Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor only averaged 3.6 yards per carry against USC last year, but the sophomore’s running skills are causing a stir headed into this year’s match.The 6-foot-6 quarterback took over as the Buckeyes’ primary signal-caller last year after splitting snaps with Todd Boeckman in the USC game and led the team to a 8-1 record as a starter. The former blue-chip recruit dazzled fans with his running skills, including a 110-yard performance against Illinois.Casey cured · Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey (91), who is recovering from the flu, will be one of the Trojans chasing down Terelle Pryor. – Mike Lee | Daily TrojanWith the Buckeyes undergoing an offensive overhaul in the offseason, Pryor has become the focal point of the Ohio State attack.Much has been made of Pryor’s maturation as a pocket passer this offseason, but the Trojans are still respecting his abilities as a runner.“He’s doing the right thing, developing and taking pride in becoming an all around complete football player, and he looks like that,” USC coach Pete Carroll said at his weekly press conference. “He’s going to be a great quarterback.”Dual-threat quarterbacks have given USC trouble in the past, like in 2007 when Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon ran for 76 yards in a 24-17 Ducks win in Eugene, Ore.Defensive coaches have emphasized disciplined play and gang tackling as a way to contain Pryor on Saturday.“It’s kind of frustrating to have to chase down a fast guy like that,” defensive tackle Jurrell Casey said. “But we know we can get him as long as we keep our outside contain. You just can’t let a guy like that get outside.”Casey and cornerback Kevin Thomas returned to practice Wednesday after sitting out the last two days with the flu. Both are expected to be able to start on Saturday in Columbus.The 6-foot-1 Casey said he felt “90 percent” healthy and that he was confident he would be at full speed come gametime.“I’m not completely over it, but I’m good enough to be out here with my teammates,” Casey said.uCarroll said Wednesday that USC wouldn’t have as much information on the Ohio State defense because it faced an unorthodox first opponent in Navy, which runs the triple option.Although the Midshipmen racked up 198 rushing yards and came within a two-point conversion of forcing overtime last Saturday, Carroll noted that their attack was difficult to counter. The Trojans’ pro-style offense is preparing for a few different looks than the ones the Buckeyes displayed last week.“This one game in particular looking at their defense — it doesn’t help us very much,” Carroll said. “We would think we have a feel for them, but we don’t really know. They could have done some new stuff in the offseason, so we have to be ready to adapt.”The Buckeyes lost four starters from last year to the NFL, but quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates said there was plenty of talent left on Ohio State’s roster.“They have five or six guys who are going to make it into the league. They have a lot of speed and a lot of power, so they’re going to be hard to go against,” he said.
USC can’t let Pryor break loose