Pryor’s passing pushes Ohio State past overmatched Indiana
Published: Saturday, October 9, 2010
Updated: Saturday, June 16, 2012 00:06
Following Saturday's win over Indiana, quarterback Terrelle Pryor said his strained quadriceps wasn't healthy enough for him to run the ball.
The Buckeyes didn't need him to.
Pryor threw for a career-high 334 yards before sitting out most of the second half as the No. 1 Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0) rolled over the Hoosiers (3-2, 0-2), 38-10, Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
It's the 16th consecutive victory for OSU over Indiana. The Hoosiers last knocked off the Buckeyes in 1988.
It's also the 100th victory for coach Jim Tressel at OSU. He's the fastest coach in Buckeye history to the mark, needing just 121 games to capture his 100th win.
"This is a place that, if they let you stay long enough, you should win 100," Tressel said.
Hoosiers quarterback Ben Chappell set school records in a 42-35 loss to Michigan last week, completing 45 passes for 480 yards. He managed just 106 yards against a stifling Buckeye defense.
OSU piled up 478 total yards of offense while limiting Indiana to just 210.
"It is a testament to our guys," senior defensive lineman Dexter Larimore said. "They have a lot better offense than what we made them look like. The defense came to play today and we shut them down."
Instead, Pryor looked like the gunslinger. The junior Heisman trophy candidate threw for 280 yards and all three of his touchdowns in the first half.
The injury that forced him to sit out seven snaps last Saturday didn't appear to affect him against Indiana. Tressel didn't call any designed runs for Pryor, who was sacked twice and also lost six yards on a carry when escaping a sack.
"We don't do a whole bunch of designed, called quarterback runs," Tressel said. "We always think he's going to naturally get (those)."
Pryor's 334 yards through the air were the most by a Buckeye quarterback since Troy Smith burned the Notre Dame defense for 342 yards in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl.
"We know that he can gain yards running," Tressel said. "We want to keep being a threat in the passing game."
It was the running game that got things started for OSU, however.
Dan Herron, who salvaged OSU's narrow victory over Illinois last week with 95 rushing yards, scored from 39 yards out on the Buckeyes' opening drive.
The run game took a backseat after that.
Pryor connected with Dane Sanzenbacher for a 22-yard touchdown on OSU's third drive. The score was the sixth in three games for the senior receiver.
"I was a little surprised at how open I was," Sanzenbacher said. "If we put them in a situation where the safety doesn't know which way I'm going, you have a chance to get open like that. We just did our job to be able to confuse them where the receivers would be."
In the second quarter, Pryor hooked up with running back Brandon Saine on a 60-yard strike to give OSU a 21-0 edge. Saine spent the majority of the afternoon at receiver, ceding carries to Herron and sophomore Jordan Hall.
"We said going into the game, we were going to try to figure out more ways to get him the ball," Tressel said. "I don't know that we necessarily went into the game thinking he wouldn't get any of them from a hand-off, but we didn't have that many plays. … But we think he's really dangerous as a receiver and as a runner and that long one was an important one."
Later in the quarter, Pryor threw an 18-yard touchdown toss to receiver DeVier Posey, who finished with eight catches for 103 yards.
"I think (Pryor) wasn't as worried about the injury all week as everybody else was," Sanzenbacher said. "He just stayed focused and it got him prepared."
The Buckeyes added a field goal at the end of the first half to claim a 31-0 lead.
Herron tacked on the final Buckeye score, an 8-yard touchdown out of the Wildcat formation, on OSU's opening drive of the third quarter.
The Buckeyes didn't record a sack, but they pressured Chappell enough to force him into tightly contested throws.
Cornerback Devon Torrence picked off Chappell after miscommunication by the Indiana offense. No receiver was within 10 yards of Chappell's pass.
In the second quarter, Brian Rolle nabbed an interception after fellow linebacker Ross Homan tipped and bobbled the pass.
"I looked up in the air and I saw a flash come across my face and I knew it was (Rolle)," Homan said. "So as long as someone came down with it, I didn't care."
OSU travels to Madison, Wis., to take on the Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium at 7 p.m. Oct. 16.