Tag Archives: Terrelle Pryor

“College Football Week 2: Monster Saturday”

The last time the Hurricanes and Buckeyes matched up was in the legendary 2002 National Championship Game. Could Miami get revenge in Columbus on Saturday?

  Though the NFL is underway, College Football is already heating up with a big time Week 2.  People are calling it “Monster Saturday.”  And it is sure to be a day that fans will remember in this young season.  Each week I am going to pick 3 to 5 of the marquee matchups, give you my predicted winner, and some brief thoughts.  

So the matchups of Week 2’s “Monster Saturday” are as follows:  

Georgia at South Carolina:  This is big time SEC matchup with two of the best coaches in the country going head to head.  My gut has been saying all week that Georgia can come in and take care of business in Gamecockville.  But my mind is saying to go with the home team.  And that is what I am going to do.  Both of these teams looked great against powder puff opponents in Week 1 (typical SEC move).  But the lack of AJ Green will hurt the Bulldogs.  Steve Spurrier is going to ride freshman phenom Marcus Lattimore to a major early season conference victory.  Look for this game to go down to the wire, but expect the Gamecocks to pull it out.  

Florida State at Oklahoma:  What a non conference matchup this is.  Talk about two teams showing balls and taking a risk playing a big time non conference foe.  You got to love it.  Christian Ponder looks outstanding and extremely poised in the pocket.  I guess that is what 3 years as a starter does for you.  Also do not sleep on Greg Reid returning punts.  Special teams always have a large effect on the outcome of big time games.  Florida State is starting to trek towards resembling the Seminoles of old.  But Oklahoma is no slouch either.  Now I know they looked pitiful in their opener.  But maybe it was a good thing to play a close football game already (not really)?  But DeMarco Murray is the most explosive player on the field when healthy.  Ryan Broyles is ready to break out and be considered with the best wide receivers in the country.  And Landry Jones, well, he will get better.  Though I feel Florida State is a very solid team that could make some noise in the ACC, I got the Sooners running away with this one at home.  Look for DeMarco Murray to make his presence felt and launch himself into the Heisman discussion (if he wasn’t already)   

Miami at Ohio State:  This is the game the whole country has been waiting for.  A rematch of the 2002 hotly debated National Championship game.  An instant classic.  Jacory Harris and the U looked like they had the swagger of the old U last weekend.  Ohio State did not look to shabby themselves.  But this is a whole new ball game.  The athleticism on both sides of the ball will be amazing in this one.  Also, this game matches up two of the most athletic quarterbacks in the country (though their styles in the past have been contrasting). Jacory has tended to stay in the pocket though, while Terrelle has always been big on using his legs to gain first downs.  Pryor appears to be transforming in front of our eyes though and is utilizing his intelligence and arm, rather than his legs now.  It has been an amazing transformation.  If this game was being played in Miami, I would give the Hurricanes a chance.  But it is no easy task to come into the Horseshoe and win a ball game.  Even Lebron James will be there, “staying true to his roots” and rooting for the Buckeyes.  I got Ohio State in a very entertaining affair.  

Michigan at Notre Dame:  Talk about history right?  These are your number 1 and 2 ranked programs all time in winning percentage.  Plus they are number 1 and 3 in all time wins.  This rivalry began in 1887 with some Wolverine dominance.  Eventually Notre Dame caught on to the game that people call football.  There have been two major hiatus in this rivalry, but this will be match up number 38.  Anyways, this game finally has some meaning for the first time since probably 2006.  Both teams looked very impressive in their first games and look to be on track towards having solid seasons.  There is one major newcomer to this rivalry though.  And that is Brian Kelly.  This coach has brought with him a whole plethora of tricks and winning knowledge.  Not to mention an excitement that South Bend has been lacking for the past few years.  Look for Notre Dame to have too much offense in this one, and win a tough game against the rival Wolverines.  South Bend will already be praising BK’s name at the end of this one.  I will state though, a victory for Rich Rodriguez in this clash would go a long way towards taking him off the hot seat in Ann Arbor. 

Penn State at Alabama:  Big Ten vs SEC.  Same old story right?  Sadly, in this case yes.  Even if Mark Ingram does not play, Alabama will prove to be too much for an overrated Penn State team.  I guess having Richardson is a plus for Coach Nick Saban.  Outside of Evan Royster and the emerging senior Brett Brackett at receiver, this Penn State team will be vastly overmatched.  Going into Bama with a Freshman quarterback?  Can you say “Roll Tide Roll?”  I do not care if Alabama has some question marks on defense, they are still mighty fast.  Sadly, I see this game being a blowout, but maybe Penn State will hang around for a while.  

So there you have “Monster Saturday.”  You got to love the Fall.  

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.  

-TheSportsKraze  

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“Welcome To College Football”

One of the major stories in College Football this year deals with how Brian Kelly, the former University of Cincinnati Head Coach, handles the pressure of leading the charge in South Bend.

Tonight, another College Football season kicks off with 18 different games around the country.  Let the BCS Madness begin baby.  Here are the main storylines for the year in my eyes.

– Can Alabama “roll” to a 2nd consecutive National Title?

Though Alabama is returning nearly their entire offense, which features future NFL players like Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, and Julio Jones, the SEC is a conference that teams live and die on their defensive units.  Bama is returning just 2 starters from their vaunted defensive squad of a year ago.  In the end, I feel like this team will have a great year, but come up just short due to a lack of experience on the defensive side of the ball.  Also realize that no team has ever repeated as National Champion in the 12 year BCS era.  It is no easy task.

– Can Terrelle Pryor live up to the hype and bring home the first Heisman to Columbus since Troy Smith, in 2006?

This storyline will also be very key in determining if the Buckeyes can bring home their first National Title since 2002.  They have the defense to do it.  It is all a matter of if Terrelle Pryor can lead the offense to playing at a National Championship level.  There is no rhyme or reason why I or anyone else in America believes in this guy. His stats in his two-year stint in Columbus have been nowhere near a Heisman level.  In actuality, they have been quite less than flattering.  But the “swagger” of Terrelle Pryor has led me to believe that he can vault to a Heisman Trophy level of play and lead the Buckeyes to the BCS National Title Game.

– Can Boise State be the first non BCS Conference team to bring home a BCS National Title?

First of all, this team went undefeated a year ago.  They are returning every starter on both sides of the ball except graduated cornerback, Kyle Wilson.  Kellen Moore, who threw for over 3500 yards and had a TD to Interception ratio of 39 to 3 is back.  This team is the real deal.  And with the non conference schedule they have put together, “if” they go undefeated, they deserve a shot to play for the National Championship as much as anyone.  But also realize that they are opening up with the Virginia Tech Hokies.  Led by legendary coach Frank Beamer, the Hokies feature perhaps the best rushing attack in the country.  Sadly for Boise, I see them losing in Week 1, but this team is definitely the real deal and has a definite chance to play in Arizona for the National Championship if they go undefeated.

– Coaching in South Bend is like coaching the Yankees in Major League Baseball.  The pressure is at an all time high every day.  The media and fan base are unforgiving and cold. Can Brian Kelly handle the heat better than some of his predecessors?

Brian Kelly is perhaps the most charismatic coach in America.  He is a phenomenal salesman and says all the right things.  If you have ever heard the expression, “You talk like a man with a paper asshole,” though I am not 100 percent sure what this means, I think it would be the perfect away to describe BK.  Brian Kelly not only is smooth off the field though, he produces on the field.  This guy won two National Titles at Grand Valley State.  He completely turned around an abysmal Central Michigan program and captured a MAC Championship.  Then he went to Cincinnati and made the city believers in Bearcat football.  During his three-year reign, he won 10 or more games all three years (had not won 10 games in a season in Cincinnati since 1951), two Big East Championships, and sent them to two BCS Bowl games.  Coach Kelly has always been known as a mastermind of the spread offense.  He will provide fireworks in South Bend with a high-flying, aerial spread attack.  But also realize that his partner in crime and his right hand man for nearly 20 years, Jeff Quinn, is now the head coach at Buffalo University.  Can BK still put together an offense that puts up 40 plus points a game without his old running mate?  Well I will tell you this, Notre Dame has probably their easiest schedule in the past 10 years.  These guys could rise back to prominence real fast.  Do not be surprised to see a 9 or 10 win season.

– Will an SEC team bring home a 5th consecutive BCS National Championship?

In my eyes, it is a no brainer that this is the best and most elite conference in College Football yet again.  No conference really can touch the coaches, the talent, and the overall speed that this conference demonstrates top to bottom.  There is a reason why the SEC generally plucks players from the Southeast region, with the vast majority of 4 and 5 star recruits coming from this talent rich region.  Why wonder away from home?  But I will state this.  I believe this is the year that a non SEC school wins the National Title.  I feel it is time for the Buckeyes to break through in a National Championship game.  It is a gut feeling, but still expect this conference to be the best in the land again.

– Herbies vs the Forde Dash?

Kirk Herbstreit and Pat Forde are both fantastic at what they do.  They are well-known analysts for ESPN who do an absolutely outstanding job.  They both recently released some of their big thoughts on this upcoming College Football season.  Kirk Herbstreit put out the Herbies while Pat Forde put out the Forde Dash.  The edge in my eyes goes to the Herbies.  Though the Forde Dash is a cool name, the Herbies was easier to follow and I agreed with more of the predictions.  But it was a very tough call.

Welcome to College Football folks.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“The Magical Mystery Man”

Troy Smith, pictured above, was the last Buckeye to bring home the Heisman Trophy. Could Terrelle Pryor bring the prestigious trophy and a National Championship to Columbus this year?

Who is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy this year?  Who is the man garnering all the accolades in publications such as Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine, and USA Today?  Who is the leader of a team expected to have a great shot at capturing the National Championship and bringing back national respect to the once proud Big Ten?

Who is, Terrelle Pryor, Mr. Trebek.

Well the journey for the 21-year-old phenom began in a little place called Jeannette, Pennsylvania.  The kid took the whole state by storm with his amazing football and basketball prowess.  It was the beginning of an astonishing roller coaster that could only occur in this day and age of amazing social media and unlimited sports coverage.  Ironically, Pryor originally committed to play basketball at Pittsburgh under Jamie Dixon.  Yes, the kid had his choice of pretty much any school in the country for basketball as well.  But eventually, it was known that Pryor would be playing football at the next level.  And he still hoped to be able to do basketball as well.  The lucky schools that made his Final Four list were Michigan, Oregon, Penn State, and Ohio State.  By the February 6th signing day of his senior year, he was still not ready to sign, and made the country wait for the “Decision” before “The Decision (Lebron).”  On March 19th, of 2008, he signed to take his talents to the Horseshoe, the house of Jim Tressel.

Since March of 2008, I cannot remember a College Football player in my lifetime have higher expectations placed on his shoulders.  People were already clamoring for the Buckeyes to bring home multiple National Titles during Terrelle’s “stay” in Columbus.  I mean nobody expected Pryor to stay a Buckeye the full 4 years, and figured he would be the number 1 pick in the NFL Draft following his junior year.  And frankly, that expectation remains the same as he gets ready to take place under center for his junior season.

The amazing thing to me is.  This kid has been criticized more than any player in the country over the past couple of years.  He has been called a underachiever.  A guy who was blinded by the hype.  A man who could not play quarterback at a big time program.  Fans clamored for a position change for the kid.  Fans said that either him or Tressel had to go.  Things came to a fevered climax following the Buckeyes embarrassing loss to lowly Purdue in the 7th game of the season last year.  Pryor had appeared to have gotten worse over the course of his time in Buckeye Nation.  He needed a pep talk from Brutus the Buckeye.  And I will admit, after watching the kid play multiple times, I did not know if he could ever be a pro style quarterback or lead the Buckeyes to a National Championship.

Tressel kept Pryor under center.  And little by little fans began to regain confidence in the kid.  He really did not put on any big time performances.  Sure he played a solid game at Penn State, but no games where he lit up the stat sheet.  The Buckeyes still managed to win a 5th straight Big Ten title and were on the prowl for their first BCS Bowl victory in some time.  Pryor finally answered the cynics, putting on arguably the best performance of his College career and helped lead the Bucks to a Rose Bowl victory over Oregon.

Want to know what Terrelle’s stats were last year?  He had a 56.5% completion percentage, while tossing for 2,087 yards.  Also he had 18 TDs versus 11 INTs.  Want to know what Greg McElroy’s (Alabama’s returning senior QB) stats were?  He threw for 2,508 yards, with 17 TDs and 4 INTs.  He had a completion percentage of 60.9%.  How about Kellen Moore (Boise State’s returning QB)?  Moore tossed for 3,536 yards with 39 TDs and 3 INTs.  Also he had a 64.3% completion percentage.  Lastly, how about Case Keenum, the returning starting quarterback at Houston?  The kid threw for an outrageous 5,671 yards, with 44 TDs and 15 INTs.  His completion percentage was 70.3%. And these are all just QBs returning on teams that were ranked highly last year.

So as you can tell, comparing Pryor’s stats to returning QBs does not make the kid stand out by any means.  Sure he is more of a dual threat than any of these guys, and rushed for way more yards than all of them combined.  But there is something about this kid.  There is something about this Terrelle guy that has made him stand out to people for years now.

It is not arrogance or a sense of entitlement.  Just an air of confidence about him that is unquestioned.  Maybe the best way to describe it would be “swagger.”  Whatever it is, he has made believers out of the country.

So I am honestly not sure why many are billing him as the favorite to bring home the Heisman.  But I will admit, I am sold as a believer on this guy.

And it is still an enigma to me why.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze