Few people give Ohio State a chance tonight

This is understandable in one sense given recent history, but it’s also ridiculous when you consider that Terrelle Pryor has the ability to carry a team on his back. If Tressel sticks with the option and the QB running plays we saw against Navy, then they should be able to move the ball and neutralize the problems they have on the offensive line. Pryor will need to make some big plays and avoid turnovers for the Buckeyes to win, but he’s certainly capable of doing just that.

Also, USC will be relying on their running game. While that is a real threat, this should make for a closer game as long as Ohio State avoids giving up the big run. The key here is the Buckeye d-line. If they can step up like they did last year in Texas, then the Bucks have a real chance.

Finally, we have the issue of USC’s freshman QB. He may play great – he may not. Nobody really knows what will happen. But a poor performance gives the Buckeyes a real chance of winning this game.

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The Buckeyes looked fine against Navy

Jim Tressel’s game management sucked, but fans shouldn’t worry much about that when evaluating the first game. The bottom line with Tressel is that he’s always learning about his teams early in the season, but despite the close scores he rarely loses games the Buckeyes are supposed to win. That said, his decision to pass on the field goal in the fourth quarter was stupid, and he should stop using his backup QB in the second quarter. Put the game away, and THEN start playing the backups.

As for the team, Terrelle Pryor looked great, and that’s the most important factor to consider when evaluating the prospects for the Buckeyes this season. Just as important, Tressel is using him properly. He ran numerous option plays, QB draws and roll-outs. They will need to ride Pryor’s legs if they want to make a splash this season. But Pryor did more than that. He threw the ball well and made completions when he also could have run the ball. This will make his running even more lethal if defenders have to respect the pass.

Brandon Saine also looked good splitting time with Dan Herron, giving the Buckeyes a solid rotation at tailback, and the young receivers also looked good.

On the downside, the offensive line doesn’t look very good. They had some good moments, but they were very inconsistent. Pryor obviously can avoid the rush so they can work around this, but the o-line has to improve if they want to beat USC.

As for the defense, they did fine, though it’s hard to learn much given that Navy was running the triple option. We’ll see how they do next week when the Trojans invade the Shoe.

Pryor is the key. If he develops as expected, the Buckeyes can beat anyone when he plays well. He seems ready to take on the challenge.