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Pryor, Ohio State come off bye to rip Northwestern

Nov 9, 2008 - 12:00 AM EVANSTON, Illinois (Ticker) -- Jim Tressel has been looking for more consistency from his offense. Terrelle Pryor clearly used Ohio State's bye week to fine-tune some of those deficiencies.

Pryor threw three touchdown passes Saturday as 12th-ranked Ohio State rebounded from its first Big Ten loss of the season with a 45-10 rout of No. 25 Northwestern.

Chris "Beanie" Wells rushed for 140 yards and two TDs for the Buckeyes (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten), who still have an outside chance of clinching at least a share of the league title.

"Offensively, I'm not sure we were as consistent as we would like to be," Tressel said. "But we made more plays than we had in our last few outings. (There was) definitely some progress."

Ohio State had a bye last week following a heartbreaking 13-6 loss to Penn State, which capitalized on Pryor's fourth-quarter fumble to rally for 10 unanswered points.

The Buckeyes managed just 287 yards from scrimmage against the then-unbeaten Nittany Lions, prompting Tressel to demand improvement from an offense that entered Saturday ranked 97th in the FBS.

"I thought our guys prepared hard for the last week and a half," Tressel said. "They were excited to get back on the field."

Pryor answered his coach's call against the Wildcats, completing 9-of-14 attempts for 197 yards and helping Ohio State convert 8-of-13 third downs. The freshman sensation also rushed for 33 yards.

The Buckeyes climbed into a tie with Penn State and Michigan State atop the Big Ten standings.

The Nittany Lions dropped their first decision of the season Saturday, a last-second 24-23 loss at Iowa, to fall to 5-1 in conference play.

By virtue of its win in Columbus two weeks ago, Penn State still owns a tiebreaker over the Buckeyes, who close out their season with a road game at Illinois and a home game against rival Michigan.

The Nittany Lions finish their regular season with home games against Indiana and Michigan State, which lost to the Buckeyes last month.

"We lost to Penn State, and it's a big deal," Pryor said. "Now if we lose to Illinois or Michigan, that's going to tear our seniors apart, and I don't want that to happen. I won't let that happen."

"I thought Terrelle did some good things," Tressel added. "Every time he is out there, he is going to get better."

The Buckeyes, who have won four straight meetings with the Wildcats (7-3, 3-3), took the lead for good on the second play of the second quarter when Wells broke a tackle and burst up the middle for a 55-yard TD that made it 14-7.

Starting from its own 10-yard line with a 17-7 lead, the Buckeyes distanced themselves from the Wildcats courtesy of a 12-play drive in which they converted three long third downs.

Pryor was the catalyst on the drive; he completed a 14-yarder to Dane Sanzenbacher on 3rd-and-8, danced up the middle for a 13-yard run on 3rd-and-12 and raced down the left sideline for a 23-yard gain on 3rd-and-16.

"(Pryor) is a very talented player," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "That is what big-time players do in games - they step up and they make plays."

Three plays after his long run, Pryor lofted a perfectly thrown 15-yard TD to Brian Robiskie, who made a tough catch in the back-right corner of the end zone to give Ohio State a 24-7 lead with 1:26 remaining in the first half.

"It's really important to finish drives and keep drives alive," Pryor said. "I think that touchdown at the end (of the first half) broke their backs."

Pryor tossed a 6-yard TD to tight end Rory Nicol late in the third quarter and found Robiskie for a 34-yard scoring strike midway through the fourth to give Ohio State an insurmountable 38-10 advantage.

Northwestern's Mike Kafka completed 18-of-27 passes for 177 yards, was intercepted once and was sacked four times. Kafka also ran for 83 yards and a TD for the Wildcats, who fell to 57-14-1 all-time against the Buckeyes.

"They played hard, all the credit goes to (the Buckeyes)," Kafka said. "When it comes down to it, we just need to make plays and take care of the football."






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    Ohio State(12) 45, Northwestern 10  FinalNov 8 6:48 PM


  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    OHIO ST (12) 7 17 7 14 45
    NORTHWESTERN 7 0 3 0 10 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: OHIO ST - TD, CHRIS WELLS 2 YD RUN (RYAN
    PRETORIUS KICK), 4:12. OHIO ST
    7-0
    NORTHWESTERN - TD, MIKE KAFKA 1 YD RUN (AMADO
    VILLARREAL KICK), 10:17. OHIO
    ST 7-7
    2ND QUARTER: OHIO ST - TD, CHRIS WELL

    Nov 8 2:55 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD OHIO ST
    DANIEL HERRON 16 YD RUN
    (RYAN PRETORIUS KICK)
    OHIO ST (12) 45
    NORTHWESTERN 10 0:07 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Ohio State(12) 45, Northwestern 10  4th - 0:07Nov 8 2:52 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD OHIO ST
    BRIAN ROBISKIE 34 YD PASS FROM TERRELLE PRYOR
    (RYAN PRETORIUS KICK)
    OHIO ST (12) 38
    NORTHWESTERN 10 7:36 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Ohio State(12) 38, Northwestern 10  4th - 7:36Nov 8 2:31 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    OHIO ST (12) 7 17 7 31
    NORTHWESTERN 7 0 3 10 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: OHIO ST - TD, CHRIS WELLS 2 YD RUN (RYAN
    PRETORIUS KICK), 4:12. OHIO ST
    7-0
    NORTHWESTERN - TD, MIKE KAFKA 1 YD RUN (AMADO
    VILLARREAL KICK), 10:17. OHIO
    ST 7-7
    2ND QUARTER: OHIO ST

    Nov 8 2:10 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD OHIO ST
    RORY NICOL 6 YD PASS FROM TERRELLE PRYOR
    (RYAN PRETORIUS KICK)
    OHIO ST (12) 31
    NORTHWESTERN 10 0:34 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Ohio State(12) 31, Northwestern 10  3rd - 0:34Nov 8 2:06 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG NORTHWESTERN
    AMADO VILLARREAL 25 YD
    OHIO ST (12) 24
    NORTHWESTERN 10 11:03 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Ohio State(12) 24, Northwestern 10  3rd - 11:03Nov 8 1:44 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    OHIO ST (12) 7 17 24
    NORTHWESTERN 7 0 7 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: OHIO ST - TD, CHRIS WELLS 2 YD RUN (RYAN
    PRETORIUS KICK), 4:12. OHIO ST
    7-0
    NORTHWESTERN - TD, MIKE KAFKA 1 YD RUN (AMADO
    VILLARREAL KICK), 10:17. OHIO
    ST 7-7
    2ND QUARTER: OHIO ST - TD, CH

    Nov 8 1:15 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD OHIO ST
    BRIAN ROBISKIE 15 YD PASS FROM TERRELLE PRYOR
    (RYAN PRETORIUS KICK)
    OHIO ST (12) 24
    NORTHWESTERN 7 1:26 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Ohio State(12) 24, Northwestern 7  2nd - 1:26Nov 8 1:10 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG OHIO ST
    RYAN PRETORIUS 33 YD
    OHIO ST (12) 17
    NORTHWESTERN 7 10:04 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Ohio State(12) 17, Northwestern 7  2nd - 10:04Nov 8 12:51 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD OHIO ST
    CHRIS WELLS 55 YD RUN
    (RYAN PRETORIUS KICK)
    OHIO ST (12) 14
    NORTHWESTERN 7 14:03 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Ohio State(12) 14, Northwestern 7  2nd - 14:03Nov 8 12:45 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    OHIO ST (12) 7 7
    NORTHWESTERN 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: OHIO ST - TD, CHRIS WELLS 2 YD RUN (RYAN
    PRETORIUS KICK), 4:12. OHIO ST
    7-0
    NORTHWESTERN - TD, MIKE KAFKA 1 YD RUN (AMADO
    VILLARREAL KICK), 10:17. OHIO
    ST 7-7

    Nov 8 12:38 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NORTHWESTERN
    MIKE KAFKA 1 YD RUN
    (AMADO VILLARREAL KICK)
    OHIO ST (12) 7
    NORTHWESTERN 7 4:43 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Ohio State(12) 7, Northwestern 7  1st - 4:43Nov 8 12:24 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD OHIO ST
    CHRIS WELLS 2 YD RUN
    (RYAN PRETORIUS KICK)
    OHIO ST (12) 7
    NORTHWESTERN 0 10:48 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Ohio State(12) 7, Northwestern 0  1st - 10:48Nov 8 12:12 PM
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    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Ohio State(12) vs. NorthwesternNov 8 9:11 AM
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    aqualung1 Added 5 roots

    Ohio State(12) vs. NorthwesternOct 18 12:07 PM