In loss, Pryor shows he's not QB Buckeyes need

BY foxsports • October 18, 2009

CFN's Instant Analysis of Purdue's 26-18 upset of Ohio State:

Not all QB's fault

Here comes the Terrelle Pryor backlash.

Everyone thought this would be the year he'd grow into a transcendent superstar, and everyone thought he'd take a big step in his development. After the loss to Purdue, it'll be easy to make him the scapegoat. After all, this is Ohio State, and there's always great talent at every spot to replace the lost starters. But there's one problem — he wasn't that bad.

He threw two picks, but he completed 17 of 31 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown as he did a nice job in comeback mode, but he ran for only 34 yards on 21 carries. That's the coaching staff's fault. He ran for a two-point conversion as if he were gliding and everyone else was going in slow motion, and that's the Pryor the coaching staff needs to use. With no help from the rest of the ground game, Pryor needs to be in better positions to use his speed instead of being used like a really tall running back. But enough about Ohio State losing.

Purdue won this game because it flat-out whipped Ohio State up front. Ryan Kerrigan and the Boilermakers defensive front were the reason Pryor had a long day, while the offensive line did just enough to keep QB Joey Elliott upright to allow for a 281-yard passing day. This was the win Purdue couldn't seem to get under Joe Tiller, and this was the loss Ohio State never drops under Jim Tressel. And now the Big Ten season has taken a big left turn.

— Pete Fiutak

Pryor incomplete QB

This has been brewing in me for a while, but I just don't see the development out of Terrelle Pryor that I expected in his second year. While that doesn't mean it won't eventually come or today's loss at Purdue was his entire fault, he still has a long way to go before becoming a complete quarterback for Ohio State.

More than just the four turnovers, he simply doesn't look comfortable in the pocket. Over a year into his tenure, he still plays like a phenomenal athlete who happens to line up behind center. His reads are questionable, he doesn't set his feet in the pocket and his distaste for contact sometimes forces him from the pocket before it's necessary. Those struggles in West Lafayette were not against one of the Big Ten's stingier defenses. In fact, the Boilermakers entered the game last in the league in scoring D.

Pryor was supposed to evolve from last year's cradle into one of the game's best dual-threat quarterbacks in America. So far, it hasn't happened, which is one of the main reasons Ohio State is out of national title contention and no longer in a dead heat with Iowa atop the Big Ten.

— Richard Cirminiello

Better coaching needed

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1. The problem is not that Tressel Ball lost, because it didn't. The problem is Terrelle Pryor is awful. His late touchdown pass in this game was a Hail Mary heave that was improbably answered. Sure, his offensive line didn't help him a whole lot today, but that's no excuse for coughing up four turnovers, which isn't part of the Tressel Ball motif. Mr. Sweater Vest's problem is the quality of coaching he and his staff are providing Pryor, who is regressing instead of improving. Good coaching develops players and enables them to grow. Pryor is shrinking in 2009, so Tressel has to make a substantial shift in his approach, either in terms of the staff that surrounds him or the methods he uses to teach the quarterback position. The Buckeyes are still in the Big Ten chase, but this incarnation of Terrelle Pryor will get OSU a couple more losses at Penn State and at home against Iowa later in the season.

2. There's a place called West Lafayette. A place where Hope lives. Danny Hope and Purdue have had their stomachs punched so many times this season. Some Big Ten teams (knock, knock, Illinois) have folded the tent this season, so it's heartwarming to see another club from the conference compete with the consistency and care exhibited by the Boilermakers today.

— Matt Zemek

A mess at QB

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