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Thursday, June 20
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

In front of more than 50,000 fans, Hoosiers stumble against the Buckeyes


Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor was chosen by the media as the Big Ten’s preseason Offensive Player of the Year, and he lived up to that billing in Saturday’s 33-14 win against the Hoosiers. 

Ohio State totaled 219 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground against IU, including 183 yards in the first half. 

By comparison, IU, which entered its matchup against the Buckeyes averaging nearly 160 yards per game on the ground, finished with only 18 total yards.

IU senior linebacker Matt Mayberry said his team’s inability to limit Ohio State’s run attack was a big reason for the loss.

“We knew Pryor was going to go off and try to run the ball,” Mayberry said. “He’s fast, big and hard to take down. We knew exactly what they were going to do, but they just executed better tonight.”

The biggest factor on Saturday was Pryor’s playmaking ability, which controlled the pace of the game from the opening snap.

On designed passing plays that were well-defended, Pryor took off running. His 6-foot, 6-inch frame and 235 pounds caused major issues for the Hoosiers. Multiple defenders were often needed to bring him down.

Pryor ended the game with 63 yards and one touchdown on the ground – statistics greatly deflated by three sacks by IU.

He was also effective in the air with 159 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

IU senior defensive end Jammie Kirlew said Pryor’s mobility presented problems in all four quarters.

“I got to admit, I did underestimate his speed because he is such a big guy,” Kirlew said. “His speed is just ridiculous. He really did a good job creating plays for their offense.”

Buckeye running back Brandon Saine was also trouble for the Hoosiers.

He rushed for 113 yards on 17 carries, good for an average of 6.6 yards per run. 

He was most effective in the first quarter, with 70 rushing yards, and added another running dimension to complement Pryor.

The Buckeyes’ effectiveness running the ball early forced IU to adjust its defensive scheme in the second half.

But despite Ohio State gaining 36 yards on the ground in those final 30 minutes, the Buckeyes’ defense was equally impressive.

The only score it allowed came on the final play of the game with backups on the field.
They limited the typically potent freshman running back Darius Willis to only 2.1 yards per carry. Willis was only a week removed from his 152-yard rushing performance against Michigan on Sept. 26.

His total pickup of only 23 yards came against a team that hadn’t allowed a score in two games. 

IU coach Bill Lynch said the Buckeyes were just too much to handle.

“That’s as good a defense as there is in America,” Lynch said. “Particularly, their front four just came after us and gave us problems. We didn’t play well enough, and they certainly did what they had to do to win.”

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