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Friday, November 12, 2010

Pryor Says No to Hoops, but Yes to Senior Season - Prince James Crying Again - OSU vs Penn St. - College Football and Basketball TV Schedule

Lions, Buckeyes toe the line at The Shoe
By Adam Rittenberg
The Penn State-Ohio State clash Saturday in Columbus lacks the significance of the teams' past two meetings, but the game certainly seems more interesting now than it would have been a month ago.
Back then, Penn State's offense looked utterly lost in back-to-back defeats to Iowa and Illinois. The red zone was a dead zone, running back Evan Royster was a shell of his former self and the offensive line repeatedly backslid, both literally and figuratively.
If those Lions had stepped on the field with these Buckeyes, the result probably wouldn't have been pretty. And it still might get ugly Saturday in Columbus, at least if you pay attention to the odds makers -- or Penn State coach Joe Paterno.
Paterno's players are a little more confident, especially on offense.
Penn State has scored 109 points in its past three games after mustering only 65 points in its previous five contests. Former walk-on Matt McGloin has provided a spark at quarterback, earning the starting job for Saturday's game after passing for 475 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions in his last two games.
The biggest jump has come from Royster. After recording just one 100-yard rushing performance in the first seven games, Royster has done so in back-to-back weeks, racking up 284 yards.
"There might be a little more of a sense of urgency lately," Royster said Tuesday. "I think everybody's playing harder. It's obvious. Once you see other people start to improve and get better, it makes you want to get better."
Why did it take half a season for the light to go on?
"In the past, I haven't seen too much adversity," Royster said. "We've seen a lot of it this year, and it's made each of us mature a little bit. It's good for us. You don't want to lose games, but it's good to be able to deal with it. ... I just think after being 3-3, we had a lot of senior guys step up and say 'This isn't how I want my senior season to go.'"
Ohio State's decorated senior class wanted to see their season end with a national championship. That likely won't happen, but the Buckeyes are still very much alive in the race for the Big Ten title, which they've won or shared in each of the past five seasons.
November has been a banner month for the Buckeyes under head coach Jim Tressel, and after an open week, Ohio State begins the home stretch with no margin for error.
"Every year we look forward to this time," senior defensive lineman Cameron Heyward said. "It's a critical month. It's all going to come down to us dominating and creating havoc."
Heyward did just that last year in State College, recording a team-high 11 tackles, including three for loss and two sacks. Penn State had no answer for the Buckeyes' star, who earned National Defensive Player of the Week honors.
"That was my best game last year," he said. "Going into [Saturday's game], I just looked at how I used my hands last year and just got off blocks."
Royster is impressed with Ohio State's front seven and said Penn State's top priority Saturday will be recognizing Buckeyes' blitzes, which the Lions think will come often.
"The thing that's been pointed out to us is they blitz a third of the time, and that's a ton," Royster said. "We're going to have to attack those weaknesses and those zones. ... Sometimes they can run themselves right out of a play."
Heyward said Royster's blitz assessment is a bit exaggerated -- "I don't think we blitz that much, I hope not," he said with a laugh -- but Ohio State will shuffle its personnel to give offensive lines different looks. Ohio State isn't rotating as many linemen up front as it has in past years, but it always boasts versatile linemen.
Although the Buckeyes aren't among the national leaders in sacks (tied for 75th) and tackles for loss (tied for 72nd), they're just as stingy as normal, ranking fourth nationally against the run (84 ypg allowed).
"Our defensive line has been very solid," coach Jim Tressel said. "They've done a good job versus run and pass. Certainly their numbers are very good."
Heyward hopes the best is yet to come.
"Our legacy will be made in November," he said.

Pryor committed to football, plans to return for senior season

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Despite saying earlier this week that he'd like to play basketball again, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor is committed to football and has enjoyed his almost three years with the Buckeyes.
He's liked it so much, in fact, he swears he'll be back for his senior year.
"I'm a Buckeye until I break all the records,'' he said during preparations for the eighth-ranked Buckeyes' showdown on Saturday at Ohio Stadium against Penn State.
The junior said he had no intention - at least right now - of jumping into the NFL draft.
"I feel like I want to get my degree and finish off strong and maybe have a better season next year with no losses,'' he said. "I love being here and I need to develop more knowledge as a human being and not worry about money and stuff like that.
"My mom works a little bit so I can use some of her money, and the money that we get here,'' Pryor said, referring to his scholarship and stipends that athletes receive for expenses. "I don't really have to worry. I can suffer another year, I just want to gain more knowledge as a human being before I leave.''
Pryor recognizes that despite starting for the Buckeyes (8-1, 4-1 Big Ten) for almost three full seasons, he still has some unfinished business.
Plus, he wants to burnish his resume at Ohio State and have his name among the Heisman Trophy winners whose numbers are placed on the facade of the upper deck at Ohio Stadium.
"I want to get my degree, so I can finish that up,'' Pryor said. "I want to have a legacy here and maybe someday get my jersey hung up. That's one of my goals here as well. I think I just have to develop my brain, develop my mind and the way I'm thinking and how I control situations.''
Coach Jim Tressel, who brought Pryor to Ohio State when the 6-foot-6, 235-pound colt was rated the No. 1 recruit in the country, isn't surprised the Jeannette, Pa., native feels that way.
"He is a guy that wants to make a difference for his team,'' Tressel said. "If he could do anything so that his team would succeed, he would do it.''
That's why it was such a shock to some Ohio State followers earlier this week when Pryor sent two curious messages on Twitter.
The two-sport star in high school, who once considered playing both football and basketball in college, tweeted that he missed basketball. Then he tweeted a note to Buckeyes basketball player David Lighty asking if he could say something to hoops coach Thad Matta about Pryor trying out for the team.
A day later, Pryor declined to go into much detail about his feelings of also performing on the court for the fourth-ranked Buckeyes.
"I'm playing football right now,'' he said unequivocally. "That's it. I was just throwing it out there. I think all the time.''
Some Ohio State fans were critical of him for even thinking about another sport when the Buckeyes are faced with a huge game against the Nittany Lions (6-3, 3-2) and have other big tests awaiting at Iowa and at home against archrival Michigan.
Penn State's 83-year-old coach, Joe Paterno, tried hard to keep Pryor in his home state three years ago. Perhaps adding fuel to the fire, JoePa also mentioned Pryor's prowess on the court this week.
"He was a great, great high school player - and not only as a football player, a heck of a basketball player,'' Paterno added, without a wink. "We tried everything we could to try to get him to come to Penn State.''
Pryor has a bit of history against the massive program in his home state. A year ago, he accounted for all three touchdowns - breaking the game open with a 62-yard scoring toss to DeVier Posey in the third quarter - in Ohio State's 24-7 victory in Happy Valley.
A year earlier, the Nittany Lions stopped him on a critical fourth-and-1 near midfield late in a 13-6 victory over the Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium. That remains Pryor's only home conference loss as a starter.
And it still haunts him.
"I took the Penn State game my freshman year so (hard) that maybe it was like the end of the world that we lost,'' he said. "I'm from Pennsylvania and I thought it was a big deal, but it's really not. It's the same game, and we're going to have those losses.''
The win a year ago helped ease the ache of the loss in 2008.
"Playing there definitely took pressure off my chest,'' Pryor said. "As I grew up and got older you have time to think a lot. I'm a big thinker and I look back at it as you're playing all these games and if you keep playing this game a long time you're going to take a lot of losses and I'm going to win a lot of games.''
He added, "I just look at it as you've got to get on to the next one. That's the way I'm going to view everything - on to the next thing.''

Friday, Nov. 12 Network Time (ET)
Ball State at Buffalo ESPNU 6 p.m.
Boise State at Idaho ESPN2 9 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 13 Network Time (ET)
Indiana at Wisconsin ESPN2 Noon
Iowa at Northwestern ESPN Noon
Miami (Fla.) at Georgia Tech ESPN3 Noon
South Florida at Louisville ESPNU Noon
Boston College at Duke ESPN3 Noon
Cincinnati at West Virginia ESPN3 Noon
Minnesota at Illinois BTN Noon
Michigan at Purdue BTN Noon
Mississippi at Tennessee CBS Noon
Vanderbilt at Kentucky ESPN3 12:21 p.m.
Wake Forest at North Carolina State ESPN3 2 p.m.
Utah at Notre Dame NBC 2:30 p.m.
Georgia at Auburn CBS 3:30 p.m.
Penn State at Ohio State ABC/ESPN 3:30 p.m.
Texas Tech at Oklahoma ABC 3:30 p.m.
Virginia Tech at North Carolina ABC/ESPN 3:30 p.m.
Syracuse at Rutgers ESPNU 3:30 p.m.
Maryland at Virginia ESPN3 3:30 p.m.
North Texas at Middle Tennessee ESPN3 3:30 p.m.
Florida International at Troy ESPN3 3:30 p.m.
San Diego State at TCU Versus 4 p.m.
Louisiana Tech at New Mexico State ESPN3 6 p.m.
Louisiana-Monroe at LSU ESPN3 7 p.m.
UTEP at Arkansas ESPNU 7 p.m.
Mississippi State at Alabama ESPN2 7:15 p.m.
South Carolina at Florida ESPN 7:15 p.m.
Oregon at California Versus 7:30 p.m.
Oklahoma State at Texas ABC 8 p.m.
USC at Arizona ABC 8 p.m.
Clemson at Florida State ABC 8 p.m.
Nevada at Fresno State ESPN 10:30 p.m.

LeBron questions Spoelstra
The second of two bad home losses didn't bring out the best in the Heat. "For myself, 44 minutes is too much," James declared. "I think Coach Spo knows that. Forty minutes for D-Wade is too much. We have to have as much energy as we can to finish games out." There you go, Coach Spo. Get to know him well. ... No one exposes the flaws of these Heat like the Celtics with their brilliant passing, precise shooting and ferocious physical play. Boston believes it can bully these Heat, believes they're susceptible to games of the mind and body.

College Hoops
Top 25 - 11/12/10
8:30 PM ET
Eastern Michigan
2 Michigan State
PreviewTicketsConversation9:00 PM ET
James Madison
3 Kansas State
ESPNUPreviewTickets7:00 PM ET
North Carolina A&T
5 Ohio State
ESPN3PreviewTickets8:00 PM ET
6 Villanova
ESPN3PreviewTickets8:00 PM ET
7 Kansas
ESPN3PreviewTickets7:00 PM ET
9 North Carolina
PreviewTicketsConversation7:00 PM ET
East Tennessee State
10 Kentucky
ESPN3PreviewTickets7:00 PM ET
North Carolina-Wilmington
11 Florida
PreviewTicketsConversation9:00 PM ET
Southern University
12 Gonzaga
PreviewTicketsConversation7:00 PM ET
Northern Iowa
13 Syracuse
ESPN3PreviewTickets9:30 PM ET
Grambling State
14 Baylor
PreviewTicketsConversation9:00 PM ET
19 Memphis
PreviewTicketsConversation9:00 PM ET
20 Tennessee
PreviewTicketsConversation7:00 PM ET
21 Georgetown
Old Dominion
PreviewTicketsConversation7:30 PM ET
Seton Hall
22 Temple
PreviewTicketsConversation7:30 PM ET
23 Virginia Tech

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