Communication key for Pryor in first road start
|AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato|
|How will Terrelle Pryor react to the deafening noise at Camp Randall Stadium?|
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Terrelle Pryor's natural gifts make him stand out from most college freshmen, but the Ohio State quarterback will only have four of his senses working Saturday night at Camp Randall Stadium.
"You can't hear," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said of being the visiting team against Wisconsin. "The big thing is the ability to communicate and make sure all communications coming to him and going from him are clearly advanced. Sometimes if you're not quite sure what you heard or saw or whatever, that can lead to some negative things happening.
"If his communication can be clear, he gets energized by the situation."
To prepare Pryor for the raucous environment at Wisconsin (ABC, 8 p.m.), Ohio State will crank up the noise during Thursday's practice. The Buckeyes actually conduct sound simulations every Thursday during the season because, as Tressel notes, "You can't hear in our stadium even when we're the home team."
Pryor displayed good poise in his first road appearance Sept. 13 against USC, completing seven of nine passes for 52 yards and no interceptions to go along with 40 rushing yards. But Saturday will mark his first career road start, and he'll face a Badgers team that has never lost at Camp Randall Stadium under coach Bret Bielema.
"It comes down to being even more focused when one of your senses is dulled," Tressel said. "The rest of your senses have to be a little sharper."
Minnesota coach Tim Brewster got a close-up view of Pryor's ability last Saturday, as the freshman piled up 167 total yards and accounted for three scores against the Gophers. Brewster, who recruited a big-game quarterback named Vince Young to Texas, has noticed some similarities already with Pryor.
"He's a tremendous threat," Brewster said. "I don't think he's going to be overwhelmed at all by the environment up at Wisconsin."