A ‘Hello World’ Moment In Columbus

By Lloyd Vance
Updated: September 24, 2008

PHILADELPHIA — Any talk of a quarterback tandem at Ohio State probably was smashed this weekend, as it was “Hello World” time for Buckeyes super-freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

Pryor, who came to Ohio State as the nation’s number one recruit after leading Jeannette High School to Pennsylvania championships in football and basketball, not only looked the part as the Buckeyes team leader, but he was spectacular.

Pryor (6-feet-6, 230) became the first true freshman to start for the Buckeyes in 30 years, since Art Schlichter in 1978 as he led 13th ranked Ohio State (3-1) to a 28-10 victory over Troy in Columbus, Ohio.

Pryor, who hasn’t even started classes at OSU, finished with numbers of 10-16 passing for 139 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. He also ran 14 times for 66 yards in a game that the Buckeyes needed to get back on track after a disappointing 35-3 defeat to USC last week.

Going into the contest versus Troy, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel had said it was 50-50 between starting Pryor or fifth-year senior Todd Boeckman. Playing a hunch Tressel went with the dual-threat freshman and Pryor rewarded him.

The fabulous freshman looked very good in and out of the pocket throwing touchdown passes covering 39 and 16 yards to Brian Hartline, 13 yards to Rory Nicol and 38 yards to Brian Robiskie.

After the game, Pryor was quite braggadocios when he said confidently, ”I’ve been making plays all my life”. He added, “I’m not cocky. I’m just glad I can help out our seniors and get a win.”

Now Tressel must decide if the super freshman is ready to be the man going into Big 10 play or if he still needs to lean on Boeckman — BTW: the veteran quarterback was loudly booed after an incompletion on one of his only two series.

Taking the high road, Boeckman said after Pryor’s great debut, ”I’m happy for Terrelle. He had a great day. He did some great things out there. He’s getting better every time he’s out there and he made some great plays. I’m excited for this team and for him.”

Ohio State takes on Minnesota at the “Horseshoe” in their Big 10 opener on Saturday at 12 noon.