People were ready to hand the reigns over to Braxton Miller. “Bauserman is terrible,” some argued, “Let’s get this new star quarterback under center.” In Bauserman’s first start as quarterback since he was a high school student in 2003, the former minor league baseball player looked solid in the Buckeye’s season opener.
Sure, it was against Akron, but he also was missing his top wide receiver and three running backs. Bauserman looked confident in the pocket; showed athleticism, especially on the game’s first touchdown when he turned a broken play into a 15 yard touchdown run; he was accurate with his passes; made quick decisions; and didn’t make mistakes. As I said, he was solid.
So solid, in fact, that some people might argue that this team wouldn’t have ever needed Terrelle Pryor. Given the ugliness of the circumstances in which TP left the program, I think it will be easy for Buckeye fans to adopt a revisionist history of the former Buckeye quarterback, and begin to view him as having been overrated.
But there’s a problem with such a mentality. It’s the fact that Pryor was awesome.
He never lived up to the outrageously high expectations Buckeye fans had for him, though few could have. Pryor wasn’t always the most graceful passer, or the most mechanically sound quarterback, but he had freakish athletic ability.
I’m not defending anything that Pryor did, but he led Ohio State to three consecutive BCS Bowl Games, and the Buckeyes would not have won the Rose or Sugar Bowls in 2010 or 2011 without him.
I don’t want to take anything away from Joe Bauserman or Braxton Miller. They both looked good today. As a Buckeye fan, I’m interested to see what the two quarterbacks are going to do over the next couple of weeks. Bauserman struck me with his efficiency. Even though he came in without very much college game experience, he performed at a high level.
I write this because I think Buckeye fans want to distance themselves from Pryor, but that doesn’t change the reality that: while he was at Ohio State, he was a very good quarterback, and almost any other program in the country would have gladly taken him to be their signal caller.
Last thing on Pryor, he was criticized for his accuracy, but completed 65% of his passes last season, 60.9% of his passes for his career, and set an OSU record in the Ohio University game last year by throwing 16 consecutive completions.
I know that it’s summertime, and that it’s suppose to be hot in the summertime, but this is far and away the hottest Ohio State game I can ever remember having gone to.
Many years from now, other than the fact that this was the first game for head coach Luke Fickell, the most notable thing about this game may be the fact that the stadium felt like you were watching a football game being played on the Sun.
Throughout the game, Ohio State was breaking out of the huddle with over 20 seconds left on the play clock. This was fairly uncommon for Tressel, but a change that I liked seeing.
Carlos Hyde was authoritative with his running today. Curious to see how he’ll do against more solid competition.
Photo: Julia D Wright, “The Shoe (March 30, 2007.)” This photo is not the property of joshbenner.org, and the owner of the copyright on this photo does not endorse this blog. For more information, please click on the photograph.