The Sweep

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Following a 35-3 shellacking at the hands of USC, Jim Tressel opted for true freshman Terrelle Pryor at QB vs. Troy.
AP

• Well, that sure didn't take long. Just four weeks into his collegiate career, Terrelle Pryor has established himself as Ohio State's clear-cut No. 1 quarterback (unseating senior co-captain Todd Boeckman). The wunderkind signal-caller made quite an impression in his first start, completing 10 of 16 passes for 141 yards and four touchdowns while racking up an additional 62 yards on the ground.
 
The most impressive aspect of Pryor's game was his patience in the pocket. With Pryor's silky-smooth running ability and inexperience at the college level, one would think he'd take off at the first sign of trouble. But the true freshman repeatedly bought himself time by moving around in the pocket, giving his receivers a chance to get open. This was most evident on Pryor's second touchdown pass of the first half. After taking his drop, Pryor felt some pressure and stepped up in the pocket. Although he definitely had a running lane, Pryor chose to air it out down the middle of the field to Brian Hartline for a 39-yard touchdown.

I think I speak for the collective Michigan fan base when I say, "Holy $%@&!" The Wolverines lost a heated recruiting battle for Pryor. And while Michigan's offense has shown signs of promise -- particularly on the Sam McGuffie front -- it would certainly look better with Pryor at the helm. Troy Smith tormented maize-and-blue faithful for three seasons, and Pryor looks like a Michigan nightmare for years to come.

Before I go completely overboard, though, it was far from a perfect game for Pryor and the Buckeyes. The offense was inconsistent from drive to drive, and Pryor showed his youth by taking a costly sack at the end of the first half and unnecessarily forcing a few throws. Not to mention the Buckeyes only led their Sun Belt opponent 14-10 entering the fourth quarter and didn't look much like a BCS bowl-caliber team for large stretches of the game. But there's no denying this young signal-caller's immense potential. Just imagine how dangerous this kid will be when Beanie Wells returns to his side ...

• West Virginia's loss to Colorado on Thursday night cast some doubt on BCS-Buster du jour East Carolina. Two day's later the Pirates' BCS dreams are dashed. ECU lost to N.C. State 30-24 in overtime. The Pirates had the first possession of OT, but QB Patrick Pinkney fumbled. Shortly thereafter, Wolfpack RB Andre Brown won the game with a 10-yard touchdown run. Disheartened Pirates fans will definitely go back to a missed opportunity in the fourth quarter. Leading 21-17 with just over 12 minutes left in the game, ECU had the ball on the N.C. State one-yard line on second down. But the Pirates failed to punch it in on three straight running attempts, turning the ball over on downs and allowing the Wolfpack to stick around. Should Skip Holtz have taken the field goal on fourth down?

• Georgia Tech made quite a statement today, steamrolling Mississippi State 38-7. Just last week, the Bulldogs' defense shut down Auburn, holding Tony Franklin's new spread attack to three points. But Mississippi State had no answer for Paul Johnson's new triple-option approach at Georgia Tech. Led by sophomore B-back Jonathan Dwyer (9 carries, 141 yards, 1 TD), the Yellow Jackets racked up a ridiculous 438 yards on the ground. Many folks questioned whether Johnson's old-school offense could work in major-conference football, but the Jackets embarrassed a tough SEC defense today.

• Big win for Dave Wannstedt, as Pittsburgh edged past a formerly undefeated Iowa team, 21-20. And the Panthers sealed the deal with a huge play by their special teams, a unit Wanny coaches himself. Clinging to a one-point lead with just over two minutes left, Pitt punter Dave Brytus executed an absolutely perfect, 57-yard kick that trickled out of bounds inside the one-yard line. With no timeouts, the Hawkeyes attempted to hurry the ball down the field, but QB Jake Christensen fumbled and Pitt recovered.

• It's still early, but I'm prematurely awarding Purdue RB Kory Sheets with Mind-Boggling Juke of the Day. Sheets, who struggled for most of the day against Central Michigan, dashed 46 yards for the game-winning score with 1:10 left in the fourth quarter. On the play, Sheets busted through a big hole up the middle, forcing Chippewas safety Bobby Seay to come up on run support. Sheets sized up Seay, broke his ankles and bounced outside to scamper into the endzone. It was Barry Sanders-esque; truly a must-see shake.

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