|Score by Quarters
“No time of possession,” said Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly following his team’s 26-17 loss to Ohio State in the 2010 Rose Bowl Bowl Game. “The ‘TP’ I was worried about was Terrelle Pryor.”
Strong words from a coach whose team had just surrendered a Rose Bowl Game-record 41 minutes, 37 seconds in time of possession, even if he doesn’t typically place much stock in the stat. But as jubilant Buckeye fans flooded the streets of Pasadena in the early evening on Jan. 1, 2010, the only TP they wanted to talk about was Terrelle Pryor, too.
As they say in nearby Hollywood, we’ll set the scene: Pryor, a sophomore, entered the game with a lot on his shoulders, as every quarterback does every year at the Rose Bowl Game. But he burdened much more than what the scoreboard said after 60 minutes of play (all on a slightly torn posterior cruciate ligament, no less). Pryor carried the burden of a highly touted, No. 1 recruit reminiscent of Vince Young who had not only yet to reach his full potential, his miscues through the air had arguably forced his coach to take to the ground late in the season. Despite the fact that he was only a sophomore, big-time collegiate sports can be demanding regardless of age, and unfilled hype has a way of fueling critics, making Pryor one of the most scrutinized players in the game. Not to mention the fact that his Big Ten was 4-11 in the last nine seasons in BCS bowls and hadn’t won one since 2006.
Pryor completes 23 of 37 attempts for 266 yards and two touchdowns – completions, attempts and yards are all career-highs – and runs for a game-high 72 yards on 20 carries as he earns Offensive Player of the Game by acclamation of the 93,000-plus in attendance and leads his team to its first Rose Bowl Game win since 1997.
“We felt like that this was a pivotal game because it marked the end of the first half of his career,” said Buckeyes Head Coach Jim Tressel. “We have some very definitive goals as to how good we would like to be and how good he would like to be at his craft. I thought tonight was a good step.”
But it wasn’t just the offensive side of the ball, even though they made it appear like the Oregon defense “stayed on the field as if they had rented it,” wrote ESPN.com’s Ivan Maisel.
Oregon’s potent offense hadn’t scored less than 37 points in any of its final six games. Their spread offense was deadly, but Tressel’s defense had the answer. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli threw for just 81 yards.
“They did a great job of taking (Masoli) away and not letting him run a lot of our read stuff,” Kelly said. “They had a guy assigned to the quarterback, so he has to hand the ball off, and that’s what they wanted us to do, and we handed it off.”
Ohio State opened the game with a 10-play, 74-yard touchdown drive to go up 7-0, then increased that lead to 10-0 before the end of the first quarter. Oregon answered with a field goal and touchdown drive of its own to tie the game at 10 before Ohio State tacked on six more by halftime.
Oregon struck back at the beginning of the third quarter, after Kenjon Barner returned the opening kickoff 39 yards to the Oregon 47. (Barner was a large reason Oregon stayed in this game, as he picked apart the Buckeye special teams to the tune of 28 yards on one punt return and 122 yards on four kickoff returns.) A Masoli 1-yard touchdown opened up the Ducks’ first lead of the game, 17-16, and earned them their last points of the game.
Ten Ohio State points later, Act I of TP’s collegiate career was over, but Act II looked like it was going to be a good one.
71 degrees, sunny
OSU – Saine, 13-yard pass from Pryor (Pettrey kick good)
OSU – Barclay, 19-yard field goal
Ore – Flint, 24-yard field goal
Ore – Blount, 3-yard run (Flint kick good)
OSU – Barclay, 30-yard field goal
OSU – Pettrey, 45-yard field goal
Ore – Masoli, 1-yard run (Flint kick good)
OSU – Barclay, 38-yard field goal
OSU – Posey, 17-yard pass from Pryor (Pettrey kick good)
Oregon: Chip Kelly
OSU: Jim Tressel
Terrelle Pryor’s 37 total passing attempts was not only a career high, it was more than double the total in each of his final three regular season games (17).
Ore: James 15-70; Barner 7-64; Blount 5-36; Masoli 6-9
OSU: Pryor 20-72; Saine 14-45; Herron 14-42; Team 3-(-6)
Ore: Masoli 9-20-81
OSU: Pryor 23-37-266
Ore: James 4-25; Tuinei 2-30; Barner 1-13; Maehl 1-10; Davis 1-3
OSU: Sanzenbacher 9-64; Posey 8-101; Herron 3-18; Saine 2-59; Ballard 1-24
Ore: Rice 4-173
OSU: Thoma 3-131