September 1, 2007

Pryor makes short work of first opponent

JEANNETTE, Pa. - The nation's No. 1 player, quarterback Terrelle Pryor, began the 2007 season strong on Friday night as he team annihilated an overmatched Brownsville team 60-0 in Jeannette's opener. On the first offensive play of the game, Pryor faked a handoff and raced untouched around the left end for a 53-yard touchdown run. As he came off the field, Pryor shrugged, smiled and seemed almost embarrassed at how easy it was.

Pryor would enter the box score only four more times on the evening, all on passes, due to the mismatch against Brownsville. He completed three of his four attempts for 102 yards and a touchdown. On his first pass, Pryor delivered a strike across the middle for 20 yards and followed that up with a 25-yard strike, again over the middle. He showed some zip on the first completion and nice touch on the second, hitting both receivers in soft spots of zone coverage. His third completion was a 57-yard strike for a touchdown, once again showing nice touch on the long ball.

Pryor did make one mistake in the game, an interception on a ball he left short after scrambling to his right. The play was designed to go to the outside receiver on a double-move, but his target was jammed downfield. Pryor free-wheeled to the right avoiding two pass rushers and could have turned he corner for a huge gain, but instead tried a touch pass down the field that fell short.

Pryor was involved in select few other plays on the evening. On another touchdown, he ran the option to perfection and pitched to the tailback for a score, although it was clear he could have cut it inside and scored on his own. And on yet another touchdown, Pryor led downfield with a crushing block on a reverse. However, the top player in the country handed the ball off for the most part to keep everyone involved in the blowout.

Overall, it was a frustrating night for Pryor as he played less than 16 minutes. Despite the very limited time, Pryor totaled 155 yards and two scores. When he left the game it was 36-0 with Brownsville simply unable to stop the Jeannette offense. Jeannette scored on every offensive possession while Pryor was in the game.

"I hate games like this," he said. "You don't really get any better playing a game like this because it's hard to go full out. There were five plays where I was able to do something with the football the entire time I was in there, so it's not a lot of fun. But we have plenty of big games this year and I'll get my number called more than enough, so you just deal with it and move on. But you always want to play in competitive situations so you can get better and this was just tough."

For his part, Jeannette head coach Ray Reitz just wants to come through a game like this without any injuries.

"It's tough because you don't want to embarrass the other team but you also want to get your guys some work without getting them hurt," he said. "With Terrelle, we didn't want him to get hurt in a game like this because it's hard to go 100-percent and these are the games where kids can get hurt. I wanted to get him some more work but it didn't make sense."

Pryor certainly passes the eyeball test in uniform. He is clearly bigger than he was last year and he looks to be carrying a solid 235 pounds. He has the size of a defensive end to go along with the speed of a wide receiver. In warm-ups, his delivery is a bit more over-the-top than it used to be, the balls comes out with velocity and accuracy on out patterns and he throws the ball with ease downfield and with excellent touch. On his touchdown run, he ran away from everyone and looked to be gliding rather than running hard.

This was obviously a tough game to evaluate Pryor due to the lack of competition but his physical size, his speed and the accuracy on his passes were all impressive. Even in limited action, it's clear he has an incredibly high ceiling and limitless potential.


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