Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NOTES FROM TUESDAY'S LUNCHEON

Photo of Terrelle Pryor by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — Ohio State junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor put together an amazing performance against Eastern Michigan on Saturday, compiling 348 yards of total offense and six touchdowns (4 pass, 1 run, 1 receiving) in the 73-20 rout of the Eagles.

The fantastic outing garnered the Buckeye star Big Ten offensive player of the week honors, as well as a major boost in the Heisman Trophy race.

So ... the main question during Tuesday's media luncheon in Columbus: Was this the week that Pryor finally received a winning grade by the OSU coaching staff?

"He did not," OSU head coach Jim Tressel said on Tuesday. "Someone asked me that earlier. In fact someone mentioned that, 'well, Terrelle finally graded a winning performance because he won the Big Ten player of the week.' But I  mentioned that it's not the same people doing the voting.

"He did grade the best he's graded since he's been here though."

Tressel did say that Pryor is very close to accomplishing a winning grade, and that his third-year quarterback is beginning to hit his stride.

"I think he's making significant steps," Tressel said of Pryor. "You knew that year two was going to be the big one, but you also knew it wasn't going to be perfect and that there would be some great lessons. And if we learn from them and internalize them, then maybe we could get close to reaching that potential that we all feel can be special.

"But the steps get higher starting this week (at Illinois)."

Well, Pryor may have not received a winning grade by the coaches in the film room, but he is getting some rave reviews from the national media in terms of his Heisman status.

So ... the next question would be: Will Tressel — who is known as 'The Senator' — actually campaign for his non-winning performer?

Tressel said winning games will be Pryor's best campaign strategy.

"I guess my experience has been whether it's the Heisman campaigns or Jim Thorpe or whatever campaigns, they're most affected by how the team does," Tressel said. "So I guess we're on a campaign trying to be as successful as we can be. I'm sure we do all the other stuff, send emails and postcards, those kinds of things. But just like we always talk about in sports marketing, and that's winning.

"I would think the same is probably true in those individual awards, as well."

Photo of Dane Sanzenbacher by The Associated Press
POSEY GIVES SANZENBACHER PROPS FOR ALL HE DOES ... During Tuesday's luncheon, OSU junior DeVier Posey took time to speak about how proud he is of his teammate and fellow wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher — and not only for his OSU record-tying four touchdown performance against EMU.

"I work with Dane, I have the utmost respect for Dane," Posey said. "I don't know if you guys know it or not but he's the leader in our room. There's a reason why he's our captain. Dane is a special guy, he's a leader, and he does things in our receiver room that impresses me everyday.

"His knowledge of the game is just amazing to me," Posey continued. "No offense to Dane, but if you look at him you wouldn't think he is the best receiver on our team."

Posey said that playing with Sanzenbacher is like having a coach beside him on the field.

"Anytime I get to line up with a guy like that that's inside of me when we're out there, he gives me little tips, tells me what he sees," Posey said. "He's almost like Coach (Darrell) Hazell. He's that trustworthy.

"Anytime I see a guy like that set a record or tie a record it makes me smile because he deserves it more than anybody in our room."

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... OSU senior kicker Devin Barclay on how important each game for the Buckeyes is from here on out ... "Every game for us at this point is a championship game. We have a goal of going unbeaten and obviously going on to win a national championship.

"So, we can't afford to go into any game with the mentality that, you know, this is going to be a cakewalk."

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK ... Ohio State named its players of the week on Tuesday.

Senior wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher was the offensive winner. Sanzenbacher finished the win with nine receptions for 108 yards and an OSU record-tying four touchdowns.

Sophomore defensive tackle John Simon was the defensive player of the week. Simon recorded three tackles and a fumble recovery in the victory. Safety Jermale Hines was the attack force player of the week, while senior guard Justin Boren was named as the top offensive lineman.

Freshman kicker Drew Basil was the special units player of the week.