Navy-Ohio State Odds
That didn't stop Pryor from showing that he could.
This season, the multi-talented quarterback will be the focal point of the sixth-ranked Buckeyes' offense from the start as
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made
Pryor was seen as the Buckeyes' future when he came to
Instead, senior starting QB Todd Boeckman struggled and coach Jim Tressel turned to Pryor after a 35-3 loss to then-top-ranked
Pryor couldn't help
They are three spots higher in the poll to begin 2009 largely because of Pryor, the Big Ten's preseason offensive player of the year. Seven offensive starters are gone, including Wells and receivers Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline, leaving the pressure on Pryor to produce.
"I think he accepts that,'' offensive lineman Andrew Moses said. "If you're a quarterback at a university like this you're going to know that's going to be a part of the deal. Terrelle just wants to be the best player he can be for his team. I don't know if he's really nervous about it. He doesn't show it.''
Pryor has been compared with Vince Young, who guided
"He'll evolve every year from that standpoint, not unlike
Seven defensive starters return for the Buckeyes, but the losses will be evident. Gone are cornerback Malcolm Jenkins, a first-round draft pick, and linebackers James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman. To make matters worse, junior linebacker Tyler Moeller will miss the season as he recovers from an off-field accident.
The resulting lack of experience at that position will put additional pressure on a defensive line anchored by end Thaddeus Gibson, and that unit will be tested right away. Navy had the nation's No. 1 rushing attack for the fourth straight year in 2008, gaining an average of 298.3 yards per game with their triple-option attack.
Midshipmen leading rushers Shun White and Eric Kettani have graduated, though, and so has quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, leaving the offense in the hands of junior Ricky Dobbs.
That might be a good thing, considering Dobbs came to Navy as one of the service academy's most highly touted quarterbacks in recent memory. Last season, Dobbs played occasionally in relief and started one game, yet finished third on the team with 495 yards rushing and second with eight touchdowns.
Starting Saturday in
"There is something special about Ricky. Players, coaches, fans, they just love this kid,'' Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "I think our team will rally around Ricky as our leader.''
Dobbs, while a talented runner, also has a strong arm, something he hopes to get a chance to display.
"I would love to throw the ball on every down,'' Dobbs said.
Seven starters return from the Midshipmen defense, which allowed 21.4 points per game last season - 14.4 fewer than in 2007.
NAVY is 16-6 ATS (+9.4 Units) as an underdog of 21.5 to 31 points since 1992.
NAVY is 104-73 ATS (+23.7 Units) in all games since 1992.
NAVY is 104-73 ATS (+23.7 Units) in all lined games since 1992.
NAVY is 68-43 ATS (+20.7 Units) as an underdog since 1992.
NAVY is 15-3 ATS (+11.7 Units) as a road underdog of 21.5 or more points since 1992.
NAVY is 52-22 ATS (+27.8 Units) in road games since 1992.
NAVY is 52-22 ATS (+27.8 Units) in road lined games since 1992.
NAVY is 97-67 ATS (+23.3 Units) when playing on a Saturday since 1992.
NAVY is 52-23 ATS (+26.7 Units) in road games in games played on a grass field since 1992.
NAVY is 55-24 ATS (+28.6 Units) in road games in non-conference games since 1992.
NAVY: 40-15 ATS as road underdog
Key Player Injuries
No significant injuries.
No significant injuries.
Posted: 9/1/09 2:44PM ET