Ohio State Football: Terrelle Pryor or Denard Robinson? A Very Early Comparison
Terrelle Pryor and Denard Robinson.
One came into the season as a Heisman contender. The other has burst onto the scene as the new favorite.
One is a tall, strapping quarterback with a cannon arm. The other, short, quick, and surprisingly accurate.
But when it comes down to it, both are deadly with their feet and both are the heartbeat of their teams.
Pryor has led the Buckeyes to a 2-0 start and a hugely important victory over Miami (Fla.). Robinson has hit the ground running (literally) as the Wolverines quarterback and doesn't plan on stopping soon.
By the end of the year, could we see these two in New York? It's too hard to tell now, but it is easy to tell that they are somewhat similar quarterbacks.
Robinson has only started two games, but there's already talk of how he stacks up to the big guy from down in Columbus.
Here's a way-too-early comparison of the quarterbacks from rival teams.
Similarities: Rushing Ability
Good luck trying to stop these two quarterbacks.
In Robinson, Rich Rodriguez has finally got the rushing quarterback he's salivated over for years.
The Michigan coach has used Robinson like a new Ferrari and showed the nation how fast his new car is.
Robinson has accumulated 455 rushing yards on 57 attempts in just two games. If he continues on that pace, he'll finish well over 2,000 yards. But that's only if he can withstand the constant hits he'll receive as he continues to scramble.
Not to be outdone, Pryor also reminded the college football world of his ability to run against Miami.
The Buckeye quarterback ran through the Miami defense like a hurricane charging through the Florida coast. He finished the game with 113 yards and dominated the 'Canes with his feet.
They do it in different ways—Robinson is shifty and elusive, while Pryor is speedy and powerful—but the end result is the same: They're both almost impossible to slow down.
Without Robinson, where would Michigan be right now?
The Deerfield Beach, Fla., native has basically won the Wolverines' first two games. Through his will, Michigan has succeeded.
He's taken over the games, ensuring wins against two decent opponents. Would Tate Forcier have been able to do the same thing? Probably not, and definitely not to the same degree Robinson has.
Pryor has also shown an increased ability to take over games and lead his team to victory.
Although he might not have had the best day from an accuracy standpoint against Miami, Pryor made key throws and essential runs en route to a dominating victory over the Hurricanes.
Both are going to be relied on for their teams to succeed this season. While Pryor will be expected to lead his team to a national title, Robinson will find a much more substantial burden after flirting with success through two games.
When it comes down to it, these teams go where their quarterbacks go. So far, it's been about as smooth as it gets for both.
Unexpectedly, both of these guys have shown they can actually throw the ball, too.
Robinson has completed 69.4 percent of his passes so far this season, including a 19-for-22 performance against Connecticut.
With defenses doing everything they can to stop him from running, he's found wide-open receivers against crammed boxes.
It's questionable whether such accuracy will continue (Robinson was a 45.2 percent passer last season), but so far, he's gotten the job done.
The same could be said for Pryor, who's looked much more comfortable as a passer than he has before.
This quarterback has always had the big arm, but accuracy has never gone along with it. While his percentage against Miami was sub-par, Pryor's development is obvious and will continue.
The pair can throw and can do it for some accuracy, although it is neither one's strength. Pryor will undoubtedly see his completion percentage go up, while Robinson is sure to cool off in the near future.
Differences: Passing Ability
The quarterbacks have some similarities, but when it comes down to it, there might be more differences at this point with the duo.
The first is pretty obvious. Robinson has churned out yards on the ground, and there's a good reason why Rich Rodriguez makes his quarterback run so much.
He doesn't have the arm Pryor possesses. While Robinson has been efficient through the air this year, he can't loft balls deep downfield the way the Ohio State quarterback can.
Pryor's motion also looks much more natural, while Robinson seems to force balls to his receivers. This is something that will change as Robinson gains experience, but right now, his motion is a little awkward.
Pryor also has more poise in the pocket, but Robinson is already getting there. He's fought the urge to scramble more often than was expected, and has made some quality throws.
Once again, with experience, Robinson will look more comfortable. His tendency to run is very similar to Pryor's last year.
Both these guys can make things happen with their feet.
But the way they make things happen when they scramble comes about differently.
Pryor's 6'6" frame allows him to take immense strides, making it look like he's gliding past defenders. Although it doesn't look like he's running hard, Pryor routinely embarrasses defensive linemen and linebackers as they chase him.
And Pryor isn't scared to bowl over a defender when he gets a chance. His size gives him the ability to power through opponents.
With Robinson, his shiftiness is what makes him such an effective runner. He can find holes and slip through them easily.
And once he finds a crease, there's no chance anyone is catching him. His breakaway speed is exceptional and makes him a threat when he leaves the pocket.
No offense to Denard, but defeating teams like the Big East's Connecticut and a rebuilding Notre Dame aren't exactly resumé builders.
Yeah, he could possibly lead Michigan to some big victories in the future, but it's hard to tell if he has the poise and backbone to do that right now.
He only has two victories under his belt, while Pryor has managed the Ohio State offense since early in his freshman year.
Pryor's had bumps en route to leading his team to big victories. He struggled against USC last season and was horrendous against Purdue.
But as the year progressed, he grew up.
By the time the Rose Bowl came around, Pryor knew how to limit his mistakes and use his ability in the most effective way.
He showed the same moxie against Miami as he led the Ohio State offense to the victory. He might have only completed 12 of 27 passes, but he showed he's the leader of the offense.
Wherever Pryor goes, the Buckeyes go, and he's starting to realize that. In a big game, Pryor is obviously the better choice right now.
It's not a mark against Robinson to say that he's behind Pryor at the moment. In two years, the Michigan quarterback could develop into the quarterback Pryor is, and maybe even better.
He looks more impressive and comfortable than Pryor did in his first year and is a tremendous leader for the Wolverines.
Robinson is also a treat to watch running around and making things happen with his feet.
But Pryor has the upper hand. He combines the size, speed, and passing ability to be the most dangerous player in college football.
He's also refined himself into an effective passer, something that wasn't true two years ago.
Give Robinson some time and he might be what Pryor is. In the meantime, we should all sit back and enjoy what these talents can do.
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