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Buckeyes trounce Bobcats, 45-3
As Terrelle Pryor ran toward the end zone, cornerback Shannon Ballard sprinted to keep up with the quarterback. When Pryor crossed the plane for a 13-yard touchdown, an exhausted Ballard stood dejectedly, with his hands on his hips.
Such was the day for the Bobcats. No matter what they did, they couldn't keep up with the overpowering Buckeyes in a 43-7 loss at Ohio Stadium this afternoon.
"It was a long afternoon," said coach Frank Solich. "Ohio State has a championship-caliber team. I felt that coming in and I definitely feel that coming out."
Pryor and the Ohio State offense led a methodical attack against the Bobcats, pounding it with runs and efficient passes.
The Bobcat defense appeared up to the task of slowing the attack as the unit forced a three-and-out field goal attempt on the Buckeyes' first drive.
But the group wore down after that, paving the way for Pryor and his teammates to pile on points.
The quarterback proved why he's a Heisman Trophy favorite, playing collectedly in the pocket and rushing all over the Bobcats. At one point, Pryor completed 16 consecutive passes, a new school record.
The junior finished 22-for-29 for 235 yards and rushed for 54 yards.
"(Pryor's skill) was something we knew going in that we had to control," Solich said. "But we weren't able to do that, and so it become more and more difficult for our defense."
He showed his mastery of the Bobcats on a 5-yard touchdown toss to Jake Stoneburner in the second quarter.
The quarterback sidestepped Noah Keller, the Bobcats' defensive leader, and threw him to the ground before easily finding Stoneburner in the end zone.
"He's a hard guy to tackle," Keller said. "There was a lot of breakdowns where guys didn't stay on the upfield shoulder because his escape path was to bubble out and break contain.
"It wasn't the best job on our part of trying to contain him."
Offensively, the Bobcats weren't much better.
Phil Bates started the game at quarterback, but looked tentative and nervous for most of his time on the field.
The redshirt junior threw an interception on the second play of the game and never recovered. The Bobcats finished the first quarter with -4 yards of offense and no first downs, and ended the game with only 158 total yards.
"A lot of situations, all around offensively, we hesitated," Bates said. "That's what happens when we don't let it loose."
After Bates mustered the first Bobcat first down, he botched a pitch to running back Dallas Brown. Defensive end Cameron Heyward retrieved the fumble, and the Buckeyes effectively sealed the game on the next drive as they made it 34-0.
Bates finished the game with four turnovers and the Bobcats finished with five overall.
"Everyone wasn't doing the right thing," Bates said. "We got to tune some things up as we move on."