This half of The Rivalry, Esq. was in his usual spot in the south stands for No. 13 Ohio State's deja vu matchup against the Trojans. Fortunately for the scarlet, Troy's warriors are a little more like the Armee de Terre (French Armed Forces) when compared to the fake tanned dudes from Southern California. (That's Mr. Dudes to us Buckeye fans).
Terrelle Pryor showed he was armed and ready under center from the get go.
Don't get me wrong, OSU didn't exactly storm their Sun Belt competition -- Troy kept things close into the fourth quarter, trailing by just four until the 13:28 mark, but they did a few things right most noticeably handing the front reins to Terrelle Pryor -- a move that drew an otherwise modest (102,000) crowd to its feet -- as No. 2 trotted out onto the turf to take the start. The numbers say one thing, and it's not bad: 16 attempts, 10 completions for 139 yards and four touchdown passes, but the real reisen de entre for Buckeye fans is Pryor's poise coupled with his ability to adapt. (See the 2:20 mark on the BTN highlights). Snap after snap the true freshman stayed calm in the mobile pocket, read the field, and executed.
But what's really promising is Pryor's improvisation. When things went wrong -- and they did more than they should have thanks to the big chubs up front -- Terrelle was clutch, stepping into and out of lanes, and making plays in real time.
Columbus hasn't seen that kind of variance in a while.
Still, it wasn't all roses for the Bucks.
With the exception of two show-stopping interceptions, the Buckeye defense was lukewarm -- sometimes showing up (particularly when the Trojans had their backs to the wall south endzone), and othertimes opting to take a smoke break, lounging into the comfortable recliner that is zone converage.
Additionally, for the third time in four contests the Bucks found themselves drowning in a pile of penalties. Smart play seems to have become an afterthought for the Tressel trained.
Still, a win is a win, and Ohio fans shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.