Dave Thurman (7:14 pm)
Schizophrenic Buckeye fans who cried for a change at quarterback a couple months ago are now posting angry threads demanding to see Todd Boeckman.Even some respected writers who cover OSU on popular websites are demeaning Terrelle Pryor’s performance and questioning the Buckeye brain trust, suggesting that the team would be better served reinserting Boeckman. I don’t get it. So, let me ask, which Todd Boeckman do you want?
- The one who threw three interceptions against Illinois?
- The one who looked like a deer in the headlights in the BCS Championship game, with three more turnovers?
- The one who threw for 110 yards and 0 touchdowns against Ohio (yes the same Bobcat team that is at the bottom of the MAC)?
- Or the one who managed 84 yards and 2 interceptions at USC (and who scored more for the Trojans than the Buckeyes)?
Hey, I admire Todd Boeckman, and thought he did a pretty good job most of 2007. Nobody would have liked to have seen him succeed this year more than me. But the fact is, with this year’s offensive line he simply isn’t a feasible option. We tried him early and he failed miserably. Tressel made a gutsy change, and while it has been somewhat of a mixed bag, I contend that Pryor not only gives this year’s team the best chance to win, but he is also learning on the job and preparing for greatness in the future.
However, since so many people were hard on TP after the Penn State game, let’s do a little analysis. First off, he managed to throw for 224 yards, hitting 64% of his passes against one of the best defenses in the nation. He did that without the aid of any running game, and with Penn State defenders in his face most of the game.Outside of his costly fumble he played an excellent game, and was the best offensive player in scarlet and gray.
Would Todd have done better? Surely you jest!With Bryant Browning allowing Maybin to come free all night, Todd would have been sacked numerous times, and if past performance is any indicator, probably would have made a number of turnovers. If you struggle against Ohio you aren’t going to be successful against Penn State!
Two things are essential for Todd Boeckman to do well: 1) Good blocking from the offensive line; 2) A solid running game. Unfortunately the 2008 Buckeye squad fails miserably in the first area, and because of that, sometimes struggles in the second.
The best chance for victory against Penn State was to possess the ball with a mix of runs and timely passes, relying on defense and special teams.And, it would have worked (in spite of a terrible performance by the o-line) had we won the turnover battle or even come out even.
Had he played, Boeckman might have hit a big pass or two, but I guarantee you there would have been sacks and turnovers, and instead of a close contest that could have been won, the Bucks would have been on the wrong side of another beat down by a top notch opponent.I don’t know about you, but I really didn’t want to hear the talking heads going crazy after another lopsided loss.
Of course, I’m sure there are a few fans out there who will suggest going with a combination of the two quarterbacks. Again, I think that is a bad idea. Two quarterback systems rarely work. Cooper tried it for a number of games with Stanley Jackson and Joe Germaine and it didn’t work. Tressel tried it against Texas with Troy Smith and Justin Zwick and it failed.
Someone will no doubt point to Florida winning a national title with two quarterbacks. But in truth they didn’t have a two quarterback system. Their man was Chris Leak and they only inserted Tim Tebow in short yardage and goal line situations. Due to Tebow’s tremendous athleticism this worked well, but it was the exception not the rule.
The problem with two quarterbacks is that neither gains confidence, as they begin to look over their shoulder, fearing mistakes, lest they be pulled from the lineup. And, if reps are shared 50/50 in practice, it means that nobody gets the advantage of feeling comfortable at the helm. Besides, it usually leads to dissension as players start taking sides, preferring one quarterback or the other.
No, the answer is not a two quarterback system, nor is it reinserting Todd Boeckman as the starter. This Buckeye team simply isn’t as good as we fans hoped, and Tressel is doing the best he can with the cards he’s been dealt.
But I’ve got news for the rest of the Big Ten. You better get us now, because Pryor is only going to get better.We may be down a little right now, but the future is bright in Columbus!