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Rose Bowl notebook: Will Tressel loosen Pryor’s leash?

Andy Gottesman / The Lantern

No one is asking the Buckeyes to replicate last season’s bowl game use of quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

In Ohio State’s 24-21 Fiesta Bowl loss to Texas, Pryor threw for 66 yards, rushed for 78 and even caught a touchdown.

But as Pryor has battled through injuries to his ankle and knee, the well of offensive diversity has dried up. As coach Jim Tressel called for more runs and asked less of his sophomore quarterback, the team rolled off five straight wins, with Pryor’s arm playing far less of a role.

Now, will the untested quarterback finally be let loose in the team’s most critical game of the year?

“I hope so,” Pryor said. “I hope for that every game, but I just want to get a ‘W’. Whatever the team needs me to do, I want to do it.”

OSU sprinted past its last five opponents, posting at least 225 rushing yards in each victory. But after nearly six weeks off, will the team revert to its steady ground game, or open things up through the air?

Pryor believes a balanced scheme would fare best.

“It’s whatever they can’t stop,” he said. “If they can’t stop our passing game, then we’re going to keep doing that. We’ve gotten a lot better passing, we can throw the ball, it just depends on if we’re going to do it. If we keep everything balanced, then we’re going to be good.”

Receiver DeVier Posey predicted that Pryor is primed for a break-out performance.

“I definitely believe he can have a great game,” Posey said. “He’s poised for a great game, he’s been practicing well.”

 

NFL bound?

Ten Ohio State juniors filed paperwork to the NFL to learn about their potential status in the league’s April draft.

Many players go through the process simply to gauge their draft stock heading into their final collegiate year.

Defensive lineman Cameron Heyward suggested that he wouldn’t mind sticking around for his senior season.

“Right now, I’m leaning towards staying,” Heyward said. “I’m just enjoying time with my guys. These guys are my brothers.”

Defensive end Thaddeus Gibson refused to cave in to constant questions from reporters, saying that the decision only serves as a disruption.

“I don’t want any distractions,” he said. “I’m just locked in on [the game], I’ll worry about that later.”

Linebacker Brian Rolle, however, fully expects to return to Columbus for a final hurrah.

“It’s not something I weighed about, whether I was going to stay or leave,” he said. “I just did it just to know where I’d be if I did think about leaving. I’ll be back next year most definitely.”

Rose Bowl adds trio to Hall

Former Buckeye offensive lineman John Hicks was one of three inductees Wednesday to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.

Hicks paved the way for running back Archie Griffin to collect a pair of Heisman trophies. During Hicks’ time at OSU, the Bucks played in three Rose Bowls, winning one.

Hicks spoke to a crowd of family, friends, Rose Bowl bigwigs and media about how the Rose Bowl meant so much to him and his family growing up.

Along with Hicks, Barry Alvarez, the current athletic director and former coach of Wisconsin, and Tom Hansen, the former Pac-10 Commissioner, were also elected to the Hall of Fame.

Rain, rain go away

Inclement weather led to the cancelation of Ohio State’s outdoor practice Wednesday afternoon.

A steady rain kept the Buckeyes indoors, where they instead held offensive, defensive and position meetings.

 

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