Play Tressel Ball with the Lead

Play Tressel Ball with the Lead
Terrelle Pryor Penn State 2008

Play Tressel Ball with the Lead

Jim Tressel saw his Buckeyes take a 3 point lead in a defensive matchup between Ohio State and Penn State this past Saturday and began to make the conservative calls needed to run out the clock and hand Ohio State the victory. This conservative play calling has become known as Tressel Ball to Ohio State fans. But strategy needed to be abandoned, as young freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor lost the ball early in the fourth quarter giving Penn State favorable field position and the opportunity to go ahead.

By Steve Patterson

Pryor Turns the Ball Over

            When the final minutes of the game ended, Terrelle Pryor had turned the ball over twice and the Buckeyes were unable to score again to offset the fourth quarter touchdown scored by Penn State quarterback Pat Devlin after a Pryor fumble near the 50 yard line. No. 3 Penn State won the game 13-6 leaving Ohio State needing help from other teams in the conference if they want to claim another Big Ten title.

            After the game Pryor explained the play as a chance he saw to make a touchdown for Ohio State that did not materialize. “They were pinching in and I just figured I would take a chance. I figured I would probably get in trouble in the film room for it, but I was just trying to make a play,” Pryor said. “I could have gotten the first on the QB sneak. It was like a half-yard so I could have punched it in. I saw all the Penn state guys pinched in and I knew they were going to collide in because it was going to be a sneak so I knew I had the edge.”

Penn State Defense

            Penn State was able to shut down the running game of Ohio State on the night. Starting tailback Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells rushed for a season low of 55 yards with 22 carries. Similar to a Purdue matchup played earlier in the month, the Nittany Lions played close to the line with their safeties and linebackers to make Ohio State pass for yardage. Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick and defensive end Aaron Maybin both had very good nights against the run and providing pressure on Pryor.

Ohio State did move the Ball

            Pryor was able to make a number of passes and moved the ball well on several drives for the Buckeyes. Pryor had one of his best nights at the collegiate level throwing the ball. He was 16-of-25 for 226 yards. One of his favorite targets on the night was sophomore Dane Sanzenbacher. Sanzenbacher led the Buckeyes in reception yards with 82 on six completions.

Ohio State Silver Bullets

            Penn State came into the match-up with one of the best offenses in the Big Ten. Buckeye defensive line players Cameron Heyward and Thaddeus Gibson both had very productive nights as Ohio State made the ground and air attacks of the Nittany Lions limited. Senior Linebacker James Laurinaitis provided another double-digit tackle night keeping Penn State tailback Evan Royster to only 77 rushing yards on 19 carries. But moving the ball against Penn State was just as difficult for the Buckeyes who could not get to the end zone in the final minutes when they fell behind.

BCS Ratings

            The BCS ratings were released today and Ohio State did not fall so far as to keep them out of a major BCS bowl game at the end of the season. The USA Today Coaches poll listed the Buckeyes at #13 while the Harris Interactive has the team at #12. Combine those rankings with more favorable computer scores, and Ohio State is #12 in the BCS ratings for the week.

Penn State Riot

            Back home in State College Pennsylvania, students rioted early Sunday morning injuring fourteen police officers in addition to numerous instances of property damage. CNN reported that over the course of 2 ½ hours, twenty people were arrested and an estimated $50,000 in damage occurred. Over 1,500 people were involved in setting fires, smashing storefront windows, vandalizing, and other related destructiveness.
Tags: Buckeyes Football NCAA Ohio State

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Ohio State 2018 Football Schedule

Sep. 1 Oregon State Beavers
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH Noon ET

Sep. 8 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH 3:30pm ET

Sep. 15 at TCU Horned Frogs
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

Sep. 22 Tulane Green Wave
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH

Sep. 29 at Penn State Nittany Lions
Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA

Oct. 6 Indiana Hoosiers (HC)
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH 3:30/4pm ET

Oct. 13 Minnesota Golden Gophers
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Oct. 20 at Purdue Boilermakers
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Nov. 3 Nebraska Cornhuskers
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Nov. 17 at Maryland Terrapins
Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD Time TBA
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Nov. 24 Michigan Wolverines
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH Noon ET
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Dec. 1 Big Ten Championship Game
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