OK, maybe that's a cliche line to start this blog, but I figured it was worth a shot.
Ohio State's Big Ten title chances are still alive, thanks to the rushing efforts of Chris Wells and Terrelle Pryor, the inconsistent play of Wisconsin QB Allen Evridge, and some questionable offensive play calling by the Wisconsin coaching staff.
While Terrelle Pryor's touchdown run proved to be the game-winner for Ohio State, I would argue that Chris Wells was the player of the game for Ohio State.
Without Chris Wells' power running, especially some of his lethal stiff-arms that he applied to unfortunate Wisconsin defenders, Ohio State would not have been in this game. While Boom Herron, Maurice Wells, and Brandon Saine are decent ball players, none of the three can provide a power element such as Chris Wells.
I respected the way Terrelle Pryor kept battling throughout this game. Considering the venue, as well as the physical style of play Wisconsin is known for, it would have been easy for Pryor to make a typical freshman quarterback mistake.
If I could work with Terrelle Pryor going forward, especially after this game, it would be for Pryor to trust his legs more than he has shown so far this season.
On multiple occasions last evening, there were times where Pryor would take a sack or throw an incompletion, when he could have taken off and gained positive yardage. Hopefully, the OSU coaching staff will get that message across to Pryor in film study this week.
I do not know how to adequately describe Terrelle Pryor's passing style. It almost resembles a push of the ball, like a shot put, versus a conventional throwing motion. Yes, I know, Pryor gets the job done, but I would still work on that moving forward.
Getting back to the comments above regarding Allen Evridge and the Wisconsin coaching staff, I would argue that if the coaching staff had stuck with running the ball in the second half, Wisconsin would have won this game easily.
Ohio State's defensive line was truly being blown off the line of scrimmage by Wisconsin. While I respect the idea of throwing the ball to keep a team off-balance, I also believe that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" when it comes to football.
Ohio State's linebackers, especially LB Ross Homan, played as well as they could, considering they were fighting off Wisconsin blockers before making the tackle on Wisconsin RBs P.J. Hill and John Clay.
If I could make an argument to Wisconsin before they play Penn State this weekend, it would be to stick with the running game more than you did against Ohio State.
Next up for Ohio State? Purdue, in Ohio Stadium at 3:30 p.m. EST; I will post a prediction on that game later in the week. As for the rest of The Big Ten, Penn State, Michigan State, Northwestern, and Ohio State sit at the top for this week.
Penn State travels to Camp Randall next weekend for another night game for Wisconsin. Michigan State travels to Northwestern, so someone will fall from the ranks of The Big Ten's unbeaten club. The Big Ten race is just starting to heat up.