohio State tickets...primarily in Ohio State fans going to away games. Big Ten teams often are happy to provide as many tickets as possible to Ohio State, with the Buckeyes typically filling an order for 6,000 tickets for a road game at Indiana. This season the Buckeyes didn't sell 4,000 tickets for road games at either Indiana or Purdue for the first time in a long, long time. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
If not Pasadena, Orlando might be OSU's New Year's destination: If the Buckeyes come up short of the Rose Bowl, the Capital One Bowl, played on Jan. 1 in Orlando, could be an excellent consolation prize for all involved. Ohio State hasn't played there since losing to Tennessee on Jan. 1, 1996, so the Florida folks would love to snatch up OSU fans who haven't taken an Orlando bowl trip in 13 years. With the way the season is shaking out, this could be a chance for the Buckeyes to finally beat an SEC team in a bowl, their record currently 0-9. The Capital One Bowl gets the second choice of both SEC and Big Ten teams after the BCS bowls, but it's a near certainty that both Florida and Alabama, the top two SEC teams, will go to BCS bowls. That would leave the No. 3 SEC team to the Capital One, and there's quite a drop to the third-best SEC team this season. At the moment, it looks like 7-1 LSU. (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
What we learned in the Big Ten: Week 9: 4. Michigan is a mess: After a 5-0 start to Year 2 of the Rich Rodriguez regime, Michigan is falling apart at the seams. I'll admit I was wrong about these guys and particularly the defense, which seems to have regressed under first-year coordinator Greg Robinson. The Wolverines surrendered 500 total yards, 377 rush yards and 38 points to an Illinois team that hadn't scored more than 17 against an FBS team all season. If the defensive woes aren't bad enough, Rodriguez has a major problem at quarterback as freshman Tate Forcier struggled again. "We're not getting wins that we should, we're just playing for pride now," safety Troy Woolfolk said. Wow. (Source: ESPN)
Amazing how perishable the coaching genius label is. It wasn't long ago that Pete Carroll could do no wrong. He brought USC back to the national elite and masterminded the Trojans' tough defense. Well, that defense is now in tatters. After surrendering plenty of yards and points in wins over Notre Dame and Oregon State the previous two weeks, the Trojans were completely undressed by Oregon on Saturday. The Ducks gained 613 yards, including an astounding 391 on the ground. USC's national title chances already were fleeting at best. Now, the Trojans' streak of seven straight Pac-10 championships looks doomed as well. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)Masoli leads way as Oregon pounds No. 4 Southern Cal(Source: USA Today)
Did you see this play?:
You've probably seen it already, but Tyler Sash's 86-yard interception return for a touchdown is a perfect microcosm of Iowa's charmed season. With the Hawkeyes trailing 21-7 and Indiana facing third-and-goal at the Iowa 2, A.J. Edds came free on a blitz. He hit quarterback Ben Chappell as he started to throw. The ball deflected off Iowa's Christian Ballard and Indiana tackle James Brewer before hitting off Chappell and going into the arms of Sash, who ran untouched 86 yards for a touchdown. A one-in-a-million play in a season that's already had a few of them. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Ted Ginn, Jr. has record return day for Dolphins: Considered by some a disappointment as the Miami Dolphins' "No. 1" receiver, and replaced in the starting lineup by another former Ohio State star, Ted Ginn Jr. responded Sunday with a record-setting performance in Miami's 30-25 win over the host New York Jets. Ginn became the first player in NFL history with two touchdowns of 100 or more yards of any kind in the same game. He returned two third-quarter kickoffs for touchdowns. His 100-yard scamper put the Dolphins ahead, 10-6, with 10:10 left. Miami never trailed again. Then, Ginn sped 101 yards to score with 3:09 left in the quarter, bumping the Dolphins' advantage to 24-13 (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Blogger debate: Cincinnati vs. Ohio State October 30, 2009 Source: ESPN - "Eight FBS teams call Ohio home, but only one program has been nationally relevant for decades. Ohio State is the state's premier program, having won 13 national championships and 33 Big Ten championships. It's produced seven Heisman Trophy winners. But for the first time in recent memory, the Buckeyes face a legit challenger for the title of best in state. Cincinnati has surged under third-year coach Brian Kelly, winning the Big East last season and rising to No. 8 in the BCS standings, nine spots ahead of the Buckeyes, who already have two losses. While the teams don't meet again until 2012, the two programs have been compared a lot during the past few weeks. Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg and Big East blogger Brian Bennett break down the debate in the Buckeye State..."
Buckeyes Total Defense Rushing Defense Pass Defense
Rank 13 10 29
Opponent: Total Offense Rushing Offense Passing Offense
Navy 69 3 118
USC 13 19 40
Toledo 14 73 12
Illinois 77 40 101
Indiana 72 88 43
Wisconsin 48 28 70
Purdue 41 60 32
Minnesota 112 105 89
Bearcats Total Defense Rushing Defense Pass Defense
Rank 32 40 43
Opponent: Total Offense Rushing Offense Passing Offense
Rutgers 82 52 83
SE Missouri St 70 30 94
Oregon St. 42 72 25
Fresno St. 9 5 88
Miami (OH) 103 117 36
South Florida 61 37 77
Louisville 71 69 52
Buckeyes Total Offense Rushing Offense Pass Offense
Rank 78 42 100
Opponent: Total Defense Rushing Defense Passing Defense
Navy 30 42 38
USC 16 5 53
Toledo 107 105 87
Illinois 104 101 78
Indiana 88 68 101
Wisconsin 38 34 51
Purdue 68 81 47
Minnesota 95 96 77
Bearcats Total Offense Rushing Offense Pass Offense
Rank 7 55 10
Opponent: Total Defense Rushing Defense Passing Defense
Rutgers 21 27 31
SE Missouri St 100 112 42
Oregon St. 81 38 111
Fresno St. 61 95 30
Miami (OH) 76 117 36
South Florida 27 59 25
Louisville 78 84 56
Comparison as of October 29, 2009 Disclaimer: Transitive Property of Equality: The following property: If a = b and b = c, then a = c. One of the equivalence properties of equality. Here is an example of an unsound application of the transitive property: "Team A defeated team B, and team B defeated team C. Therefore, team A will defeat team C." (Comparison Chart Source: BuckeyeFansOnly.com)
Thad Gibson One-on-One
OSU's Gibson stays, quarterbacks pay October 29, 2009 Source: Lima News - "Two years ago, Ohio State defensive end Thaddeus Gibson was dissatisfied with his lack of playing time and thinking about transferring. But coach Jim Tressel says he was confident Gibson, now one of OSU's defensive standouts, was a long way from leaving. One hundred fifty-three miles, to be exact. "He didn't have a car. It's a long walk to Euclid," Tressel said at his weekly press conference earlier this week. Gibson, a 6-foot-2, 240-pound junior from Euclid High School, leads Ohio State with four sacks after being the team leader with five last season.
He admits he was thinking about walking away from Ohio State, if not necessarily considering walking the median of I-71 home, after spending his first year at OSU as a redshirt and playing mostly on special teams his second year...Like most recruits, he expected to make an impact right away in college. "Being young and anxious to play, coming from a high school where you were the all-star guy, coming here and not having the opportunity was hard for me," he said. "I look back and think, 'Did I really do that sort of stuff?' Looking back at it, I came so far."
Gibson talked to older players, like Curtis Terry and Doug Worthington, and former Buckeyes quarterback Troy Smith, who had to wait their turns to play. They counseled patience and Gibson stayed. "We tease Thad all the time about how he was sitting on the stairs saying, 'I'm out of here,' and a couple of the older guys put their arm around him and said, 'Yeah, I was on the same stairs and you'll be fine,'" Tressel said..."
Troy Smith tells Pryor: Run more October 29, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Troy Smith, who won a Heisman Trophy as a pocket passer at Ohio State, might have played a role in persuading Terrelle Pryor to resume running more often. Smith, now with the Baltimore Ravens, said he talked to Pryor earlier this season, when Pryor appeared to be trying to emulate Smith's 2006 senior season but was struggling.
"I told him there were certain things he had to get back to, when you were that athletic guy making plays," Smith said. "I told him he had to get back to that mentality." That seems ironic, considering Smith worked hard to evolve from a scrambler to a pocket passer.
"I told him that stuff (the passing) would come, he just needed to go back to being the player he is," Smith said. "From my vantage point, the sky is the limit with him. He has a chance to be a hundred times better than I ever was there." Smith said he exchanges occasional text messages with Pryor, and the two talk by phone every few weeks..."
Quote Of The Day: "Guess what I'm having for lunch.....TACOS!!!!!....and I'm serious about it!!!!" - Juan Pablo Montoya wrote that in his verified Twitter account. Wonder if Bob Griese saw that. (Source: Twitter)
Montoya not bothered by Griese's remark: Juan Pablo Montoya says he was not bothered by the "taco" remark that got ESPN announcer Bob Griese suspended...Montoya has poked fun at the comment several times over the past week, including Friday, when he said he almost brought trays of tacos for reporters during his weekly news conference. (Source: SI.com)
Will Ohio State fans find a reason to stay away when Buckeyes play lowly New Mexico State?: While Buckeyes fans may be willing to endure bad weather to see their heroes against Big Ten opponents, Saturday's game against lowly New Mexico State could test their devotion, especially if the weather turns sour...The tailgaters weren't as plentiful at Ohio Stadium last week, the crowd a little later filling the stands...But a nonconference game this late in the season against the seventh-place WAC team is just about the toughest sell the Buckeyes could face in trying to fill at least 102,329 seats..." (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
What Demand?: Ohio State is reminding fans that tickets from the allotment given to New Mexico State are still available through Ticketmaster. New Mexico State returned 3,400 of its 4,000 tickets even after advertising them on central Ohio radio stations. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Big Ten's Big Three have beguiling stretch runs: The Buckeyes go out of the league to host New Mexico State on Saturday, then are at Penn State, home with Iowa and at Michigan. Toughest row to hoe of any of the contenders, with three bullies — two on the road, in extremely hostile environments — waiting with a combined 8-4 conference mark...The Nittany Lions have road games at Northwestern and at Michigan State bookending home games with Ohio State and Indiana. Again, there's not an easy win in the bunch, but Nov. 7 at home against the Buckeyes may decide if the Nittany Lions get at least a piece of their fourth Big Ten championship...The Hawkeyes host Indiana and Northwestern, play at Ohio State and then host Minnesota. Playing three of the last four at home is a huge advantage. Although none of the games at Kinnick Stadium are gimmes, Iowa's first outright Big Ten title since 1985 could rest on the Nov. 14 encounter at Ohio Stadium..." (Source: Associated Press)
Nickname?: When offensive lineman Bryant Browning was asked by a reporter to give New Mexico State's nickname, he did not hesitate. "The Lobos," he said. Wrong. It's the Aggies. Founded in 1888 as Las Cruces College, the school became the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1890 before assuming its current name in 1960. Browning confused New Mexico State with New Mexico. Last month, the Aggies beat the Lobos 20-17. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Buckeyes not alone among Big Ten teams facing running back injuries: Undefeated Iowa's No. 1 RB likely done for year. Iowa, leading the way with a 4-0 conference record, is down to its No. 3 running back after projected starter sophomore Jewel Hampton was lost to a preseason knee injury and redshirt freshman Adam Robinson, who is fourth in the conference in rushing, injured an ankle against Michigan State that will keep him out the rest of the season. Iowa, by the way, will now rely on true freshman Brandon Wegher, who had gained 321 yards on 87 carries while sharing time with Robinson. (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
CONFERENCE NOTES: No. 7 Iowa not only stands in first place but also wraps up the season with three of its final four games at home. ... Among the top four teams in the Big ten, Ohio State faces the most challenging slate as its final three opponents have a combined mark of 8-4 (.667) in Big Ten play. ... Nobody really heralds it around Columbus, but Ohio State became bowl eligible with the win on Saturday. ... Iowa's 12-game winning streak is second only to Florida's 17-game streak. ... A team has gone 8-0 in the Big Ten the last four years and in five of the last six. (Source: Associated Press)
Ten College Marching Bands You Need to See Before You Die: UCLA...OHIO STATE Also known as "TBDBITL"—The Best Damn Band In The Land: This musical group of Buckeyes from Columbus is on this list for one reason: The dotting of the "I" by one of their senior tubas while doing their "Script Ohio" formation. It is considered a huge honor to be that dot, so much so that celebrities such as Bob Hope and Buckeye coaching legend Woody Hayes have stood on top of that "I" in Ohio, which has given Buckeye fans chills for decades...TEXAS...WASHINGTON...WISCONSIN...SOUTHERN...GRAMBLING...FLORIDA A & M... (Source: Bleacher Report)
Michigan now a 'Big House' divided: In-fighting and dissension among the group of "Michigan Men," who helped lead the Wolverines football program to national prominence, never have been part of the equation. There never was any mud-slinging, no visible dissension, no public airing of laundry. Not until recently. It would be extreme to describe the family of "Michigan Men" as deeply fractured or dysfunctional these days, nearly two years since Rich Rodriguez, the first "outsider" since 1969, was hired to lead the Wolverines. But unquestionably, there's a disconnect in the family. It's been simmering since the search to replace Lloyd Carr, who retired following the 2007 season after 13 years as head coach. There was a large number of Michigan Men who wanted former player and assistant and current LSU coach Les Miles to take over, thereby keeping alive the Bo Schembechler lineage -- "disciples" Gary Moeller and Carr followed Schembechler. Now, there's a perception those Miles backers never will be happy with Rodriguez. (Source: Detroit News)
Terminalogical Inexactitude: Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez has twice bragged about his players' academic achievements, once saying that their combined grades were the highest at the school in 25 years and later that the team had the highest grade-point average ever recorded. Last month, the Detroit Free Press filed Freedom of Information Act requests seeking specific information related to the combined grade-point average, and the university denied the request. The reason: It doesn't compile that information. Rodriguez backtracked this week, saying that advisers "did not make it clear that the number was just an estimate and not an exact calculation." (Terminological inexactitude is a phrase introduced in 1906 by British politician Winston Churchill. Today, it is used as a euphemism or circumlocution meaning a lie or untruth.)
Join The Club: Think Ohio State is the only offense-challenged team around? Think again. Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun points out that in Florida's last 15 trips to the red zone, the Gators have scored only two touchdowns. (Source: Associated Press)
2009 CFN Rankings Week 8, Oct. 24: 14. Ohio State 6-2: Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Now that's the Terrelle Pryor we've all been waiting for. While he wasn't Heisman worthy or anything, he was strong enough to quiet the doubters for a week. The defense had one bad run against Purdue, but it remains a rock. Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Ooooooh, the Buckeyes beat Minnesota at home. It's not exactly time to book tickets to Pasadena. The offense still has to prove it can move the ball more consistently, and playing New Mexico State isn't going to do that. (Source: College Football News)
Can the 2009 Iowa team be compared to OSU's 2002 national title team?: Stewart Mandel writes: "And then there's the personnel. While most failed to appreciated it at the time, that Ohio State team was incredibly talented. Amazingly, all 11 defensive starters and two nickel-backs were drafted, as were seven offensive starters (not including two-way starter Gamble) and kicker Mike Nugent. I'm no draft expert, but my guess is this Iowa team will wind up producing half that many. Stanzi is an underrated prospect, and the Hawkeyes clearly possess a whole bunch of big-time defensive players (defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Broderick Binns, safety Tyler Sash, linebackers Pat Angerer and A.J. Edds, cornerback Amari Spievey), but they don't have any elite skill players on the level of Maurice Clarett (pre-meltdown) or Jenkins, especially now that leading rusher Adam Robinson is out for the season.
Which brings me to the most important element of all: The Big Ten of 2009 is not the Big Ten of 2002. Ohio State went 8-0 in a conference that was arguably the toughest in the country that season. Four teams (OSU, Iowa, Michigan and Penn State) finished the regular season in the top 12. Five won bowl games. Two league players (Iowa's Brad Banks and Penn State's Larry Johnson) were Heisman finalists, and future NFL first-rounders included Charles Rogers, Braylon Edwards, Lee Evans, Dallas Clark and Robert Gallery." (Source: SI.com)
The whole thing is ridiculous: Eight-year NFL veteran Larry Foote of the Detroit Lions, a Michigan grad, on the NCAA investigation of his alma mater for players allegedly practicing too many hours. Rich Rodriguez and his staffers are cooperating with the NCAA's investigation into alleged violations with Michigan's program, annarbor.com's Dave Birkett writes. (Source: Associated Press/ESPN)
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor and QB coach Nick Siciliano met with reporters following practice on Wednesday. Pryor talked about his progress as a quarterback among other things.
Tressel sells players on urgent need to improve October 28, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Nobody in their right mind could imagine Ohio State losing this week. But the Buckeyes could lose an opportunity. That's the mantra coach Jim Tressel is selling as Ohio State prepares for a seemingly hapless New Mexico State team, a nonconference opponent dumped in the midst of the Big Ten season. Ohio State is nearly a 40-point favorite, to which Tressel quipped, "We haven't got 40 points very often," and he's right -- Ohio State has reached only 38 (twice).
New Mexico State is 120th and last in the nation in total offense and 119th in scoring offense, averaging 13.3 points. The Aggies' best output has been 21 points, in a 21-18 win over Prairie View A&M...cornerback Chimdi Chekwa said, "We don't want to come out of this game feeling like we didn't do as good of a job as we should have, so we're going to focus on this game and make sure we do well and get better."
To that end, Tressel said he is not treating this week the way he might an early-season nonconference game. There is no scripted time for backups to come in, like in the opener against Navy, when Tressel planned for quarterback Joe Bauserman to direct the third series. "No, this is game nine. We've got to progress," Tressel said. "Now that doesn't mean Joe won't play but I'm not sitting here today saying, 'You know what, I think we'll put this guy in or that guy in.' No, we're going out all barrels blazing and do what the situation calls for."..."
We spoke with Thaddeus Gibson and Jim Cordle at the weekly press luncheon, and Chimdi Chekwa, Doug Worthington and Bryant Browning after practice about the upcoming game with New Mexico State.
Ohio State's offensive line finally finding its health -- and its game -- just in time October 27, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...Ohio State started its fourth different offensive line in eight games against Minnesota on Saturday, and things got better. This looks like the unit that will have to hold up against Penn State and Iowa, the teams that along with the Buckeyes feature the three best defenses in the Big Ten.
The Nittany Lions and Hawkeyes are 10 and 17 days away, with a nonconference game against New Mexico State up on Saturday. The Buckeyes need to show against the Aggies the kind of protection progress they showed against Minnesota after the disastrous performance in a loss at Purdue.
"It was a huge improvement over the previous two weeks," said senior Jim Cordle, who returned from injury to slide in at left tackle and help settle things down. "We played up to our potential, which we hadn't done the previous two weeks." "It was a huge turnaround," senior tight end Jake Ballard said. "Guys were making plays and not missing their assignments. I guess we didn't give the defense too many big plays."
Part of that was the fact that Minnesota didn't have a defensive lineman as difficult to handle as Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan. Both Penn State and Iowa will present much bigger problems. Part seemed to be the return of Cordle, back from an ankle injury, and Andy Miller, back from the flu, to share time at left tackle. They came in as Mike Adams went out, and Jim Tressel said Tuesday that Adams will miss at least two more games with an injury..."
Buckeyes impressed by Pryor's show of responsibility October 27, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "When Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor told reporters last week that he believed he was going to relax more and change how he handled himself, he was only repeating what he'd already said to his teammates in a rare moment during an offensive meeting. "He didn't have to do that, but it definitely helped the team," senior offensive lineman Jim Cordle said Tuesday. "He said, 'I'm sorry for not approaching things the way I should.' We definitely bonded."
Cordle said Pryor's words came during an extra offensive meeting called last Monday, two days after the loss to Purdue, and that he couldn't think of a time during his five seasons in Columbus when a player had addressed the team in a similar way. "He just wanted to take it on himself and get the guys behind him," Cordle said. "Not that we weren't before, but I think it helped him."
"I think it was a big step in his maturity," senior tight end Jake Ballard said. "None of us blamed the loss all on Terrelle, but he was definitely taking responsibility for it. It hit him pretty hard. I could tell it affected TP a lot after the game. He was pretty upset about it. He felt like he didn't get the job done. A lot of us felt like that. We respected what he did, and Terrelle is making some big improvements."..."
OSU's Pryor learning his lessons October 27, 2009 Source: Canton Repository - "After standing before his teammates and baring his soul, Terrelle Pryor went out and played his best game of the season. None of it surprised Head Coach Jim Tressel...That game came on the heels of growing restlessness among fans. Pryor answered the question about how tough he is mentally, for now.
"Probably nothing that I didn't already know," Tressel said. "There were some things affirmed that I did know. It's very, very important to him to do well for his team. There's not many guys who feel any worse than he does if he doesn't provide what the team needs."
Pryor admitted to being full of himself in the first seven weeks...the nation's top recruit coming out of Jeannette High School...His high school football notoriety was similar, but not on the scale, to that of LeBron James' high school basketball career. But Pryor is learning how to be more than a shotgun, spread offense quarterback who runs the ball.
"Terrelle ... knew what the criticism was," Tressel said. "That's the position he plays. When you turn it over, you're going to get criticized. Just like when you don't win games, the coach is going to get criticized. That's part of the deal. The longer you're around it, the more you know that's just the way it is."...He went to his teammates and apologized three days before the Minnesota game...
Minnesota has one of the worst pass defenses in the country. New Mexico State, coming to town Saturday, may not be much, but its pass defense is ranked 28th in the country, one spot better than Ohio State's...
"Terrelle made a lot of progress (Saturday)," center Mike Brewster said. "I don't like to hear people say that he hasn't improved from last year. ... He took all the blame for the Purdue loss. ... We're behind him, and we're here to support him." This might be the first time in two years Pryor and his teammates are truly on the same page..."
Pryor vs. Young: The fact is that Pryor is not as terrible as we scapegoat-hunters would have you believe. Don't mis-quote me on that – Pryor obviously has issues – but it's much too early to assume that he's a lost cause. One has only to look at Vince Young to see what rewards patience might bring. Their stats are eerily similar:
Pryor vs. Young – first two seasons
For those wondering whether Pryor could turn the corner and achieve greatness someday, look at the huge jump that Young made in his third season.
Of course, similarity in one year does not guarantee similarity in later years. And there are some apples-to-oranges comparisons of the Texas and OSU coaching staffs, offensive lines, etc. I'm not predicting that Pryor will be another college football legend like Vince Young, I'm only pointing out that he very well could be someday. And OSU fans should note that they probably won't find a Texas fan that isn't glad Mack Brown stuck with Young, even when the Texas offense was crumbling and inconsistent.
Still don't believe me? Read this recap of a Texas loss, also humiliating, also halfway through VY's second season, and compare the similarities with the last weekend's Ohio State game.
If you're still looking for a scapegoat for Pryor's slow development, then it should start with Tressel and flow down to OSU quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano. When QB coach Joe Daniels moved on last year, Tressel gave the job to Siciliano, a loyal assistant from his Youngstown State days. At the time of his promotion, Siciliano's position with OSU was listed as "Offensive Quality Control," which is nothing more than a glorified film room assistant.
In case you missed that, they essentially put the team's A/V club president in complete charge of developing the #1 recruit in the country. Are we shocked that Pryor's struggling? Grab your torch & pitchforks, boys. (Source: Men of the Scarlet and Gray)
2009 Big Ten Conference
Through games of Oct 25, 2009
Last week's results:
No. 19 Ohio State 38, Minnesota 7 (Oct. 24, 2009 at Columbus, Ohio)
Northwestern 29, Indiana 28 (Oct. 24, 2009 at Evanston, Ill.)
No. 6 Iowa 15, Michigan State 13 (Oct. 24, 2009 at East Lansing, Mich.)
No. 13 Penn State 35, Michigan 10 (Oct. 24, 2009 at Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Purdue 24, Illinois 14 (Oct. 24, 2009 at West Lafayette, Ind.)
Conference Points Overall Points
Team W L T For Opp Pct W L T For Opp Pct
---- - - - --- --- --- - - - --- --- ---
Iowa................ 4 0 0 86 61 1.000 8 0 0 189 118 1.000
Ohio State.......... 4 1 0 150 60 .800 6 2 0 234 105 .750
Penn State.......... 3 1 0 100 48 .750 7 1 0 242 71 .875
Michigan State...... 3 2 0 117 101 .600 4 4 0 218 166 .500
Wisconsin........... 2 2 0 92 109 .500 5 2 0 198 174 .714
Northwestern........ 2 2 0 94 108 .500 5 3 0 218 189 .625
Purdue.............. 2 2 0 91 94 .500 3 5 0 221 215 .375
Minnesota........... 2 3 0 105 133 .400 4 4 0 169 201 .500
Michigan............ 1 3 0 94 124 .250 5 3 0 271 188 .625
Indiana............. 1 3 0 102 112 .250 4 4 0 189 212 .500
Illinois............ 0 5 0 59 140 .000 1 6 0 113 194 .143
Buckeyes' Pryor grows up on, off the field October 26, 2009 Source: ESPN - "Terrelle Pryor earned a passing grade last week, even if there are still a lot of questions about his, er, passing. The Ohio State sophomore quarterback overcame two major tests -- mounting criticism from media and fans, and a shaky first-half performance against Minnesota. He's still not at a point where he can single-handedly win games for the Buckeyes, but he showed growth after hitting a low point as a college player in Ohio State's 26-18 loss at Purdue.
It started after last Wednesday's practice, when Pryor made a somewhat surprising appearance before reporters. He had been heavily criticized and his high school coach had questioned Ohio State's coaching staff, but he faced the music and handled himself well. For the same guy who made the "Everybody kills people" comment only weeks ago, Pryor appeared much more comfortable and mature in fielding questions. "[The Purdue loss and fallout] opened me up to the world and opened me up to myself and who I am as a person, and us as a team," Pryor said. "Maybe that was the best thing that happened to us. Maybe we'll learn from it."
(I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that Pryor didn't shy away from the media like Tim Tebow did after a poor performance Saturday in a win (!) over Mississippi State. Pryor has received much more criticism in a year and a half than Tebow has in three-and-a-half seasons, but Pryor never dodged reporters after a game, no matter how poorly he played.)
Moving on to Pryor's more important test, the actual game against Minnesota. It was more of the same in the first half, as he completed just 3 of his first 9 passes and threw an interception in the end zone late in the second quarter. Ohio State twice entered the red zone and emerged with no points. One encouraging sign was Pryor's willingness to run, as he carried 12 times in the first half.
The sophomore really picked things up in the third quarter. He completed three of four passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, he gained 15 yards, 11 yards and 19 yards on three running plays, the first of which went to the end zone.
Pryor finished the game with 15 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown. He hit on two big passes to wideout DeVier Posey, but did most of his damage with his feet. It's a formula Ohio State must use the rest of the way: a minimum of 15 carries for Pryor (I'd like to see 17-23) and take shots downfield when they're available. "Last week really humbled me," he told reporters afterward. "I may be a little too cocky. ... Today helped me grow as a quarterback."..."
Minnesota Game 10/24/09:
Offensive Player of the Week: Terrelle Pryor, QB
Defensive Player of the Week: Thaddeus Gibson, DE
Attack Force Award: Doug Worthington, DT
Jim Parker Lineman Award: Jim Cordle, OL
Special Units Player of the Week: Etienne Sabino, LB
Jack Tatum Hit of the Week Award: TBA
Scout Team Champions: Offense: Ricky Crawford; Defense: Nate Ebner ; Special Units: K.C. Christian
What's Wrong With Terrelle Pryor? Tim May on Terrelle Pryor's struggles at Ohio State Source: ESPN
Quote Of The Day: "Every week you get a week closer to it — it sounds like Yogi Berra! I am getting old." - Jim Tressel, speaking Thursday, on the possibility of injured RB Jaamal Berry being redshirted. (Source: Associated Press)
Backup QB sits, but he's not forgotten, coaches say: The message from Ohio State coaches is, barring calamity, Terrelle Pryor is going to be the quarterback now and in the future. That probably was already clear to backup Joe Bauserman, who was never asked to relieve Pryor last week in a loss at Purdue even after the starter committed four turnovers (two interceptions, two fumbles). Coach Jim Tressel said such a move wouldn't have helped the team. But Bauserman isn't a forgotten man. Quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano said he spoke to him Sunday to clear the air. "We had a good conversation just about where everything was at," Siciliano said. "He understood what we were thinking, and why we did what we did." Bauserman, a former minor-league baseball pitcher, was unavailable for comment. "It was a conversation just about where we were going as a team and as an offense," Siciliano said. "Joe understands what his role is, and he's been great about everything and comes to work every day." (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Shaq and LeBron defend Ohio State's Pryor: The Cavaliers played the Boston Celtics at Ohio State's Value City Arena on Wednesday night. After the exhibition finale for both teams, the subject of Ohio State football — and in particular QB Terrelle Pryor — came up. New Cavs center Shaquille O'Neal said, "I'm familiar with Ohio State football of course. I know they're always up there. I just want to tell the quarterback to keep his head up. I saw that they're getting on him the last two games. Keep your head up, young man, and try to get this football team back on track." LeBron James acknowledged that he has been counseling Pryor on how to handle celebrity. "I'm trying to mentor him and get him through 'life in the spotlight' which I've been through," James said. "Being that No. 1 guy, how do you adjust to it and how do you get through it and still perform at a high level? Sometimes it can be very difficult on (an athlete). I'm trying to be that guy who can really help him get through a lot of situations which he's never seen before but now he's seeing and understanding." James said he felt as if he had something to offer, based on his experiences. "I try to keep up on him on game days. I wish him luck and throughout the week and how's everything going?" James said. "At the end of the day, there's a lot more than just football and basketball. Because I know. I've seen it all. From a prep kid, I was very high (profile), and then I was a professional. So I've seen it all." (Source: Dayton Daily News)
Class of 2010 needs: I have looked at the class of 2010 targets from the point of view of who are the most talented and who I want to see here. I have not addressed it from the point of view of need. That is because there are so few to speak of. No need for linebackers, running backs or receivers. We have more weakside ends than we can use. The same with fullbacks.We are solid in depth at corner. We have a quarterback in this really down quarterback class so even if the staff desired another there are no targets out there. The staff is already courting 2011 kids. We need tight ends but the staff is looking to next year for a tight end. No offers out there for 2010 kids but at least one, Ben Koyack from Pa, for a 2011 kid. I believe Baldwin fills that role in this class anyway...(Source: Duane Long Report)
Detroit Free Press Has An Answer: In noting that Ray Reitz -- Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor's high school coach in Jeannette, Pa. -- told ESPN.com that the offense of Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez "would be more apt to suit Terrelle's skills," the Detroit Free Press had a solution to the problem: "OK, here's a thought: How about we just call Terrelle the player-to-be-named in the Justin Boren deal?" (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Ohio's Best Team: Not the Buckeyes: For more than a century, there's been only one Ohio college-football team that matters. Right now there's still only one, but it's not Ohio State. The University of Cincinnati has turned the football pecking order on its head. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
Tress for Pres: A Youngstown State faculty member has nominated Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel for president of the school in a letter to the school's search committee. How does Tressel feel about being nominated? When he was asked yesterday, the normally eloquent Tressel was momentarily speechless."There's no good answer to that question, is there?" he said. He eventually said that he was honored by the nomination, but he seemed uncomfortable with the topic, as one might expect. Tressel, who could help with the school's fundraising even though he might lack academic credentials, said he has received some mail about the nomination. But he seemed to weigh his words carefully when asked whether he had ever thought about being a college president or whether this is a position he would ever consider. "I love that place," Tressel said. "But I wouldn't want to say anything at all that would indicate that I don't love what I'm doing right now." (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Scholar-Athlete: Jim Cordle is among the nominees for the $18,000 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award, formerly known as the Draddy Trophy. Nominees come from FBS, FCS, Division II and III and NAIA. The 16 finalists will be announced on Oct. 29. (Source: Dayton Daily News)
Former Buckeye News:Former Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk will have a decision to make during the offseason. Take a pay cut and remain with the Green Bay Packers, or sign with another team. Hawk is scheduled to make $4.1 million in base salary next year, but it appears the Packers don't think he's worth the money because he hasn't been the type of impact player they projected when he was drafted fifth overall in 2006 draft. Hawk hasn't been in on any turnover plays this season. He hasn't had an interception in two years, and his last sack came late last season. (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
OSU football: Offense looks for routes to revival October 23, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "It's safe to say that nobody associated with Ohio State enjoyed watching the tape of last week's loss to Purdue, but it might have been particularly tough on the offensive line. The line played its worst game of the season in the 26-18 loss, allowing near-constant pressure to get to quarterback Terrelle Pryor and contributing to a five-sack, five-turnover debacle. "Watching the game every time you see yourself or one of your guys get beat, you just kind of put your head down a little bit," guard Bryant Browning said, "because you know that's not what we're taught to do."
But the line is just one area hindering the Buckeyes as they prepare for a game Saturday against Minnesota in Ohio Stadium. They also are looking at the lack of a running game and what they can glean from a successful hurry-up offense. One thing is certain: After seven games, coach Jim Tressel said youth no longer can be an excuse. After three games, Ohio State scrapped its pro-style offense for a shotgun formation with one running back. That sparked some improvement, but in the past two weeks, the Buckeyes have been awful..."
* First was the decision to throw the ball on second-and-13 from the 16-yardline with 44 seconds left in the first half against Purdue. Ohio State ran a simple play on first down that was blown up, Purdue called a timeout, and then Ohio State threw a medium-range pass on second down that wasn't close to complete, stopping the clock for the Boilermakers. Ohio State then ran Terrelle Pryor on third down, Purdue called it final timeout and forced Ohio State to punt with 33 seconds in the half. Purdue then executed a quick drive for a go-ahead field goal. It looked like a classic case of being caught in between being conservative and being aggressive, and in the end, it cost the Buckeyes 3 points and some momentum. "Well, we thought it was so packed up in there, you might have a chance to make something happen," Tressel said of the pass. "It was incomplete, so it was a poor decision. But the thought of maybe striking and getting on the board with, what was it, 58 seconds or something, on second down, if you could make a big play and then get into your fast mode, who knows, maybe you might score some points. So an incompletion hurt. They ended up getting the ball with maybe 40 seconds left, 70 yards away with a heck of a kicker now. Did it work out well? No."...
* Why did running back Brandon Saine get just seven carries in the game and only one in the second half? He did have a 15-yard touchdown run wiped out by a penalty in the first half, but that only showed even more why he should have been used at least a bit more in the final two quarters, even with the Buckeyes behind. "Every call you make is situationally driven," said Tressel, who began by agreeing Saine probably wasn't used enough. "Did we consciously want him to carry seven times? No. If you asked us going into the game what would you wish for, you'd like for him to have a 100-yard game. And one of the carries he had [the touchdown on the penalty] was a pretty good one not in the stats. It's not like we didn't want him to carry. Was it a good decision not to have him carry? I guess not."...
* Tressel is all in favor of Pryor leaning on LeBron James for advice. That news came out Wednesday, when Pryor mentioned that James had been mentoring him for a few months, and James then explained the relationship further. Tressel, for one, can't believe how these guys all get each other's numbers. But he likes LeBron as an example. "The thing I like about the way Terrelle approaches things is that he works very, very hard on what you ask him to work on fundamentally, and he's not afraid to be open to comments from someone he might think has some credence," Tressel said..."
Big Ten defined by interceptions this fall October 22, 2009 Source: ESPN - Adam Rittenberg writes: "It's no surprise that the Big Ten's best team leads the nation in interceptions, a defining statistic throughout the league this season...Though quarterback play wasn't much better last year, interceptions weren't nearly as big of a problem. Ohio State and Penn State tied for fourth nationally in fewest interceptions thrown (6), and eight teams ranked in the top half of the FBS. Quarterbacks like Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor and Minnesota's Adam Weber were far more disciplined when it came to throwing interceptions. Big Ten head coaches are undoubtedly pleased with their playmaking defenses, but their bigger concern has to be interceptions thrown. As I've written for months, the Big Ten won't start winning BCS bowl games until the quarterback play improves. We'll see if there are fewer mistakes made down the stretch..."
Terrelle Pryor sat down with reports following practice on Wednesday and talked about the loss at Purdue and the scrutiny he and the team has received since then. He says "Last week, that opened me up to the world and opened me up to myself and who I am as a person."
Quarterbacks Coach Nick Siciliano spoke with reporters following Pryor and talked about Terrelle's attitude toward the game. He also talked about why OSU doesn't feature the zone-read. "That's what they do at his high school. That's what they do at Michigan... It's just not feasable at Ohio State and the Big Ten every week."
Cavaliers star LeBron James offering support, advice to Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor October 21, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor namedropped LeBron James on Wednesday as one of the people he'd turned to during his struggles this season. After Wednesday's exhibition game at Ohio State between the Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, James explained how he's aided the OSU sophomore.
"It's a personal relationship. I've been trying to mentor him and trying to get him through life in the spotlight, which I've been through," James said. "Being that No. 1 guy and how do you adjust to it and how do you get through it while still performing at a high level. Sometimes it can be difficult on someone, and I'm trying to be that guy that can really help him get through a lot of situations which he's never seen before.
"I've known him for a few years, but our relationship started a few months ago. When I was contacted and asked if it was possible for me to reach out to the kid and, you know me, that's a no-brainer. Our relationship has grown within the last few months. I try to keep up on him on game days and wish him luck throughout the week. At the end of the day it is a lot more than just football or basketball. I know because I've seen it all from when I was a prep kid and now as a professional."
Pryor's HS coach: Tressel should let Pryor run October 21, 2009 Source: ESPN - "The high school coach of Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor says that his former player could be utilized more effectively by Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel..."They need Terrelle to run more," former Jeannette (Pa.) High School coach Ray Reitz said. "They've put the reins on him and they need to let him go free. When I watch Terrelle play right now, I see a robot."
"All I know is they promised him that they would teach him a pro-style system with both a shotgun and under center," Reitz said. "Jim Tressel is a great coach and he's been running his offense successfully for 30 years. But I'd like to see some zone-read plays where with one mistake [by the defense], he can be gone. With some zone-read plays, they wouldn't be able to take away all the outside runs because he'd be a threat to go between the tackles."...
Reitz said he believes that Pryor is being affected by criticism -- though he adds Pryor would never admit it. And he says it would be a mistake to move Pryor to wide receiver...."
"There are people that are rooting for him to fail because he's arrogant," Reitz said. "But it was the college coaches who told him to take time after signing day if he wasn't ready. There is no question that Rich Rodriguez's offense, for example, would be more apt to suit Terrelle's skills," Reitz said. "But Ohio State sold him on the idea that they would prepare him for the NFL and that they don't run 'zone-read' in the NFL. Jim Tressel is a great coach. But I can tell you there is more to Terrelle Pryor than what we've been seeing..." (ESPN's Adam Rittenberg writes about the article: "I thought one of Reitz's more revealing comments was that the criticism is affecting Pryor. A quarterback without confidence is one destined to fail.")
Pryor's former coach speaks October 21, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Ken Gordon writes: "ESPN.com has a story on its site, talking to Terrelle Pryor's former coach, Ray Reitz...To me, the most interesting part of the article is Reitz confirming what many of us suspected: That Jim Tressel promised Pryor he would develop him in an NFL-style pro offense, albeit sometimes in the shotgun as well as under center. It's not a big shock to hear Reitz say Pryor's skills would fit better in a Michigan or Oregon offense, we knew that. Pryor knew that, too, and chose OSU, anyway. What it shows me is that:
1. The reason OSU started the season in a pro-style, I-formation base offense was likely at least partly due to this recruiting promise. Of course, that also means that Tressel may have thrown away his core belief -- that you design an offense around your players' talents. In this case, maybe he felt bound to force-feed his team the pro-style offense because of his promise to Pryor?
2. Tressel was willing to abandon the pro-style offense in mid-season, which potentially could have upset Pryor. Now, they are running much more of the spread, zone-read offense that Pryor could have been running elsewhere. In this case, credit Tressel for making a switch that could potentially alienate his prized quarterback. And how long can they continue in this system if Pryor would rather be in the pro-style offense?..."
"I didn't think I did a very good job of getting them to really understand the challenge we had. And that's my job, that's not your job, it's not someone else's job, it's my job to make sure we understand the difficulty of the challenge truly." - Jim Tressel responding to reporters on Tuesday regarding whether the team was mentally ready for the Purdue game.
OSU football: Coach, players support Pryor October 21, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Quarterback switch not in best interest of team, Tressel says: As the crescendo of criticism rises around Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State players are rallying behind their struggling quarterback. Coach Jim Tressel parried a number of questions about Pryor yesterday, flatly stating that he doesn't plan to bench the sophomore, whose initials could stand for "turnover prone" after he gave Purdue the ball four times Saturday in a shocking upset. "I don't believe at this moment that it would be the best thing for the team" was about as eloquent as Tressel got on the subject of benching Pryor, repeating some variation of that line four times in a 35-minute news conference.
His players, though, were more revealing. They made the case that to bench Pryor would be to abandon everything they have built since he took over for the fourth game of the 2008 season. "Since the beginning of this season, since even last year, we've built our offense around Terrelle being our guy," receiver Dane Sanzenbacher said. "We've all signed on to that. I think as a team, you all have to buy into a certain concept, you all have to buy into the program for it to work...
Wasn't it possible to bench Pryor for a series or two to settle him down, yet not make a permanent switch to backup Joe Bauserman? Sanzenbacher countered that even a temporary benching would have sent unwanted shock waves through the team. The handling of a quarterback is a delicate situation. "I don't think there was ever really a point in the game where anybody on the offense was thinking that we needed a change," he said. "To sit him for a series probably would have made the problem worse...
Despite Pryor having accounted for 11 turnovers (eight interceptions and three fumbles) this season, Tressel said he sees progress in Pryor's footwork, in reading defenses and in understanding where to go with the ball. He said Pryor's major hurdle now is making better decisions when a play goes bad -- when protection fails, as it did often last week. "I think he's coming along just fine," Tressel said. "As fine as I would like it to be? No. But he's progressing."...
While Tressel was almost breezy in his discussion of Pryor, players spoke in a more candid, realistic tone. "He's going to get better; he really can't do much worse. He's going to be a great player, and it's going to happen in time. He's further along than Troy (Smith) was and Vince Young," said receiver DeVier Posey, referring to the former Ohio State and Texas quarterbacks. Posey said people need to be patient with Pryor. "He's not going to be great tomorrow, but if he works on it tomorrow, eventually, in a year or two or even maybe by the end of this year, he'll be a great player." ..."
Can the relationship between Ohio State, Terrelle Pryor be salvaged? October 21, 2009 Source: SI.com - Stewart Mandel writes: "The marriage between Ohio State and Terrelle Pryor began with such promise. The nation's most gifted high school quarterback joining forces with the reigning powerhouse of the Big Ten? What could possibly go wrong? It turns out, just about everything. It's been a rough week for the Buckeyes' presumed savior. Ohio State fans are apoplectic following the sophomore's nightmarish four-turnover performance in a 26-18 loss at 1-5 Purdue last weekend. Many are ready to throw in the towel and declare the former all-everything recruit a bust. Some want him moved to receiver. Others are directing their venom toward Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel and his staff for failing to properly utilize and develop such an elite athlete. Adding to the fury came two particularly damning news stories this week. In attempting to defend his embattled teammate from critics, receiver DeVier Posey let slip a highly unflattering assessment. "He's going to get better," said Posey. "He really can't do much worse."
Meanwhile, Pryor's former high school coach, Ray Reitz, vented to an ESPN reporter what many of us already believed: That Tressel's old-school offensive schemes aren't doing the dual-threat QB any favors. "They need Terrelle to run more," said Reitz. "... When I watch Terrelle play right now, I see a robot." Adding perhaps the ultimate insult to any self-respecting Buckeye fan, Reitz said, "There is no question that Rich Rodriguez's [Michigan] offense, for example, would be more apt to suit Terrelle's skills." Pryor is hardly the first ballyhooed quarterback recruit to come under public fire. Just ask Chris Simms. Or Chris Rix. Or Chris Leak..."
Big changes not in Ohio State Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel's game plan October 21, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Ohio State must figure out what's wrong before the Buckeyes know what's next. Waiting for extreme changes to the offensive game plan or philosophy may be futile. Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said Tuesday that the Buckeyes need to do things better, not differently. The greatest changes may have to come from within the players already on the field, on the offensive line and at quarterback...
1. The first-half issue was the offensive line: Tressel after the Wisconsin game talked about whiffing on some blocks and how that needed to stop, and instead it continued. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor made his share of mistakes, but typically he was reacting to or compounding blown assignments up front. "You can't miss an assignment because of what that can do to the rest of the world," Tressel said Tuesday, speaking generally of missed blocks. "He didn't go out there with the intention of missing an assignment, so what is it we had him thinking about or we didn't work on enough that would have led to us missing an assignment?"...
2. The third-quarter issue was Pryor: His decision-making got worse after halftime, starting with an option pitch on the quarter's first play that turned into a fumble and big loss, then throwing two interceptions and several other passes that were off-target. Tressel said he has one time in his coaching career momentarily benched a starting quarterback who didn't understand how crucial turnovers were, and that quarterback got the message and got his job back the next game. Interesting. But . . . "I don't think that's what Terrelle needs," said Tressel, who doesn't see any similarities to last year's situation, when Todd Boeckman was benched for good in favor of Pryor after making some critical turnovers. Going to backup Joe Bauserman for even a short time isn't in Tressel's plans..."
Hatch urges Obama to investigate college's BCS October 21, 2009 Source: Associated Press - "A senator whose undefeated home state school was bypassed for the college football national championship last season urged President Barack Obama on Wednesday to ask the Justice Department to investigate the Bowl Championship Series, citing Obama's own concerns about the way the top team is crowned in building a case for action.
"Mr. President, as you have publicly stated on multiple occasions, the BCS system is in dire need of reform," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said in a 10-page letter to Obama calling for an antitrust probe of the BCS. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter.
Shortly after his election last year, Obama said he was going to "to throw my weight around a little bit" to nudge college football toward a playoff system. Obama and Hatch are among the many critics of how the BCS — a complex system of computer rankings and polls that often draws criticism — determines its national champion. Hatch, who held a hearing on the BCS in July, told Obama that a "strong case" can be made that the BCS violates antitrust laws..."
WLW radio in Cincy mocks the Buckeyes: "As a marketer, I'm all for a good schtick when it works. This is a pretty good one by Cincinnati radio station WLW. When the Bearcats and Ohio State finally meet on the field, UC may not stand a chance. But while Cincy is playing like the best team in the state the Bearcats might as well capitalize on it while they can..." (Source: 'Eye and an 'Eer Blog & WLW Radio)