Saturday, August 30, 2008

Two for (No.) One


Two straight Big Ten Conference championships, two straight National Championship game losses for the Buckeyes. Being dominant in the Big Ten but getting dominated by the SEC does not sit right with this year’s Buckeyes team. If Jim Tressel and his team would like to reverse their fortunes (in national championship games), then they may want to take a page out of the books of the last two teams to beat them in the title game; Florida and LSU.

The thing Florida and LSU had in common that Ohio State did not have was the implementation of a two quarterback system. Last year LSU utilized Ryan Perrilloux and Matt Flynn. The year before, Florida utilized Chris Leak and a Heisman Trophy winner named Tim Tebow. Both sets of quarterbacks possessed two facets of the game that are truly hard to find in one quarterback; the ability to run and the ability to stand in the pocket and deliver. For LSU, Perrilloux was the one with the ability to get out of the pocket and make plays. He rushed for over 200 yards on the season while scoring two touchdowns. Flynn, on the other hand, gave LSU its pocket passing presence, throwing for over 2,400 yards and 21 touchdowns. Florida had Chris Leak as their pocket passer and Tim Tebow playing the role of out of the pocket playmaker.

Both teams not only had dominating seasons using this system, but they also played like champions in the BCS title game against OSU. Ohio State now has a chance to use this system during the upcoming season. They have a freshman quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, who is regarded as the number one prospect coming out of high school. His play resembles that of Michael Vick and Vince Young; a very gifted playmaker with the ability to make something happen when the pocket collapses. They also have veteran senior quarterback, Todd Boeckman, a solid pocket passer. This may be the last chance for Ohio State to show that they can get things right--that they can not only get to a title game and avoid getting blown out, but actually win the game and the title.

If they should happen to meet another SEC foe in that game, the chance to give their former conquerors a taste of their own medicine would make it even sweeter. Only time will tell how much Tressel will use this system this upcoming year, but it may be his only option to get restore their recently blemished name.