For a little Hate Week(tm) recon, let's check on the Ohio State blogs.
Eleven Warriors is hoping for a breakout game from You Know Who:
His teammates are saying he’s playing excited in practice this week, and you hope that he’s starting to see what the little things like squaring the shoulders outside the pocket and running with a purpose can do to help dictate the flow of a game.
There’s definite concern given his body of work in what could be considered big games during his tenure: Michigan, Texas and USC, and the Penn State defense will operate at a speed he hasn’t seen since the tilt with the Trojans, but one of these days he’s going to go off. 300/150 off. And wouldn’t that be sweet if that day was Saturday?
Can't blame a guy for optimism, though I recall saying very similar things about QB14. This is the week he'll break out. No, this is the week! 11W is right -- Pryor may very well have one of those monster games eventually, but Ohio State needs him to be smart and composed on Saturday against PSU. I think the chances of that happening are slim, personally. Pryor's a highly emotional guy and not exactly a model of quarterbacking fundamentals when things break down around him. However, if it's a tight, defensive game, he'll still scare the hell out of me with the ball in his hands. In fact, he'll scare fans on both sides of the fence.
Elsewhere, The Buckeye Blog might want to do a few extra seconds of self-scouting:
While the Penn State stats look good on paper, consider that their seven wins come against Akron, Syracuse, Temple, Illinois, Eastern Illinois, Michigan and Northwestern. Not really a powerhouse of college football. Last week Northwestern, who gave Syracuse their only win of the season, gave the Lions something to think about. The Penn State defense that we keep hearing about also allowed 17 points against Illinois — one of the least effective offenses in the Big Ten this year.
New Mexico State. Toledo, Navy, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and OH MY GOD DUDE YOU LOST TO PURDUE DO YOU REALLY WANT TO GET INTO THIS? Come on, man! Didn't Temple just beat Navy, the team Ohio State nearly gagged against earlier this season? I'll have you know that Temple is Philadelphia's second best college football team this season, and Syracuse has three wins, thank you.
Did Penn State give up 17 whole points to Illinois? Yeah, the Illini scored two meaningless fourth quarter touchdowns after Penn State took a 28-3 lead. But he's right about one thing, Illinois is one of the least effective offenses in the Big Ten. In fact, they score the lowest points per game in the league even after the GERGing last weekend. But you know who else kind of sucks in that regard?
10.Purdue 18.2 ppg
11.Illinois 16.2 ppg
Yet they managed to put up 26 against Ohio State.
However, If there was an award for ridiculous analysis and blind faith in Ohio State's offense, BlockONation wins it, Lifetime Achievement style. Nevermind the pilfering of your diligent photoshopping, take a look at this special brand of homerism:
Statistically, PSU has the top defense in the Big Ten but that 'D' will be tested this week as Ohio State might just be a little better than Akron, Temple, Syracuse, Eastern Illinois, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, or Northwestern.
Considering that Penn State's main weakness is against good passing offenses, and Ohio State is 11th in Big Ten passing yardage and 10th in red zone efficiency, are they really better equipped to beat Penn State's defense than Minnesota, Michigan, or Northwestern? Among Buckeye fans, the main complaints about Ohio State's offense are (a) they can't block, (b) their running backs aren't that good, and (c) despite his obvious athleticism, Terrelle Pryor kind of stinks. So forgive some of us for thinking that if Penn State simply takes care of the ball and doesn't get annihilated in the kicking game, we're likely in pretty good shape on Saturday.
Then again, this is the same blog which contended that Terrelle Pryor "barely fumbled" the game away last year in Columbus.
Never change, Block O Nation. Never change.
So, Buckeye Commentary has this theory. Pryor only goes as far as the offensive line takes him.
Terrelle Pryor has been pretty good passing the ball the last two games. I mean good to the tune of 24/48 (50%), 374 yds, 3 TDs, and only 1 INT. While the completion percentage doesn’t look quite like Colt McCoy’s the TD:INT ratio is where I like to see it. Want to hear something more surprising than those numbers? In the past two games, Pryor has only been sacked once. Now, granted, one of these games was against New Mexico State, but that doesn’t mean that the starting 11 doesn’t have to go out there on Saturdays and do their jobs right.
The other game included in that two-game analysis was against Minnesota, which has seven sacks in six Big Ten games. They're not exactly striking fear in any opposing quarterbacks, either. By contrast, Penn State has 17 sacks in five conference games. And with Ohio State's offensive line struggling a bit -- surprising, given their recent recruiting prowess at that position -- the only reason to think that Pryor will have time to throw is if Penn State employs another "mush rush" against the quarterback, hoping to prevent any scrambling runs and daring Pryor to throw downfield.
Terrelle Pryor was the other injury story to develop from the last game. His loss would be a bigger blow than Pettrey for obvious reasons, but is not the story because I didn’t seem most thought he’d be out for the game. Pryor felt a little dinged up after taking a hit on a scramble in the second quarter. Surprisingly, he didn’t play the second half. It seems implausible at the moment that he’ll miss the Penn State game.
Also, Justin Boren will be back in action as will Dexter Larimore, our very good nose guard. It’ll be worth watching how productive Larimore can be after the extended time on the sideline.
So, this is a guaranteed 17-7 win for Penn State, right? Not quite. Ohio State's defense certainly has the skill and athletes to force offensive and special teams mistakes -- just ask Wisconsin. You know that Paterno wants this to be a controlled, orderly battle of field goals and field position. If Ohio State is able to cause a few turnovers and cash them in for points, Joe Paterno and staff will have to come out of their offensive shell and make a few things happen.