Will Pryor spend the night running for his life as Troy Smith and Todd Boeckman did?
Poe: No, probably more like Craig Krenzel. Expect more than a few QB draws, especially if Pryor can show some accuracy early and beat Texas with the pass. Terrelle Pryor needs to show decisiveness in his passing and his rushing, and he should be fine. Also, hopefully Tressel and & Co has learned that 5-yard outlet passes are okay. That means TE’s, FB’s, RB’s, whatever. Not every pass has to go to a receiver 15 yards down field.
Now if you’re wondering if the line will hold up, that’s a big “God, I hope so.” There’s a good possibility that the line is just lazy. This is a big game for the line and they know it. It’s a chance to prove that they are at least adequate. They have one good game left in them and they are saving it for tonight. The offensive line has had time to practice, get healthy, and get mad. They are going to lay it on the line, if not for the freshman QB, for the junior tailback. They will also have to lay it on the line for Coach Bollman, so expect him to be in their ears all night.
Massey: You will have to excuse my pessimism when it comes to the offensive line. I cannot say that I have seen them play well against a good team all year. The Trojans went through them like a sieve and Penn State’s front four looked like the Minnesota Vikings.
The Buckeyes’ best chance of avoiding another bowl blocking meltdown is to consistently roll Pryor away from Orapko’s side. I know Texas has other good defensive lineman but why tempt fate? That may limit Pryor field of vision but it will also allow him to keep the defense from committing to the run or pass. Of course, Pryor can do the line some favors by getting rid of the ball more quickly on bad plays.
Will the 2-QB plays produce any quality results, or simply cause the team to be confused?
M: This plot seems as much an act of gratitude to Boeckman for his loyal service as it does a substantive, strategic move.
I am not a fan of trick plays (unless they work) and those are the only types of plays I can see the Buckeyes running with Boeckman and Pryor in the game. At best, they will run a halfback pass with Pryor playing the halfback. They are not going run toss sweeps to Terrelle when they Beanie and they are not going to run him downfield on a post route. One intriguing thought that came to mind was lining Pryor up at tight end and having him drag across the middle. Of course, the next thought I had was Terrelle getting laid out by Sergio Kindle and being injured. The thought quickly went from intriguing to terrifying at that moment.
I advocated for this at the beginning of the year and I still maintain that Pryor as place holder on field goals would be devastating. Every opponent would have to play the fake each time. At the very least, it would allow Ryan “Line Drive” Pretorious a little extra room.
P: Ohio State could do some interesting things with Pryor and Boeckman. Don’t expect the unexpected, however, and I doubt the 2-QB system will be staple of the offense. Trick plays never seem to work out well for the Buckeyes, but it’s been more than a month since their last game. I think the Pryor/Boeckman experience could work, especially if it’s a toss up to Pryor in the end zone or an attention grabber for something else. Ohio State likes its bread and butter, so don’t expect this to be Florida or Illinois.
The 2007 National Championship game was supposed to feature Antonio Henton as a “change of pace” (read: mobile) QB, but let’s face it, Tressel didn’t trust Henton near the amount he trusts Boeckman and Pryor. What it all comes down to is confusing the defense. Tressel hasn’t played the confusion card, ever. It’s normally run left, run right, pass, etc. If he throws in the Pryor/Boeckman, it’s because he doesn’t think we can beat them straight up. He might be right.
Speaking of the game, who wins?
P: Texas has the media, fans, and spread on their side. Ohio State has the motivation and is playing for respect. I picked Ohio State over Florida, Illinois, LSU, and USC. They were all losses. Let’s try something different. I don’t think Texas will stop Beanie Wells, but I don’t think the Ohio State can stop Colt McCoy. I hope the Buckeyes prove me wrong. Give me Texas, 31-27.
M: Before I make a prediction, I need to clear something up. Is there a bird flu outbreak or sex scandal at Texas that I am not aware of? How does this line keep going down? I keep looking at the body of work we have this season and wonder how Ohio State is going to score. I have said it before, but USC and Penn State are the only teams that lived on the same level as Texas all year and OSU did very little in those games. I understand that a few Big 12 defenses (Missouri, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech) have been lit up in bowl games but there are no transitive properties in college football.
I think the Buckeyes' defense will play well and slow the Longhorns down for three quarters, but eventually Texas is going to break some big plays. A couple of late scores make it look bad.
Texas 30, Ohio State 13