Pryor’s Quad “A lot Better,” but Not 100 Percent
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS — Ohio State fans everywhere held their collective breath as Terrelle Pryor lay face down on the Turf at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois.
is quickly tended to by Illinois trainers immediately after his injury.
Photo by Jim Davidson
There lay the franchise, and with him, the entire season.
The injury, a left quad strain, only cost Pryor a little over a series of playing time, but it undeniably seems to have cost him more than that when it comes to mobility.
Pryor has picked up only two positive yards in more than five quarters since the injury after having rushed for over 100 yards in the first half of the win at Illinois. Those came in the fourth quarter against the Fighting Illini, which means he didn’t carry the ball a single time against Indiana the following week.
In fact, Pryor finished with -19 yards on three sacks, marking the first time all season—and the second time in his Ohio State career—the he failed to gain positive yards on the ground.
Pryor admitted Tuesday what everyone already knew: that he couldn’t run full speed against the Hoosiers because of his injured quad.
“Last week I don’t think so because it was still a little tender,” he said.
“We had a real good passing plan and we didn’t really have to run the ball as the offense was playing really good and the line was blocking really well. Once we started getting up a little bit, we didn’t have to run the ball with me at least.”
With his mobility limited, Pryor stood in the pocket and calmly threw for a career-high 334 yards with three touchdowns by completing a proficient 24 of his 30 pass attempts. It was proof that Pryor has progressed tremendously as a passer since his early days as a college quarterback, but the Buckeyes will need both sides of the coin this week against a Wisconsin team that ranks fourth in the Big Ten in total defense.
“It got a lot better,” Pryor said of his quad this week.
“Any time you get injured you're never 100 percent. I would be lying if I told you that. It is enough to carry as much as I have to carry the ball and do what I have to do to try to help the team win. This week it’s full go.”
Like most of OSU's opponents, the Badgers are sure to stack the box against the Buckeyes this Saturday. That means Pryor will need another efficient passing performance in Madison. The last time he was there, Pryor threw for 144 yards on 13-of-19 passing. He was sacked four times and threw one interception, but when the game was in the balance, Pryor delivered.
Terrelle Pryor Pryor takes off for an 11-yard TD run against Wisconsin in 2008.
Photo by Jim Davidson
His 11-yard touchdown run in the final two minutes gave the Buckeyes a 20-17 win on the road, and Pryor said Wednesday he will do it again if that’s what it takes.
“I am not going to let us lose. I'm going to push myself and do whatever I possibly have to do until we're up,” Pryor said.
“I know some of the offense revolves around me and anytime I touch the ball I'm trying to make a play or make a first down and lead the guys as much as I can because at the end of the day they're going to be looking at me to make a play.”
That means Pryor won’t be thinking about the quad when it comes time to pull it down and take off against the Badgers, something he probably couldn’t have done last week against the Hoosiers.
“I think in these games that you don't even think about (injuries),” Pryor said.
“It just is what it is. You throw your body around and do whatever you have to do (to win). At the end of the day I don't want to lose.”
Bollman Expects Adams, Shugarts to Play
Offensive coordinator Jim Bollman, who specializes in coaching the offensive line, said Wednesday that he expects starting offensive tackles J.B. Shugarts and Mike Adams to be ready to play Saturday against Wisconsin.
Adams, who won the starting left tackle job during fall camp, missed interviews on Tuesday because of a “violent stomach illness,” but gutted it out through a tough practice.
“He made it through practice yesterday and was hurting, but he felt a lot better today,” Bollman said of Adams, the reigning Jim Parker Offensive Lineman of the Week.
After leaving last week’s game in the first half because of chronic foot pain, Shugarts missed Tuesday’s practice but was back on the field Wednesday and is expected to start at right tackle Saturday.
“He is very tough mentally with it, and will do whatever he can to play with it and on it,” Bollman said of what he called a “lingering” foot problem.
“I think he’ll do the same again this week, and I think that he’ll play longer. That’s a minute-by-minute, game-by-game kind of deal, but he’s going to give you everything he has.”
That makes it sound like the Buckeyes might not be able to get a full game out of Shugarts, which means freshman Andrew Norwell could see some critical playing time for the second-straight week.
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