Saturday, October 9, 2010

TRESSEL WINS 100TH, PRYOR HAS CAREER DAY IN 38-10 VICTORY

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor had a career day on Saturday afternoon in the Buckeyes 38-10 win over Indiana. (Photo by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor's strained left quad may not be completely healed, but his arm is just fine.

Pryor had arguably his best game as a collegiate quarterback in the No. 2 Buckeyes 38-10 win over Indiana on Saturday afternoon, completing 24 of 30 passes for a career-high 334 yards and three touchdowns. And he did it all in about two and a half quarters of play.

Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel, who won his 100th game as the Buckeyes mentor on Saturday, said that Pryor's decision making, coupled with great pass protection up front, attributed to those career-best numbers.

"I thought Terrelle made some good decisions," Tressel said. "The key to the passing game is protection and I thought our guys up front did well. I thought our blitz pickup was good. There were two or three of those, especially early on, where the backs and tight ends and so forth did some excellent blitz pick-ups, and Terrelle stood in there.

"He's coming along."

Pryor certainly stood strong in the pocket on Saturday, and spread the ball around efficiently, connecting with nine different receivers — including himself, after his pass was batted back into his arms for a one-yard loss in the first half.

His biggest throw came with 13:31 left in the first half when he put a ball deep down the left sideline and into the hands of tailback Brandon Saine, who coasted into the end zone for the 60-yard score.

"There's not a lot of people who can run with Brandon Saine," Pryor said. "I had great protection and he made a great catch."

Sanzenbacher photo by
TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
Pryor also connected on touchdowns passes to Dane Sanzenbacher for 22 yards and DeVier Posey for 17 in the win.

The junior signal caller said that he's happy with his big performance on Saturday, but he's much more thrilled about getting win No. 6 on the season.

"Obviously, it means something to me. I'm human," Pryor said of his career day. "We all have statistics that we want to get, want to have a good game and stuff like that. But at the same time, my main goal is to win. Like last week, we didn't play a great game — all of us — but we got the 'W,' we got the job done, period. That's it.

"At the end of the year, it doesn't matter what kind of stats I had or anybody else had, it's about getting the 'W,' and still competing for a Big Ten championship and getting to our goal of a national championship."

Pryor wasn't the only one delivering punishment to the Hoosiers on Saturday — the Buckeyes' defense was just as dominant.

Indiana, who came into the contest averaging 40 points and 350 yards passing a game, left Columbus physically abused.

The Buckeyes held the Hoosiers to just 210 total yards (141 in the air) and 10 points — all season lows — by attacking Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell with intense pressure.

The defensive scheme not only stifled the Indiana attack but it seemed to confuse Chappell, who threw two interceptions in the defeat. He only had one all season coming into the game.

Chappell would be benched early in the fourth after going 14-of-24 for only 86 yards and no touchdowns.

"We knew that he wasn't a mobile guy," OSU senior linebacker Brian Rolle said of Chappell. "We  weren't worried about him running the ball. We made him try to beat us with his arm and our back end did a great job of accepting that challenge. Our d-line got after him, put pressure on him.

"Like I said, he's not a mobile guy, so once you get him on the move he's not too good on the run trying to throw the ball."

Chappell didn't make any excuses after the loss.

"They're just a fast, physical football team," Chappell said of Ohio State. "They played well up front and in the secondary.

"Ohio State is a great team and we just didn't play well enough. We can't make excuses as a team. We weren't able to throw the ball well."

Of course, the story of the day was Tressel picking up win No. 100.

He said that he was able to reflect a little during the second half of Saturday's game, and his late father — Lee Tressel — was the main person he was thinking about.

"I thought a little bit about the fact that my dad came here in 1943," Tressel said, with his eyes getting a little teary. "He chose to, after spring ball, go serve his country. And this was always his team, you know, no matter where he coached in high school or college, Ohio State was very special. Paul Brown was very special to him for recruiting him here.

"So I did reflect on that for a minute, after those 300 some yards passing and all that Terrelle (put up)."

During the postgame press conference, OSU Director of Athletics Gene Smith, presented Tressel with a huge trophy which read "100" in block lettering.