The Offensive Line:
Three parts Brew Crew, one part Browning and one part crazy Boren brother. This group was a veteran group and the soul of the Buckeye offense. They helped the Ohio State offense to the 14th best rushing output in college football and during the Sugar Bowl didn’t allow a sack against quarterback Terrelle Pryor. All year long the running game was consistent and Pryor was kept clean for the most part. Mike Adams, Mike Brewster and Justin Boren were 1st Team Big Ten offensive lineman. Brewster, Adams and Shugarts will return next year to form another formidable OSU offensive line.
Grade: A rock solid A
Posey had another solid year. He was 6th in the Big Ten in receiving yards and was on the Big Ten’s honorable mention list for wide receiver. Posey is a big play type ball snagger that from time to time had issues catching easy balls. Something I’m sure he will work to improve his senior season. Posey lead Ohio State in receiving in the Sugar Bowl and hauled in a beautiful 43 yard touchdown from Pryor in the 2nd quarter.
Terrelle Pryor’s security blanket. He was named the Buckeyes MVP in 2010 and rightfully so. He was also a 1st team Big Ten receiver. Chances are that on Saturdays if you were watching an OSU game, Sanzenbacher was flying through the air making some kind of ridiculous circus catch, keeping drives alive and making heads up plays. Like the one he made in the Sugar Bowl after Pryor fumbled and 3 razorbacks missed an opportunity to seize momentum. Dane was there to seize it back. We all saw the play and that is just the type of player Dane was. He will go down for many as a Buckeye all time favorite and he will be sorely missed.
Jake Stoneburner and Reid Fragel made for an outstanding 1-2 punch at tight end. One is known as a pass catching threat and the other is known for being an overpowering run blocker. Stoneburner was 3rd on the team in receiving yards and that was after missing multiple games with an ankle injury. His production out of the tight end position was the best output since 2003 when Ben Hartsock had 33 grabs. Fragel and Stoneburner both and a hand in the Ohio State win vs. SEC foe Arkansas as they combined for 4 catches and 81 yards. While Stoneburner is not a pure tightend and more of a flex end, Fragel is the real deal. He is an outstanding blocking and a surprising weapon on playaction.
Brandon Saine: was supposed to be THE guy for Ohio State in 2010 and after a monstrous first half vs. Marshall in week one, all indications were that Saine was set for a huge senior year. However after the 1st game Saine just wasn’t right as the lead back and a change was made. Saine took a back seat to Herron and switched to more of a pass catching threat. Saine had 7 total touchdowns and was 4th on the team in receiving. He proved to be a valuable offensive threat out of the backfield and a serviceable runner in the tail end of the year.
Grade: D+ as a running back and a B- as a utility weapon.
The man turned into a BEAST when he was made the full time running back and helped the Ohio State offense become one of the most potent offenses in school history. Herron ran for 1155 yards (good for 4th in the Big Ten) and 16 touchdowns (3rd in the Big Ten). Herron was also a 1st Team All Big Ten running back. His games against hated rivals Penn State and Michigan totaled 365 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. Oh, and one more thing… Boom has NEVER lost a fumble in his Buckeye career.
Backup Running Backs:
Jordan Hall, Jamaal Berry, Rod Smith, Carlos Hyde… there just aren’t enough balls to go around. Hall was the primary backup behind Herron/Saine and both Hall and Berry were given the duties of being return men. Hall returned a kickoff for a touchdown against Michigan and Berry averaged over 8 yards a carry (32 attempts). I mentioned Rod Smith because the buzz around bowl practice was that Smith may have had his red shirt pulled because he was THAT good. While Boom sits out his suspension next year I believe Jordan Hall will get the start, but Rod Smith will see a lot of playing time and could be the full time starter next year by seasons end. Just not enough balls to go around.
In 2010 the Ohio State Offense averaged 38.8 points per game. The offense lead by Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith averaged 34.6. Terrelle Pryor was a different quarterback in 2010. He was a pass-first nightmare to deal with for opposing defensive coordinators that has rewritten the Ohio State quarteback record books. Is he at times overly emotional? Yes. Does he at times act his age? Yes. Do we all at times wish he would shut down his twitter account and stop talking to the media all together? Yes. Do I want anyone else quarterbacking OSU right now? HELL NO.
A lot of comparisons have been made between Terrelle Pryor and Cam Newton. Both are HUGE quarterbacks and both are AMAZING athletes. Both have commanded successful offenses and both have been in the spotlight for off the field mistakes. Yet, there are differences — a couple come to mind. Cam Newton is leaving Auburn for the paycheck of the NFL, Terrelle Pryor is staying to finish what he started. Cam Newton doesn’t want to talk about the hundreds of thousands of dollars he and his daddy took to play football at Auburn, Terrelle Pryor after being named the MVP of the Sugar Bowl apologized to his coaches, teammates and all Buckeye fans for what he did…and he did so on national television. It was a stand up move and a glimmer of maturity. Still waiting to hear from Cam Newton…could be a long wait.
I’ve often wondered what OSU’s record would be without Pryor at the helm…scary thought.
This offense was fun to watch, no doubt about it. A multifaceted offense that could not be stopped. You want to stop the run, fine — deal with Pryor slicing up the defense throwing to Dane, Posey, Saine or Stoneburner. You want to shut down the pass, fine — deal with Boom Herron and Terrelle Pryor running the ball all over the field.
Play calling did at times get in the way of this juggernaut unleashing the full fury onto college football. Please see the entire second half of the Sugar Bowl. Ugg. Evil Tressel needs to be in full effect EVERY gameday.