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Old 07-29-2009, 02:53 PM   #21
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Default Re: Ohio State Football Thread

Another National Championship sure woudn't hurt either!
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:24 AM   #22
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Default Re: Ohio State Football Thread

Buckeyes ready for fresh start after all the departures....

http://www.buckeyextra.com/live/cont...B.html?sid=101

New era, fresh air for OSU
Buckeyes eager to fill roles of departed seniors, erase memories of lopsided, high-profile losses
Wednesday, July 29, 2009 3:06 AM
By Ken Gordon
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

CHICAGO -- Rarely has a passing of the torch been so apparent as in the University of Phoenix Stadium locker room in January.

In that personal haunted house for Ohio State -- a place of mumbled words and shellshocked stares -- the Buckeyes spoke of their last-second loss to Texas in the Fiesta Bowl. On one side of the room, departing fifth-year senior linebacker Marcus Freeman was defiant.

The Buckeyes had proved their mettle in giving third-ranked Texas all it could handle, he said. This was at least partial redemption for lopsided losses during his career to Florida, Louisiana State and Southern California.

Freeman's sentiment was understandable given the withering storm of abuse heaped on Ohio State for those losses. This time, nobody could say the Buckeyes did not deserve to be on the same field as their opponent.

But just a few feet away, freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor sounded a glaringly different tone. He was disgusted at the suggestion of a moral victory.

"It's not good enough," he said.

Nearly seven months later, as Ohio State prepares for preseason camp, there's a feeling of breaking away from the chains of the past, of casting loose from the moorings.

Although the Buckeyes will miss three-year starters such as Freeman, James Laurinaitis, Malcolm Jenkins and Alex Boone, they are sailing into the unknown, and there's something liberating about that.

"It's a good feeling," senior safety Kurt Coleman said. "We have a new little I guess you could say swagger, or new little confidence about ourselves, and it's a little bit different. I'm not going to lie -- the team is a little bit different. I really like it; we have a young group of kids."

This is nothing new, of course. College teams constantly churn their rosters, with untested young players eager to step up into new roles.

"Change is exciting for everybody," coach Jim Tressel said. "There's a new energy when someone else is handed the torch and let's see how they do."

Inexperience certainly presents a challenge. The Buckeyes have major voids at offensive tackle, running back, receiver, linebacker and cornerback.

Much is being placed at the feet of Pryor. How much has he grown in his first full offseason in the program?

"It's a younger group," Tressel said, "and with us not knowing as much about them, it's a little bit harder to feature the things that they do best when you're really not sure yet exactly what they do best."

August will be a frantic month of teaching and evaluating, to be sure, and with USC looming Sept. 12, there is little time to ease into the season.

There's more to it for Ohio State, though. It's impossible to say what psychological toll players paid for the repeated high-profile failures, but surely, there had to be a cumulative effect.

With the departure of last year's seniors (and early-entry juniors), nobody who played a significant role in a 41-14 loss to Florida in the 2006 national championship game remains on the team.

The current players don't bear nearly as many scars. In some ways, Ohio State's inexperience might actually be a blessing.

"They say ignorance is bliss," Coleman said. "I think a lot of the guys, like (senior defensive tackle) Doug (Worthington) and I are never going to forget about (the losses), but I think the young guys don't really know what it feels like to lose like that -- which is a good thing."

kgordon@dispatch.com
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:28 PM   #23
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Default Re: Ohio State Football Thread

Bad news for Big Ten, USC....Pryor's all growed up now...

http://www.buckeyextra.com/live/cont...8.html?sid=101

Positive signs
Teammates like what they're seeing in Terrelle Pryor's maturation
Sunday, August 2, 2009 3:43 AM
By Ken Gordon
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

According to teammates and opposing players, last year Terrelle Pryor was an indecisive, run-first quarterback who didn't know the offense very well and took too many sacks.

Considering that, it's amazing the Ohio State quarterback had success -- going 8-2 as a starter, leading the Big Ten in pass efficiency and being named the conference's freshman of the year.

Imagine what Pryor might do this fall.

From watching him in spring practice -- when he showed significant improvement in the passing game -- and from listening to those around him, the sophomore appears poised to take a big leap forward.

"He's making huge improvements," tight end Jake Ballard said, "and I know his expectations for himself are just as high. And that's what makes Terrelle such a good player -- he always wants to get better. He's going to be a big part of our team success this year."

The easy comparison would be to look at the improvement former quarterback Troy Smith made between 2004 and 2005.

In 2004, Smith took over in midstream, like Pryor, and often made up for his lack of experience by taking off running. In 2005, Smith was much more in command of the system and showcased a devastating blend of passing and running.

It's clear that the OSU coaching staff was protecting Pryor last season by limiting the game plan and playing conservatively. He averaged only 15 pass attempts in his 10 starts.

"We were basically asking him not to turn the ball over, to be conservative with the ball and just help guide the team down the field," safety Kurt Coleman said.

There's a reason for that. Although Pryor has a strong arm and was accurate (60.6 percent passing), he often held the ball too long. That's a common symptom of inexperience, mainly of not reading defenses quickly.

When in doubt, he ran. That's preferable to throwing an interception, obviously (he only threw four), but it made the offense one-dimensional.

"We knew he was talented, (that) he had made some great throws, but we knew it was going to be him trying to run more, we knew we had to stop that first," Penn State linebacker Sean Lee said. "Now this year, we'll see. Is it going to be just as tough to stop the pass as it was the run?"

Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones said he thought Pryor was an indecisive passer last year.

"If somebody wasn't open, he was going to try and run it," Jones said, "but by the time he decided to run, it was a sack."

For a mobile quarterback, Pryor did get sacked a lot -- 21 times. Compare that to Todd Boeckman, a pure pocket passer, who was sacked 18 times in 2007 while dropping back much more often.

Coleman said he has noticed great improvement in Pryor's knowledge of the system.

"He's distributing the ball a lot more," Coleman said. "Before, he would have one read. Now he sees a read, (and if) he sees a different coverage, he's going to go (to his second and third read). He's done a great job."

The other, more intangible mark of progress is in Pryor's attitude. Listening to teammates, it sounds as if he came in last year with a bit too much bravado.

Defensive tackle Doug Worthington has noticed a difference this year.

"In the huddle, he's telling people when they're wrong; he's disciplining when need be," Worthington said. "You see the progress that he had from being -- I'm not saying a knucklehead -- but being a freshman and going out there and having fun and giggling and not taking things seriously too much.

"It's great just seeing the kid go out there and become a man."

The potential is obvious. It's why Pryor was named preseason Big Ten offensive player of the year and why his name is on most lists of Heisman Trophy candidates.

What encourages coach Jim Tressel the most is Pryor's eagerness to transfer potential into results.

"The greatest thing about T.P. is he is one of the best listeners I've ever been around," Tressel said. "He is glued in on, 'What is it that I can find out to be better?' He wants that. He wants to be coached hard; he wants to have tremendously high expectations.

"And when you're willing to be like that -- and then, by the way, you happen to be pretty talented -- he's going to have a chance, I think, to be very, very good."


BONUS: Tressel's notes
Here are three areas where Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor needs to improve this year, according to coach Jim Tressel:

Distribute: Comfort and knowledge of the offense will lead to Pryor spreading the ball around better, with an emphasis on checking down to the outlet receiver when necessary.

Go deep: It's not how often, it's how effective. Tressel says Pryor must get better at letting the ball go on time when throwing downfield.

Focus: Pryor is emotional and also hard on himself. Tressel says he must stay mentally in the moment, which means letting the last play go and always looking forward.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:22 PM   #24
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Default Re: Ohio State Football Thread

I'll see how he handles the environment of Beaver Stadium first before I say that.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:28 PM   #25
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I saw no evidence that he was ever intimidated by anything last year, not even the Rose Bowl in the biggest early-season showdown in the country, and the kid had only been around for a few weeks at that point.

Fact is, the Buckeyes LOVE and thrive on the White out in Happy Valley.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:59 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
I saw no evidence that he was ever intimidated by anything last year, not even the Rose Bowl in the biggest early-season showdown in the country, and the kid had only been around for a few weeks at that point.

Fact is, the Buckeyes LOVE and thrive on the White out in Happy Valley.
you sure? They're 1-1 to the best of my knowledge in the PSU Whiteout Era. Not to mention there Whiteout game this year is Iowa.

Penn State is also not to mention 2-2 against Ohio State at Beaver Stadium this decade (Won 2001, 2005, Lost 2003, 2007.)
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:33 PM   #27
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Default Re: Ohio State Football Thread

Just because they don't always win doesn't mean they don't LOVE the atmosphere. That's the beauty of the program...they actively seek out the biggest early season OOC games they can. The fans love it, it helps in the polls, it tests their mettle, and, most of all, the players thrive on the big game, circus atmosphere...

http://www.bigtennetwork.com/news/ar...6245&list_id=1
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:26 PM   #28
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Won't matter after Sept 12, the Suckeyes will have lost to USC and I will have a new Steelers shirt courtesy of Rev.
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:00 PM   #29
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Bleep
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:45 AM   #30
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Default Re: Ohio State Football Thread

Two things are going to happen in college football pretty soon.

1. USC is going to hit a down cycle. It's nothing personal USC fans, it's just bound to happen. The Pac 10 is better and other schools are starting to take USC recruits away from them. UCLA. Cal, and Oregon State are all better. Plus Notre Dame has gotten much more involved in SoCal is the last few years.

2. The Big Ten is going to come roaring back. It could happen this year. An Ohio State win against USC would be a start. 5 or 6 Big Ten teams in the Top 25 would continue it, and a winning bowl record would cement it.

And for those who say Big Ten love is a Midwestern thing, can it OK. I lived in Arizona for a long time and there's a TON of love out there for Penn State, Ohio State, and Illinois plus a TON of love for Notre Dame.
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