Record 95,722 show up to see Pryor, Ohio State in spring game
Ohio State set a national record with 95,722 in attendance for its spring game
Terrelle Pryor threw two TD passes in 30 seconds as his Gray team won
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- There was a lot of yardwork left undone in the Buckeye state on Saturday.
A national spring game record crowd of 95,722 came out to enjoy the high temperatures and watch Terrelle Pryor throw two long touchdown passes in 30 seconds, leading the Gray over the Scarlet 23-3 at sun-drenched Ohio Stadium.
"It's crazy -- CRAZY," tight end Jake Ballard said. "With the heat out there and they were out there sitting through it."
The 80-degree weather played a big role in the attendance, which topped the 92,138 Alabama drew for Nick Saban's coaching debut in 2007.
"First, kudos go out to our fans," coach Jim Tressel said. "It was a beautiful day, and gives you a little bit of electricity and a little energy and a little reminder of how much interest there is in Ohio State football."
Ohio fans paid $5 per ticket, with the bulk of the money going to local charities. Many showed up in tank tops and shorts to soak up the sun on the warmest day of the year while watching Pryor strut his stuff.
He broke open a close scrimmage with touchdown passes of 44 yards to Taurian Washington and 42 yards to Ray Small late in the second half. Pryor started as a freshman for last year's 10-3 Buckeyes team.
It has grated on him that doubters have questioned his ability to throw the ball accurately on medium and longer pass routes.
"We don't care about the critics and the analysts and people saying stuff about me," said Pryor, who retired after three quarters after completing 13-of-18 passes for 191 yards and the two scores. "That's not a big deal to me. I came out and showed I can throw the ball and that's what I wanted to do today."
Pryor, who a year ago was the nation's top quarterback recruit, completed 100 of his 165 passing attempts for 1,311 yards and 12 touchdowns with only four interceptions in his freshman season. But he seldom completed a pass of more than 10 or 15 yards, despite having a veteran group of receivers.
He has been motivated by those who question his arm strength.
"Terrelle wants to be a quarterback," tailback Dan "Boom" Herron said. "He doesn't want everybody to look at him as a runner or a scrambler. He wants to be a quarterback. He's been working really hard all spring just throwing and doing all the little things right."
Pryor took over the game in the final two minutes of the first half. He completed medium-length crossing patterns to Washington for 15 and 16 yards, then with 31 seconds remaining unloaded a 44-yard scoring toss to Washington n the left corner of the end zone.
After Aaron Pettrey kicked the extra point, Pettrey pulled off the biggest surprise of the day.
He kicked onside, recovering it himself. Pryor then connected with Washington for a 17-yard gain. On third-and-10 and with time running out, Pryor stepped up in the pocket to deliver a strike to Ray Small at the right sideline. Small, who had gotten behind a defender, sidestepped Rocco Pentello and zipped into the end zone to complete the 42-yard play -- with 1 second left on the clock.
"You saw it today. The world saw it today. I can throw the ball," Pryor said. "I'm a quarterback that can run. That's how we're doing it."
The rest of the scrimmage was dominated by kickers. Pettrey kicked field goals of 31, 41 and 23 yards. Devin Barclay provided the only points for the Scarlet with a 43-yard kick.
One of the few other offensive highlights was Marcus Williams' 94-yard run that set up a Pettrey field goal.
Tressel said his squad had good workouts in their 15 spring practice sessions.
"The one thing we believe (is) you can't win the national championship in the spring, but you can lose it by not progressing enough," he said. "We've progressed, and we know we've got a lot more we've got to get better at."
The Buckeyes are looking for replacements for seven departed starters on offense including leading rusher Chris "Beanie" Wells, both kickers and five front-line defensive players.
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