Terrelle Pryor: The 10 Best Performances of Pryor's Career at Ohio State
On March 19, 2008, Terrelle Pryor—the No. 1 ranked high school quarterback in the class of 2008, according to the ESPNU 150—announced his decision to attend Ohio State.
Not only did Pryor's decision to attend Ohio State improve the Buckeyes' already strong recruiting class, but also it placed Ohio State right back in the discussion of the top college football teams heading into the 2008-09 season.
Needless to say, expectations were high in Columbus.
Fast-forward to June 7, 2011.
Thus far, in his three-year career at Ohio State, Pryor has shown glimpses of why he was so coveted coming out of high school, and has led the Buckeyes to back-to-back BCS Bowl wins. Although he still hasn't developed into a consistent pocket passer, Pryor has dramatically improved his accuracy—boosting his completion percentage from 56.6% in 2009 to 65% in 2010—and his decision making.
At least, his on the field decision-making.
On December 23, 2010, Pryor was suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of the 2011-12 season for selling Ohio State memorabilia in exchange for improper benefits. The suspension resulted in an investigation by the NCAA, and set off a domino effect that ultimately resulted in the resignation of Ohio State's head coach, Jim Tressel.
But back to June 7, 2011.
With all of that in mind, Pryor released a statement through his attorney, Larry James, saying that he won't return for his senior season at Ohio State and that he "desires" to enter the NFL's supplemental draft.
Good Luck, Terrelle...
#10. September 20, 2008 Ohio State vs. Troy
Coming off a humiliating 35 - 3 loss against USC, Jim Tressel announced that both Pryor and then-senior quarterback Todd Boeckman would split snaps against Troy. However, Tressel rode Pryor's hot hand, and kept the freshman quarterback in for all but two plays.
In his first career start, Terrelle Pryor led Ohio State to a 28 -10 win over Troy, in which he completed 10 of 16 passes for 139 yards and four touchdowns.
Pryor was able to extend the Buckeye's lead by throwing two fourth quarter touchdown passes: a 38-yarder to Brian Robiskie and a 16-yard strike to Brian Hartline.
10-16, 139 passing yards, 4 TD, 1 INT—205.5 Passer Rating
14 carries, 66 yards
#9. October 3, 2009 Ohio State vs. Indiana
On October 3, 2009, Pryor dominated Indiana's subpar defense, scoring four touchdowns—three passing and one rushing—en route to a 33 -14 win.
Ahead 3-0 in the first quarter, the Buckeyes extended their lead when Pryor connected with Duron Carter for a 5-yard touchdown pass.
Pryor added two more passing touchdowns in the first half: a 23-yarder to DeVier Posey and an 8-yard pass to Zach Boren.
This result of this game was never in doubt, and it looked as if Ohio State eased up a little in the fourth quarter. Nonetheless, Pryor's numbers were impressive:
17-28, 166 passing yards, 3 TD, 1 INT—138.7 Passer Rating
16 carries, 63 yards, 1 TD
#8. October 23, 2010 Ohio State vs. Purdue
Pryor's three touchdown passes in the second quarter extended the Buckeye's lead to 42-0. With the game well in hand, Jim Tressel pulled Pryor after two series in the third quarter. In just over a half of play, Pryor finished with these numbers:
16-22, 270 passing yards, 3 TD, 2 INT—202. 6 Passer Rating
#7. November 8, 2008 Ohio State vs. Northwestern
Coming off his first loss as a starter, Terrelle Pryor responded with the best game of his young career en route to a 45-10 win over Northwestern.
The Buckeyes quarterback played efficiently, needing just 14 passing attempts to rack up 197 yards and three touchdowns.
Pryor extended the Buckeyes lead to 24-7 when he tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Brian Robiskie with 1:25 remaining in the first half.
Pryor added two more passing touchdowns in the second half: a 6-yard pass to Rory Nicol and a 34-yard pass to Robiskie.
9-14, 197 yards passing, 3 TD—253.2 Passer Rating
6 carries, 33 yards
#6. September 2, 2010 Ohio State vs. Marshall
In Ohio State's first game of the 2010-11 college football season, Terrelle Pryor shined, throwing for 247 yards and three touchdowns en route to a 45-7 win over Marshall.
This game marked the second time in Pryor's career in which he threw for three touchdowns and no interceptions. The first time came back on November 8, 2008, in a 45-10 Buckeyes win against Northwestern.
Pryor capitalized on an early Marshall turnover by throwing a 6-yard touchdown pass to DeVier Posey, pushing the Buckeyes out to a 7-0 lead. Pryor connected with Posey for another touchdown pass in the third quarter, this time from 11 yards out, extending the Buckeyes' lead to 42-7.
17-25, 247 yards passing, 3 TD—190.6 Passer Rating
#5. September 19, 2009 Ohio State vs. Toledo
Pryor played the best game of his young career against Toledo on September 19, 2009, as he totaled more than 370 yards of offense and added four touchdowns in 38-0 Ohio State win.
Pryor's 262 yards passing and 110 yards rushing represented the first time in his collegiate career when Pryor passed for more than 100 yards and rushed for more than 100 yards in the same game.
The Buckeyes' quarterback pushed Ohio State out to an early lead by connecting with Dane Sanzenbacher for a touchdown on each of Ohio State's first two possessions.
One of Pryor's passing touchdowns to Sanzenbacher, a 76-yard bomb, stands as the longest touchdown pass of Pryor's career.
17-28, 262 yards passing, 3 TD, 2 INT—160.4 Passer Rating
12 carries, 110 yards
#4. October 9, 2010 Ohio State vs. Indiana
Pryor gashed the Hoosiers' defense, passing for more than 300 yards for the first time in his career—surpassing his previous high of 266 yards—and added three touchdowns.
However, the most impressive thing about Pryor's performance was his accuracy. Pryor completed 24 of his 30 passes (80%) and constantly placed the ball in a position that allowed his receivers to catch the ball in full stride.
Pryor's three touchdown passes went to three different receivers. In the first quarter, Pryor connected with Dane Sanzenbacher for a 22-yard touchdown pass. Then, Pryor extended the Buckeyes' lead to 21-0 when he threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Saine. Pryor's third touchdown pass was a 17-yard strike to DeVier Posey in the back of the end zone.
24-30, 334 yards passing (80% completion rate), 3 TD—206.5 Passer Rating
#3. January 1, 2011 Ohio State vs. Arkansas
Terrelle Pryor led Ohio State to its second straight BCS Bowl win as he helped push the Buckeyes past Arkansas 31-26 in the 2011 Sugar Bowl.
Pryor lit up the Razorbacks' defense in the first half, passing for two touchdowns—a 15-yard touchdown pass to Dane Sanzenbacher and a 43-yard touchdown pass to DeVier Posey—and extended the Buckeyes lead to 28-7.
Pryor managed the game nicely and didn't turn the ball over. In addition to his two passing touchdowns, Pryor ran for 115 yards, which helped Ohio State extend its drives.
Pryor's 336 total yards and two touchdowns led to him being named the 2011 Sugar Bowl MVP.
The win gave Ohio State its first postseason win against an SEC team.
14-25, 221 yards passing, 2 TD—156. 7 Passer Rating
15 carries, 115 yards
#2. January 1, 2010 Ohio State vs. Oregon
Terrelle Pryor rebounded from his terrible performance in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl (where he was 5 of 13 for 66 yards against Texas) to capture Ohio State's first BCS Bowl win in its last four tries, beating Oregon 26-17 in the 2010 Rose Bowl.
Pryor set the tone early by connecting with Brandon Saine for a 13-yard touchdown pass that put the Buckeyes ahead 7-0.
From that point on, the Buckeyes continued to ride Pryor's arm as the Ohio State quarterback attempted a career-high 37 passes.
Pryor's performance in this game was significant because he proved for the first time that he could perform in big games against great teams. It was the first game that Jim Tressel let Pryor air it out against a good team, and Pryor's play showed that he could be successful both running and throwing against good teams.
23-37, 266 yards (62.2% completion rate), 2 TD, 1 INT—135 Passer Rating
20 rushes for 72 yards
#1. September 25, 2010 Ohio State vs. Eastern Michigan
Terrelle Pryor did just about everything against Eastern Michigan.
He ran for 104 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown run that opened the scoring.
He passed for 224 yards and four touchdowns.
Pryor even caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Hall on a trick play late in the third quarter.
No game during Pryor's career at Ohio State better epitomizes his versatility as an athlete and displayed how he could hurt defenses in a variety of ways.
Unfortunately for Ohio State fans, the talented prospect from Jeannette, Pennsylvania, decided to forego his senior season. Thus, the Terrelle Pryor era in Columbus is officially over.
20-26, 224 yards passing, 4 TD—200.1 Passer Rating
7 carries, 104 yards, 1 TD
1 reception, 20 yards, 1 TD