Ohio State’s Message to Terrelle Pryor: It’s OK to Punt
The Buckeyes struggled against Minnesota in the first half of their win Saturday before eventually going on to blowout the Golden Gophers. They led just 7-0 at halftime, the score coming on a 62-yard touchdown pass from Terrelle Pryor to DeVier Posey. As Ohio State was moving in for a score just before halftime, Pryor threw a pass into about triple coverage that was intercepted in the end zone. Rather than being up 10-0 or potentially 14-0 at halftime, the game remained at 7-0. The pass prompted an anecdote from one of the ESPN announcers who said the Ohio State coaching staff posted a sign in the team’s facility that said “It’s OK to punt.” Per the announcers, Pryor took offense to the sign and that’s when coach Jim Tressel had to put it context — it’s OK to punt instead of committing a turnover — something Pryor did four times in a loss to Purdue last weekend.
The wheels really started to fall off the bus for the Buckeyes following that embarrassing loss and most people felt Pryor had regressed. Also hurting matters was when Pryor’s high school coach chimed in to say that the QB wasn’t being used properly by Ohio State and that Terrelle should have gone to Michigan. I say that Ohio State’s a fine place for him to be, he’s just going through growing pains on a massive stage. Pryor needs to learn how to look off receivers and avoid locking in on his targets, and that turnovers are killer. So far he’s responded with a strong game in the air and on the ground against Minnesota. Pryor could easily run the zone read all day but if he wants to take his game to the next level, these are the things he has to do and learn, as pride-swallowing as it may be.