Ohio State football Armageddon averted Buckeye fans. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor will practice all week with his left quadriceps strain and should be essentially 100 percent come Saturday.
Or as coach Jim Tressel put it Tuesday at his weekly press conference: “I would expect every day he'll get closer to 100 percent,” Tressel said. “I don't know who's 100 percent after five games that has as much wear and tear as a guy that has his hands on the ball [as much as Pryor], but I think he'll be fine.”
However, considering how limited Pryor was after he returned from injury in the Illinois game, expect a toned down offensive game plan from Tressel and offensive coordinator Jim Bollman.
They aren’t going to want to take any major chances with their Heisman contender before next week’s mammoth showdown against Wisconsin in Camp Randall.
Speaking of the Heisman, the front-runners at this point are Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, Oregon running back LaMichael James, Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton and Pryor.
Would a day of limited reps from Pryor and a large serving of “Boom” Herron and “Zoom” Saine hurt Pryor’s Heisman hopes?
Not in the least.
Following this weekend’s game versus Indiana, OSU still has six games left to play. That’s a lot of season left.
Furthermore, four of those games will present Pryor with opportunities for “Heisman moments.” Next Saturday at Wisconsin and the last three games of the season (home against Penn State, at Iowa, and home versus Michigan) will give Pryor a grand stage to showcase his talents to a national audience.
As far as the other Heisman contenders, the rest of their seasons are far from easy to predict with the exception of Moore, who should continue to put up astronomical numbers against below-average competition.
Robinson, probably the clear-cut favorite at this point, still has to face the likes of Michigan State, Iowa, Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State. If he can make it through that stretch relatively unscathed while putting up pretty good numbers, the Heisman is his to lose.
James might come up with the best numbers of anyone. There’s no defense in the Pac-10 that strikes fear into the Oregon offense and as long as quarterback Darron Thomas stays healthy defenses still have to respect his ground prowess as well.
Newton is the wild card. Auburn still has to play Arkansas, LSU, Georgia and Alabama. However, only Alabama is on the road. And Arkansas and Georgia aren’t setting the world on fire defensively, thus Newton could continue to put up monster numbers.
Nevertheless, it is still far too early to make too much of anyone’s Heisman campaigns. There’s plenty of time for someone to fall off the face of the Earth (Jake Locker) or to get hurt (Dennis Dixon).