Players to Watch: Ohio State

Players to Watch: Ohio State

At 7 o'clock tonight, the Gophers will face the Ohio State Buckeyes in a matchup that pins one of the top teams in the conference against the last team in the Big Ten standings. Minnesota should come out of the locker room motivated and looking for the upset but the Buckeyes are a tough team to stop. One player from each squad could make the difference in the game.

The Gophers have struggled this year with agile quarterbacks such as Dante Warren of South Dakota and Dan Persa of Northwestern. Saturday's game against Terrelle Pryor and the Buckeyes should be yet another test against a quarterback who can run. If the Gophers can slow down Ohio State's high-powered offense they have a shot at the upset.

In the Buckeyes' only loss to Wisconsin they scored only 18 points and had 311 total yards, far below their averages of 40.8 points per game and 449.4 yards per game. The player who can help to contain Pryor is linebacker Gary Tinsley. The 6-foot-1 junior has been all over the field recently making plays. He has an impressive 63 tackles on season and will look to rack up a few more against Pryor and the Buckeyes. Tinsley is a sure tackler and will be looked to on Saturday to slow down Pryor.

The Buckeyes boast one of the best offenses in the conference ranking first in scoring and second in yards per game. A big reason for this has been the exceptional play of one of the nation's top quarterbacks, Terrelle Pryor. Pryor is near-impossible to stop due to his ability to get outside the pocket and burn defenders with his feet. He has surpassed 100 rushing yards in a game three times this season and has 408 total yards on the ground with three touchdowns. Not only can Pryor run he has also developed into an efficient passer.

This season, he has completed 66% of his passes for 1775 yards and 18 touchdowns. The Buckeyes rise and fall on the play of Pryor. In the team's only loss to Wisconsin, Pryor completed only 14 of his 28 passes for 156 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. If the Buckeyes want to walk out of TCF Bank Stadium with a win, Pryor will need to be on his game.

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