Pryor lights up Indiana defense with career day

A week after suffering a quadriceps strain that caused him to miss playing time, quarterback Terrelle Pryor put up career-high passing numbers against Indiana. Pryor threw for 334 yards, topping a previous career high of 266 yards against Oregon. “Obviously it means something, I’m human,” he said. “We all have statistics we want to get.” Pryor reached the milestone in less than three quarters of work, as he exited the game when the Buckeyes led 38-0. Despite its significance, Pryor was more concerned with adding to the number in the win column than piling up yardage, he said. The team was quick to share the praise. “I think the combination between the (offensive) line protecting well, Terrelle making his reads and knowing his coverages and the receivers running great routes, it’s all going well,” center Mike Brewster said. Coach Jim Tressel agreed it wasn’t all Pryor’s doing. “The key to the passing game is protection,” he said. “I thought our guys up front did well. I thought our blitz pickup was good.” The leg injury to Pryor, the team’s leading rusher entering the game, might have factored in to the gaudy passing numbers. “I wasn’t comfortable running at all. I really wanted to stand in (the pocket),” he said. “I threw some good balls.” The team did not call any designed runs for Pryor and encouraged him not to scramble. “We did talk a little bit more this week in some film session about hanging on (to the ball longer) … because we did feel like we could protect,” Tressel said. The extra time allowed Pryor to complete 24 of his 30 passing attempts. “He was putting the balls on the money,” running back Brandon Saine said. “I think he was going through his progressions and doing what he knew how to do.” Preparation was also important. “From the film, it looked like we would get a lot of zone coverage from them and not a lot of man coverage,” wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher said. “We knew what was coming and how to prepare.” That film study allowed OSU to take what the defense was giving them en route to three touchdowns through the air. “The pass was working well, so we felt like we were (going to) pass it more,” Brewster said. That won’t always be the case. “We can have that success throwing the ball anytime, but that’s not the style of play we always want to play,” Pryor said. When the Buckeyes do play that style, teammates trust their quarterback. “When Terrelle is passing as good as he’s passing,” lineman Justin Boren said, “we’ve got a Heisman trophy candidate in the back field.”

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