Ohio State Welcomes Terrelle Pryor to the Big Time
Terrelle Pryor's first career collegiate start was also his first career collegiate win.
The Buckeyes freshman phenom got the start against Troy, and all he did was account for all four of Ohio State's touchdowns on 10-for-16 passing and rush for another 67 yards in a 28-10 win.
Jim Tressel hasn't said as much, but with Pryor playing virtually the entire game and former starter Todd Boeckman entering the game for a total of three snaps (only one of which was a pass), Pryor looks like the solid choice to be the new Buckeye starter.
Pryor has played in all four games this season, including last week at USC, and has looked like he is ready to lead the Buckeyes. He hasn't yet shown any signs of nervousness or freshman jitters.
Instead, Pryor has been a visible leader for the senior-laden Buckeyes. During last week's game at USC, Pryor was seen jumping up and down, yelling encouragement, and trying to pump up his teammates on both sides of the ball.
After today's game, Pryor showed his leadership qualities once again. When asked what grade he would give his performance, he humbly deflected attention away from himself and answered, "I don't grade myself, but my line was great. I give all them all the credit."
Pryor went on to say, "I love Ohio State and I love Coach Tressel. To me he's the greatest. I think he's the greatest coach. I love it here."
Buckeye fans love Terrelle Pryor too. The coaching staff never announced who would get the start and even moments before kick-off, Big Ten Network announcers Charles Davis and Thom Brenneman were speculating on who would get the start.
When Pryor ran onto the field for the Buckeyes' first possession, the crowd erupted. His first drive ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rory Nichol. On that first drive, Boeckman was brought in for one play after a long run by Pryor. The crowd booed the sixth-year senior.
In the second quarter after a four-play, 37-yard drive, Pryor connected with Brian Hartline for a 39-yard touchdown pass.
The fourth quarter brought Pryor's third touchdown, a 38-yard strike to Brian Robiskie and his fourth touchdown, a 16-yard pass to Hartline.
The Buckeyes also got a big game out of another true freshman in tailback Daniel "Boom" Herron, who rushed for 93 yards on 20 carries.
Tressel, although still calling a conservative game, did change his thinking on rotating players. In the first three games, the coach liberally substituted running backs Herron, Brandon Saine, and Maurice Wells, in absence of injured superstar Chris "Beanie" Wells.
In the game against Troy, however, he let Herron carry the load and find a rhythm. By doing that, Herron was able to prove he is a capable and talented back.
Buckeye fans should expect to see Pryor as the man under center in next week's conference opener against Minnesota, but shouldn't lose sight of the fact the Pryor is only an 18-year old true freshman. He still has a lot to learn.
His talent is unquestionable, but the reads he makes and the plays that are called for him are only going to get more difficult as the season continues. If he can show the same growth he has shown in the first four games, though, Pryor could very well be the next great Ohio State quarterback.
Tressel has found his starting quarterback for the season and Ohio State has found their starter for the next four years.
Terrelle Pryor is the man.
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