Smith vs. Pryor: A QB Comparison

By Jeff Beck on June 6, 2012 at 4:00p
124 Comments
T-ROYCold-blooded... mostly.

Note: Putting aside any bias you might have toward either or both of these individuals will be helpful in viewing this comparison with a clear head…and a full heart. In keeping with this theme I’ve decided to compare the greatness of both players based solely on how they performed on the field, not on any intangibles or lacktherof they exhibited off of the field of play.

With that said, let's do this.

Even before Terrelle Pryor signed his LOI to play for Ohio State, parallels were being drawn between his game and that of Buckeye Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith. Both were mobile quarterbacks, but in reality that’s where most of the similarities ended. 

Pryor was the most highly touted recruit in the country and started almost immediately. Smith accepted the last scholarship in the ’02 recruiting class and mostly fielded punt and kick returns until his third season with the Scarlet and Gray.

Smith molded himself into a precision passer during his time at Ohio State. Pryor’s throwing mechanics never seemed to reach their full potential.

Pryor’s frame was massive (6’6’’, 233 lbs) allowing him to run through potential defenders. The diminutive Smith (6’0’’, 217lbs) eluded defenders with okie-doke freak-shows like this and this.

Earlier I said mobility is where MOST of the similarities ended and I meant it in the truest sense of the word. That’s because the two did have one additional thing in common: both knew how to win, specifically when the opponent was wearing sun maize and blue. Smith ended his career with a 26-4 record and a 3-0 record against dem boys up North. Pryor left Ohio State with a 31-5* record and enjoyed a 3-01 record against the enemy.

So the question remains, who was the better QB? I have to admit when I sat down to write I thought it would be Smith in a landslide, but a closer look at the stats might surprise you.

Career Passing Stats

  Yds TD INT Yds Per Attempt Completion % Efficiency rating
Smith 5,720 54 13 8.5 62.7 157.1
Pryor 6,177 57 26 7.9 60.9 144.6

Pryor started 5 more games than Smith, so it makes sense that his totals are higher. But, when you start to dice the numbers Smith's quality over quantity begins to surface. Troy was deadly when he stood in the pocket (or scrambled out of it) and delivered, especially in 2006. Often Tressel would go five wide and let Smith pick apart an opposing defense to the tune of a 65.3 completion percentage in 2006 (the highest season percentage in Ohio State history). 

While Pryor was efficient in his own right, he simply did not develop into the pure passer that Smith turned out to be. 

ADVANTAGE: Smith

Career Rushing Stats

  Yds TD YDS per Attempt
Smith 1,168 14 4.0
Pryor 2,188 19 5.0

The rushing game is where Pryor may have had a leg up. Again, it's important to keep in mind that Pryor started in five more games, so his numbers were bound to be larger. However, he rushed for over 1,000 more yards than Smith and five more TDs.

Te-RrelleHe might be a pariah, but dude could win.

Simply put, Pryor would run over or past the opposition. He was/is incredibly fast (clocked a 4.38 40 at his pro day). So when things got hairy, Pryor would rely on his legs, putting his head down to make a play.

This was Smith's mentality throughout the 2004 and part of the 2005 season, but eventually he evolved his game to the point where scrambling became the fourth or fifth option instead of the second. Smith's ability to keep his eyes down-field and find a receiver in 2006 may have more to do with this disparity in rushing yards than anything. But, on paper and maybe even in reality, Pryor was the better rusher.

ADVANTAGE: Pryor

Michigan Performance

Any judgement passed on a Buckeye QB must be filtered through a "how'd he do against Michigan" lens. Both Smith and Pryor were Michigan killers, never losing to UM during their time at OSU. So, a deeper dive into their career Michigan game statistics should help to shed some light on who performed better during THE GAME.

Career Michigan Game Passing Stats

  Yds TD INT Yds Per Attempt Completion % Efficiency Rating
Smith  857 7 1 8.5 68.3 160.48
Pryor 407 5 3 7.1 56.1 134.5

Arguably (or maybe unarguably) no QB in Ohio State history showed up more ready to pound the maize and blue into oblivion than Troy Smith during his career. His Michigan games were a thing of beauty and his career passing stats reflect that. His 68.3 completion percentage and 160.48 efficiency rating are off the charts. In his last two seasons, (2005 and 2006) Troy threw for over 300 yards in The Game, including a 316 yard 4 TD performance against No.2 Michigan in 2006 that propelled him to the Heisman Trophy. Pryor's Michigan games were solid, but Smith was playing against better competition and slinging the ball around at a much higher level (possibly higher than any other OSU QB in history.) 

ADVANTAGE: Smith

Career Michigan Game Rushing Stats

  Yds TD Yds Per Attempt
Smith 194 2 5.9
Pryor 116 0 3.0

Surprisingly, Smith also performed better than Pryor in the rushing game against the maize and blue. Nothing much else to say here other than Smith was possessed by the ghost of Woody Hayes during these games. If you weren't wearing Scarlet and Gray, you were going to get the hell out of his way.

ADVANTAGE: Smith

Additional Accolades

Lastly, I believe it's important to point out the hardware that each collected during their time at Ohio State. 

Smith: In 2005 Smith was listed as an All-BigTen Honorable Mention and then went on to nab the Fiesta Bowl MVP. In hindsight, the Fiesta Bowl was Smith's warning shot to the college football world. The following season he came out guns blazing. By the end of the 2006 season, Smith had claimed nearly every award a QB can collect including the Heisman Trophy, the NCAA QB of the year, a consensus All-American nod, the Walter Camp Award, the Davey O'Brien Award, and the Archie Griffin Award. Smith was also voted to the 2006 All-Big Ten First Team and was given Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year accolades.  Not too bad...not too bad at all.

Pryor: In 2008, Pryor was voted as the All-Big Ten Freshman of the Year and was given an All-Big Ten Honorable mention. In the team's bowl game against Texas, Pryor earned the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Sportsmanship Award to finish out the season. In 2009, Pryor earned another All-Big Ten Honorable Mention, and began 2010 with a Rose Bowl MVP Trophy for his  superb performance against the ducks. In Pryor's final season, he racked up yet another All-Big Ten Honorable Mention, a Big Ten MVP runner up, and another BCS bowl MVP after roasting the hogs in the 2011 Sugar Bowl. 

While Pryor's bowl performances were memorable, a Heisman Trophy is game over in terms of this comparison.

ADVANTAGE: Smith

Regardless of what you think of Smith or Pryor, both were excellent Buckeye QBs. Their careers were linked due to talent comparisons early. Ironically, their exits (which were not the same at all) gave fans a similar hollow feeling late. While Pryor's career stats are higher than Smith's in many categories, Troy was more efficient especially in The Game (I'm talking to you Lloyd!). 

Smith was the better QB and he may be the greatest OSU signal-caller in history. End of story. Unless Braxton wants to rewrite that book of course.

  • 1 This includes wins forfeited from the 2010 season.
124 Comments

Comments

BrewstersMillions's picture

There probably isn't a more pro Pryor guy on this site than yours truly but at no point did I ever think he was the better QB than Troy. Smith is easily my all time favorite Buckeye signal caller and finishes second to Darion Scott as far as all time Buckeyes (Weird I know but watch what he does to Jason Gesser in the Wazzou game and hear his subsequent comments after that play and try not to love the Big Angry). I've always held that Pryor is hands down the most physically gifted QB OSU has ever seen-that alone put him at the top of a lot of records. A 4th year as OSU's starter and Pryor would have sent the OSU records into the stratosphere. He could have actually become CFB's all time winningest QB (I think) with a perfect 2011 campaign. Alas, here we are.
I'll always have a soft spot in my OSU world for Terrelle Pryor, regardless of the amount of times he forced me as a fan to roll my eyes and say "Oh boy". If I am making an all time OSU Three deep, he's my clipboard holder.
Despite that, there are OSU QB's....and then there is Troy Smith. It's not really that close.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

sir rickithda3rd's picture

100% agreed. T Smitty was a boss

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

tennbuckeye19's picture

You didn't mention in your "Additional Accolades" section which items Pryor earned that he still has in his possession. 
 

BrewstersMillions's picture

I think its worth noting that no QB in OSU history had the weapons Troy Smith did. He had the luxury of having three eventual first round WR's to throw to in 2005. In 2006 he had two first rounders recievers and a second rounder in Robo. Pryor was never properly utilized in Tressel\The Bolrus' system. I'm not saying that is the difference, Troy is\was\will always be better but we could all be singing a different tune about Pryor if he had the same weapons and was utlized properly. Troy had his best year when the offense was tailored to suit his strengths. Imagine if the same could be said about TP.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

tennbuckeye19's picture

100% agree with this ^

hodge's picture

I also wonder, though, if that underutilization had to do with his lack of development into a pure passer; a la Troy in '06.  Granted, Pryor's running ability trended more towards gliding, powerful runs to the outside, which doesn't lend itself well to staying alive in the pocket (which Troy's more agile abilities lended him towards).  Though, I suppose Pryor did avoid a lot of sacks based upon his pure power alone...

Will in Arizona's picture

Anyone who disregards the quality of receivers that Troy Smith had versus what Terrelle Pryor has is definitely slanting an argument in one direction.  Smith had three NFL starters (and, barring injury, arguably three pro-bowl level talents) on Super Bowl contending teams at WR.  Assuming Posey ends up being an avererage WR, Pryor had Posey, below average but serviceable Hartline, and not NFL quality Robiskie as his top weapons over his career.
 
Along the same lines, Pryor got Beanie Wells, which probably helped his running stats as well.
 
Given equal talent, I would take Pryor in a heartbeat.

SPreston2001's picture

Troy did have some good weapons lol.

45buckshot's picture

You're conveniently forgetting Sanzo, who is playing in the NFL.
So, assuming Posey does make it in the NFL, and i don't see why he wouldn't, Pryor was also throwing to 2 NFL caliber receivers. 
i don't get this argument at all. Did you see Smith play? Did Pryor look like the passer that Smith was?
Sounds like excuses to me. 
The whole debate is pointless, since TP screwed us and never played his senior season. Troy didn't look that great throwing the ball until his senior season; if he had sold rings for tatoos there would be no debate. But he didn't.
I think it's also important to note that without a Troy Smith there probably never would have been a TP. He wasn't from Ohio; would he have played for Ohio State if he didn't want to be going the next Troy Smith?
The same way i'll always wonder what might have happened if we had been better prepared to play FL (not expecting to win, not coming out in a zone defense) i'll always wonder what would have happened if TP had had his last season (or even his last season -5 games). What was a 6-7 year could have been a MNC run. Could have, should have been. Then we could have this discussion. 
i always wonder what might have been different if Cooper had chosen Moherman to be his starter instead of Bellisari... but look how that turned out: we got Tress. Now look: the Urbanator. 
Maybe we should be more grateful to TP since he brought us UM3, the same way i appreciate Bellisari brought us Tressel. 

Veni, vidi, vici

UM3

Maestro's picture

I remember Robiskie, Hartline, Sanzo, Saine, Ballard, Posey, Small and Duron Carter all making plays for Pryor.
There was talent all over the field for both QB's.  There were similar statistically, but Smith was absolutely a better passer. 
They are both to be revered and seen as 2 of the greatest QB's in Buckeye history.

vacuuming sucks

Poison nuts's picture

Motherf_cking word!

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

Will in Arizona's picture

You are correct, I was forgetting Sanzenbacher.  But still, Troy was throwing to three first round receivers and one second rounder for his two most productive years, and TP was throwing to Posey (3rd rd) and Sanzenbacher (undrafted) for his two most productive years.

SPreston2001's picture

I wouldnt say Troy has the best weapons ever, those Cooper led 90's teams had some of the best talent EVER!!

flipbuckeye's picture

Troy did have a great WR squad but he helped make them great with his passing ability. Guys like Hartline, Robo, Posey, and Sanzenbacher obviously would've put up better stats and improved their draft stock catching passes from #10.

Maestro's picture

Can you imagine if TP had actually played his senior season?  His numbers would have become untouchable for the entirety of 4 years before Miller surpassed them all.

vacuuming sucks

Denny's picture

Yeah - he didn't have Ginn/Gonzo to throw to, but senior year Pryor could have been a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

Taquitos.

flipbuckeye's picture

It's funnier when you strikethrough "maize" and replace it with "sun."

Jeff Beck's picture

You're absolutely right...noted!

BuckeyeVet's picture

Love trolling my 2 co-worker scUM fans with that one the old "sun & blue".

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx 
 

bucknut3011's picture

I thought maize was corn.

ShadyBuckeye's picture

No dude, its Urine and Blue:)

BrewstersMillions's picture

Drink more water.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

ShadyBuckeye's picture

Is it a little weird that urine and corn were brought up in consecutive sentences? #1 and #2

Phantom Capitalist's picture

4-14 35 yds. - National Championship
23/37 266 yds, 72 yds rushing - Rose Bowl
14/25 221 yds, 115 yds rushing - Sugar Bowl
Thanks for playing.
I love Troy and still thinks he should be a quarterback in the NFL but if your asking me to pick who I want as my quarterback in a game, Its Pryor.
 
 

Maestro's picture

Uh, Fiesta Bowl 2005-06
Troy Smith 19/28 342 yards and 2 TD's
Troy Smith 13 rushes for 66 yards

vacuuming sucks

Phantom Capitalist's picture

5/13 66yds, 78yds rushing - As a Freshman. A game he shared time at QB with Boeckman.
Pryors the better player.

RedStorm45's picture

...if you like a worse passing % and a worse TD/INT ratio.

Phantom Capitalist's picture

Great. More Stats.
How about this.
Rose Bowl - Sophmore 
Sugar Bowl - Junior

OSUBias's picture

NC game appearance trumps all other bowls. Yeah Smith played a lousy game, but Pryor had at least one of those games in each of those seasons during the regular season. Smith went perfect through the regular season and came up short on the biggest stage. Pryor never got to the biggest stage because he always blew a layup in the middle of the season. I'll take the guy who can get me to the biggest game there is vs the guy who can win me the second tier "big game"

Slider...you stink

rdubs's picture

I am not trying to flame you, but I couldn't disagree more with your analysis.  Sure getting to the Championship is a big deal, but honestly the competition isn't that much lower in the other BCS games to the point where Pryor's stats should be discounted by that much.  I loved them both, but in the bowl games Pryor was clearly superior and it is bogus to not give him credit for that.  I am not sure if that totally makes up for some of his other deficiencies throughout the year, but honestly I would rather have Pryor than Smith if I had the choice.

3cent's picture

Pryor did not blow any games in 2010, that Wisconsin loss was all the Special Teams and Defenses fault.

45buckshot's picture

Junior Season - Sugar
that one doesn't count anymore, remember? why is that? 
everyone is allowed their opinion. i'd take Troy Smith. If it wasn't for the MNC flameout you wouldn't have a leg to stand on. and i don't blame him for that one. it was the layoff, combined with the bad defense, combined with the Ginn injury, combined with the bad offensive play calling. 
TP's performance in the rose bowl was good, except that we shouldn't have been playing in the rose bowl, because TP sucked so hard in the Purdue game we're jinxed now... all of you guys claiming you'd take TP; go back and watch that game. Sure he would have beat FL. 
i hope TP does well, and eventually makes it in the NFL as a tight end. but for me, as an Ohio State fan, i'll wear a Troy Smith jersey. You'll find a TP jersey on my corpse. 
But on to better things... now we have the Urbanator! And the next Troy Smith, Braxton Miller... :)
 
 

Veni, vidi, vici

UM3

Another Jason's picture

Speaking of Urban, there's an element that's almost always left out of the 2006 NC discussion that I think may have played the biggest part in that night.  According to UF players, one of Meyer's motivational ploys was showing them a copy of what he presented as a national magazine covering the championship game.  I'm paraphrasing here, but the gist was "the whole thing is about them, we only got TWO pages."
When I first heard that, I shook my head in awe.  What Meyer was talking about was a special Ohio State-themed commemorative magazine basically put out to cash in on the hype around the team/game.  The two pages on Florida were the only part that was actually a preview of that game, while the rest was a recap of our regular season.  But he sold it to the players as a symbol of widespread national disrespect, on top of the whole Michigan deserves a rematch debate, I'm sure.  That's the kind of motivation that can't be quantified and can make a huge difference in a game.
If you go here and scroll almost all the way down, I'm pretty sure that's it.  I think I still have a copy somewhere, and if I find it, maybe I'll try to hit up Urbz at a signing someday and see if he remembers...

William's picture

Also from what some other posters have said is that the team wasn't prepared at all for that game. They'd been drinking and getting crunked for weeks after the Michigand and came in thinking they were going to run away with it. Also weren't their some rumours about Troy Smith and the O-line/WR corp having a falling out?

tennbuckeye19's picture

I would say in Troy's defense that the Florida team that OSU faced in the NC was MUCH better than the Oregon and Arkansas teams Pryor faced, especially defensively. 

millertime2011's picture

You could've put anyone back there for the MNC game against florida and they would've failed. Troy had all of about 2 seconds to throw before their D-line got to him.

Pam's picture

Exactly.  I said that on another thread.  Troy spent the entire game on his back or running for his life. Had Tebow been playing for tOSU instead of UF, he would have been fighting for his life as well.

741's picture

You mean freshman coming in off of the bench Tebow, or Descended from the Heavens Heisman Trophy Winner Tebow? ;)

AltaBuck's picture

I have a hard time criticizing Troy for the NC Game when the only block the Oline could execute that horrible evening was the LOOK OUT! block.

I have been known on occasion to howl at the moon. - Crash Davis

Bucksfan's picture

So many things went wrong that night.  I know Florida would have been dominant on the line regardless, but it's just unfair that Ginn got hurt.  We just don't know what could have been with an extra LB or DB locked onto one guy, or how special teams would have changed field position.
It was awful for Smith, but that's not what he should be defined by.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Agreed. Alex Boone did set an NCAA record that night for most "LOOK OUT!" Blocks in a game with 23.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

Bucksfan's picture

That was also the number of beers he chugged before the game.

AltaBuck's picture

Not that it would have made a difference in the outcome but I always thought JT abandoned the running game too early. Of course the last few minutes of the 1st half suckedass when tOSU gave up 13 unanswered points to make the half time score 34-14.

I have been known on occasion to howl at the moon. - Crash Davis

William's picture

I posted it somewhere else but Pittman was averaging 6.2 yards a carry, and even if you factored out his 18 yard run, he was still averaging 5.2 yards a carry. Tressel panicked and tried to throw it too often, at which point our tackles were getting burned. Our guards and center were doing alright against their tackles, but for some reason we abandoned the inside running game. Also our soft zone run by Heacock made Chris Leak look like an all-world QB. 

RedStorm45's picture

Are you reading what you typed?  Did Pryor come close to playing in a National Championship or a Hesiman? No.

AcrossTheField11's picture

Troy Smith is probably my favorite athlete of all time at any level in any sport.  It sucks so so bad that 41-14 will always be remembered as the way he went out.

Time and change will surely show how firm they friendship... O-HI-O.

baddogmaine's picture

The point of better receivers for Smith is valid - but it begs the question of whether the receivers were better or Smith made them look better. With Smth I generally thought the *team* would win. With Pryor I generally felt that Pryor could get uis a win, and when he stumbled as against Purdue and PSU we lost. I don't recall Smith losing us games (though FL was UGLY). And Pryor for all his stats missed too many open receivers. For all those reasons I think Smith became a brilliant college QB and Pryor was a great athlete who never turned into the QB he could have been.
I might take MC as our best RB. Just one year - but what a year it was! Given one year of MC or Beanie I know who I choose! And maybe over Eddie or Archie too.

SPreston2001's picture

Over Eddie and Archie??? Whoa MC was good, but he wasnt THAT good! lol

zosima's picture

I think I would have received an invite to NY running behind Orlando Pace. 
I hate to take anything away from Eddie, one of the greatest Buckeyes ever, but I think anyone being totally honest would have predicted Mo getting a stiff-arm trophy had he had his teenage-head screwed on straight though his college years.

baddogmaine's picture

It's all a matter of taste, you can't go wrong with any of the three. Mo was great regardless of Pace. Orlando played just one side of the line, MC got his yards in all directions, and his moves and power in the open field were him, the o-line had nothing to do with it. He got yards as a freshman that neither Eddie nor Archie had done. My memory of specifics is not long enough to recall heroics from before 2000, I do still see Clarett catching the Miami safety from behind, saving a sure Hurricane TD. Krenzel was the caretaker and there were a  number of stars in 2002 but just as I expected that Pryor would do what was needed for a win the one guy that year I counted on was Maurice Clarett. He was a troubled kid but boy could he play!

ShadyBuckeye's picture

If only that 06 National Championship game played out differently this wouldnt even be a discussion. The only gripe I have with Smith (which u alluded to in the article) is he stopped taking off with the ball because he wanted to prove he was a pure passer for the NFL. Pryor would do whatever it took (allthough i never really seen him fight for yardage and always seemed to go out of bounds when he clearly couldve gotten a few more yards). I love both QB's and Braxton Miller but I must say I really wish we had a Qb to root for in the NFL ranks, we've NEVER had one, USC has had Palmer, Leinart, Sanchez, Barkley and now Max Browne just in the last 10 years or so. Its like that position is cursed, Not many big time QB's come thru Ohio, who's the last one Big Ben? and before that? I dont even know.

RedStorm45's picture

The Polish Cannon LOL

OSUBias's picture

John David Booty resents the oversight

Slider...you stink

hodge's picture

...I don't think they have wifi under his particular overpass...

ShadyBuckeye's picture

Then how am I on the site right now Hodgepodge? I thought of JDB but I was referring to highly recruited QB's with big expectations heading into the NFL. If I was going to list every QB on USC's roster in the last 10 years who made the NFL I wouldve mentioned Matt Cassel as well. Derp.

OSUBias's picture

Easy champ, that was a little joke there. Calm down

Slider...you stink

BrewstersMillions's picture

You mentioned a high school senior on that list who has taken 0 snaps against big time competition.
FWIW, Hodge was taking a shot at JDB. Good game though.
 
Edit-Do some work too buddy. There might not have been a more highly touted QB coming out of HS that went to USC than JDB. You sort of lost all around.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

ShadyBuckeye's picture

Nope, I said highly recruited while also big time expectations heading into the NFL. a 5th round pick does not support that bud. the whole point of it was talking about having an OSU QB do well in the pros. Most people did not see JDB doing much on that level hence the 5th round selection.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Yet a high schooler makes that same list? We know as much about Browne at this point in his career as we did about John David Booty at that point in his. Since I don't know what you are actually arguing here I'm moving on. Mostly because I made a promise to myself to never argue with people who aren't making clear points. I also promised myself I'd never argue about John David Booty.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

ShadyBuckeye's picture

i didnt think much of John David Booty either, thats why i never included his name on that list. I thought my point was very clear, I'd like to see an OSU QB do well in the pros. USC has had many highly rated QB's in college that projected to do very well in the NFL just in the last 10 years alone while we havent really had any in our entire history even though Id say those are two of the top 5 programs of all time.

hodge's picture

Whoa Shady, no offense intended.  Brewster is right, I meant it toward JDB.  Homeboy seems to have fallen off the Earth.

BrewstersMillions's picture

DANGER! DANGER! DANGER! Prepare to engage in inane banter in 3....2......1.....

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

hodge's picture

^ Well played.

BrewstersMillions's picture

I'm not sure Maestro. I mean, I fully expect Braxton to be great. First, let me correct myself. Pryor would not have been CFB's most winning QB, he could have only tied Colt McCoy at 45 with a perfect season in 2011 (assuming B1G and NC title game wins) and Boise's Kellen Moore would have broken that anyway.
If we look at Pryor's stats from year to year....
2008- 100\165 1311 12\4
2009-167-295 2094 18\11
2010-210\323 2772 27\11
Its hard to guess what 2011 would have held given who was calling the plays and all but I don't think I'm too far off base thinking his 2011 would have looked something like this...
255\392 3200 30\9 (Please feel free to disagree, I'm just trying to guess here)
That puts him right around 9400 yards with 87 TD's in 4 years-Now again, I'm not saying that his 2011 would defiantly have been that good. I am simply giving it my best guess based on his year to year improvement.
Miller would have to average 2700 yards, and 24 TD's to catch Pryors admittedly mythical 4 year career. He would have made a lot of OSU passing records very tough to catch. Assuming my guess at his year was close, His roughly 9400 yards would have put him 1800 beyond the second place man (Schlicther). His 87 TD's would given him a full 30 TD's more than the next closest all time (Hoying). His 732 Completions would have put him 234 ahead of his next closest. (Hoying again). What Pryor did in 4 seasons (again, I'm aware I'm just stabbing at the 4th here) would put him almost a full season ahead of his closes competitors.
Fun to think about-impossible to really realize. I just don't know if he'd ever be caught in a lot of major categories if he played a full 4.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

Baroclinicity's picture

Coach could matter in this argument.  Tressel reigned the boys in after so many points.  What will UFM do? 

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

buck i's picture

I am looking forward to the fact that UFM won't be content with sitting on a lead. I understand pulling some starters late in the game to avoid unneeded injuries, but there's no reason to have a second half gameplan consist of dave-dave-incompletion-punt.

buckeye76BHop's picture

POOR IT ON EM!  I say more than 60pts in 2013 on Wisconsin at home...take it to the bank!  I always love this comparison, what would have happened if UFM was the head coach in the game against Ark that never happened?  Think with a comfortable 28-10 lead at halftime that the game would have ended 31-26???? I tend to think not!  I'd say OSU would have won at least 42-20...at the least!  I love JT...but hated his conservative BS when you could have beat them by a landslide.  I won't miss that...

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."
Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

SPreston2001's picture

I agree! I hated that conservative crap!!

Maestro's picture

Pretty untouchable numbers for sure.  I just think if Miller plays all 4 (which I think he will) that he will have more TOTAL OFFENSE.  I should have specified that part.  

vacuuming sucks

BrewstersMillions's picture

Understood. I don't think 2500 or more through the air and 800 or more on the ground is unrealistic. He's going to fit this offense like a glove.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

buckeye76BHop's picture

Miller and Barrett will set and break each other's records...take it to the bank!

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."
Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

buck i's picture

Pryor's propensity for arm punts when his first look was covered always worried me. Smith, especially in his senior year, tended to not worry me with his passing as much.

BuckeyeSki's picture

Just the tought of #2 dropping back in a 5 yd drop, winding up and just chucking a wounded duck off his back foot makes me cringe. Always an overthrow or a pick....at the gamewatches we would have running bets for beverages on how long it would take for #2 to throw the obligatory arm-punt pick

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

BrewstersMillions's picture

When he should have been allowed to uncork the best deep ball in school history more often....

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

ohst8buxCP's picture

I disagree with you there. I'm a big TP fan but T.Smith's deep balls were things of beauty. The one against Penn State where he made at least two defenders look stupid before throwing the sickest pass i've ever seen to Robiske in the end zone stands out.

SPreston2001's picture

Yeah Troys deep ball was precision!! Hell Troy throwing the ball never bothered me, TP on the other hand you never knew what you were gonna get lol.

Baroclinicity's picture

To me, what sets the 2 QBs apart, was that for each game Pryor played, I was always waiting for that head-scratcher INT.  Smith didn't invoke that feeling as much... especially his senior year. 

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

MAJbucksfan's picture

To me, the key difference between Smith and Pryor was mental.  Smith could execute reads to  multiple options, Pryor almost never made it past the 2nd read.  That's what makes up for the difference in completion % IMHO.  I'll take Smith any day.

Bucksfan's picture

Pryor was probably the best QB in a 3rd-and-long situation in the history of the game.  I read that somewhere, I don't remember where.  I'd love for someone to break that down statistically.

BuckeyeSki's picture

According to these guys, he was pretty lethal on 4th down too

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

BrewstersMillions's picture

I watched that game with my fiance (Iowa Alum) and her skeezy Iowa alum friends. I heard nothing but talk for a full 3.5 quarters. Every cliche in the book was thrown at me. I never had to fire back with a clever or snide remark. Their faces while watching Pryor LOL his way through the Iowa defense was all the talk I needed.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

ohst8buxCP's picture

That play defintely does not get brought up as much as it should. That run on 4th and Ten was amazing. For all the negitives about Pryor it cant be said that he didnt do everything possible to get his team the win. His preformance against Arkansas had some pretty clutch 3rd and 4th down conversions too if i remember correctly.

AeroBuckeye2001's picture

Posey dropped TP's pass in the end zone that wins the game. Instead, TP has to convert a ridiculous 4th & 10 on his own. I was in Iowa for the game and the look on Iowa fans' faces was priceless. Regardless, I don't recall Ginn or Holmes dropping too many big game-winning TD's like that.* I think it's a different story if TP had Troy's receivers and vice versa. 
That being said, Troy has a Heisman...I think that ends the discussion.
Wait...does Ryan Hamby count? Too soon? Too soon.

The Ohio State University Class of 2001
BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

Denny's picture

Ginn and Holmes dropped plenty of game-winning punts back in 05. :(

Taquitos.

BuckeyeVet's picture

Just for grins, thought I'd put in a vote for 3rd place on this list :
QB  Tippy Dye who beat scUM 3 times in a row 1934 - 1936 by a combined score of 93 - 0 and totally swung the tide/momentum of The Game to us.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx 
 

buckeye76BHop's picture

I've always said if Smith basically started as a Freshman like TP than he would've had more yards total. He was more accurate as well as just as good Vs. TTUN (and he didn't sell his gold pants for tattoos...as far as we know).  TP was spectacular and his size helped him out of a lot of sacks for any other QB (like Iowa for instance).  However who won the Heisman not to mention navigated the Buckeyes to an undefeated season until meeting up with Urban's squad?  Smith all the way!  TP won the bowl games which capped off nice seasons but one didn't even happen and we're lucky the Rose bowl did...so again...Smith IMO.  

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."
Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

Pam's picture

Troy did accept $500 from a booster and was suspended for two games, one being a bowl. So, he was not without a blemish off the field.

Maestro's picture

Gotta pay the gas bill somehow.

vacuuming sucks

Pam's picture

Or cell phone bill

bucknut3011's picture

You didn't touch on leadership qualities and charisma...  hands down -- Smith. 

Ahh Saturday's picture

Something I hadn't heard mentioned yet is that TS was allowed to develop before he had to lead the team whereas TP was thrown into the fire his freshman year.  Also, TS played his best ball his senior year while TP, for reasons I can't recall, didn't play his senior year.  Had TP been able to develop out of the spotlight like TS did, and if he had a similar WR corp, I suspect this conversation would sound much different. 

djidell's picture

TP never had a senior season

TNbuckeye91's picture

everyone's still butthurt about Pryor. I just say if Pryor was in the NC against FL he'd have won. FL went after Smith the entire game and he looked lost. Pryor would've bulldozed em. I love em both, i don't really care to compare. All I know is Miller's about to beast out all of em!

ShadyBuckeye's picture

Thats actually an interesting thought. I think Pryor would have managed much better in that game than T. Smith did. #10 was leaps and bounds ahead of #2 in terms of passing but TP wouldve broken some tackles, escaped the pressure and moved the chains however he needed to. Somehow I still say Troy Smith was the better player and obviously the better Buckeye.

wiikidd1's picture

Troy smith only lost 3 starts in his caeer. He did not start the Texas game in 05. In 04 his only loss was Purdue.

btalbert25's picture

Give Pryor the weapons that Smith had and lord only knows what kind of numbers he'd put up.  I know he's a fan favorite but Sanzenbacher would of been at least the 4th best receiver that Smith was throwing too, and he was probabably the best Pryor got to throw to.  Pryor did have Beanie, but Smith had a great RB in Pittman.  Plus, Smith's O-lines were better in my opinion too.  
I'm not knocking Smith, but Pryor was a more talented athlete and even more than Smith could make something out of nothing.  There were many games where TP just took the game over on his own.  True Smith was undefeated his final regular season, but it's not as if every game he started in his career was great.  Had Pryor got one more year, with Posey, Boom and company, who knows what would what they could of accomplished. 

btalbert25's picture

Since it's all matter of opinion anyway, let me just throw this out there.  If Pryor started that title game against Florida, no way it ends up 41-14.  Pittman ran well that night and Pryor ain't going down easy when those lineman of Florida rush like Troy did.  I'm not saying the Bucks would of won that game, but with the success on the ground they had that night, and Pryor being a beast, more points would of been scored by the Bucks and the Bullets would of had some rest and not spent the whole game on the field.  

William's picture

I watched that game again this year and I just can't fathom why they didn't run more. Also I don't get why we didn't adjust to press coverage. They were dinking and diming us for 7 yards every pass play. 

btalbert25's picture

I don't know, I really think a lot of that was Jim Tressel.  I don't think he was very good at adjusting as the game went on.  He just got schooled that day by a superior coach.  

William's picture

Agreed. Pittman was averaging 6.2 YPC. 6.2 in the  BCS championship game and we only gave him the rock 10 times...

poop's picture

We had a questionable secondary, which was confirmed during The Game. Our defense had some sub par athletes so we used zone coverage, although Florida's offensive scheme had something to do with it as well. That gave the Florida receivers (Percy Harvin and Andre Caldwell for God's sake) a nice little window to dink and dime us. We had almost no pass rush so Chris Leak could hit a receiver with his eyes closed. Our entire defense was up sh*t creek. The offense had no choice but to score whenever possible. They weren't even close. Why do I still talk about this game?

45buckshot's picture

it's like a sore you can't stop scratching
i agree the defensive scheme lost us that game. it was clear Leak had been coached to throw the ball away if he was under pressure (a la Bauserman)
that zone defense was so great again the B1g, why wouldn't it work against Florida and their 5th year senior Qb?
the tsun game exposed that that defense had problems, none of which got fixed in the long layoff. 
i think Tressel could have adjusted on offense. but the defense wasn't his area and he didn't know what to do. 
and we'll keep talking about it until UM3 wins us another one... :)

Veni, vidi, vici

UM3

Poison nuts's picture

How the hell could you watch it again??? I watched when it happened & never revisited it. Too painful. Maybe at this point I could do it just to analyze it but it might still be just too damn tough still.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

Boom777's picture

If they had a baby it would be Cam Newton!

Wherever you are, there you be!

741's picture

Let's be honest: Cam Newton is their daddy. He's the best parts of both of them stitched into a beautiful Frankenstein's monster.
(P.S. As for the debate, there should be no debate - Troy is the guy you trust.)

HighBallAce's picture

Troy Smith by far is my favorite all time tOSU Qb and Pryor mostly kept me pulling my hair out! He just said all the wrong things and obviously did them too! On the field, he was great but I prefer Joe Germain over him any day of the week!
I also think a big part of what made Ohio State so bad was their layoff! I think they had like 50 games before the played Florida? Florida played in the SEC championship so they didn't have near as long as a layoff.

cplunk's picture

To me, it's real simple. Ask who, if down 6 with 1 minute or so left, I feel most confident could march the team down the field and win the game. The answer is obvious-
Craig Krenzel.
Between these two though, its Troy. I know Troy would come through more often than not. Pryor was great but he made me nervous as heck. He threw up too many jump balls in crunch time. His biggest last minute win is owned by Jake Ballard.
its a great problem to have though; arguing about two great QBs.

btalbert25's picture

If I need one incredible play, I'll take TP all day long, he was just such an unbelievable athlete.  It's really not close between the 2 there.  If I need a final drive Troy would be who I choose.  

Poison nuts's picture

Word.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

HighBallAce's picture

THATS why I'd take Smith over Pryor any day!

ARMYBUCK's picture

Theres really not that much of a comparison in my eyes when your talking about a qb.  Troy Smith is hands down the better man.  I remember Pryors first couple years and telling my buddies that there is no way in the history of Ohio State Football we have ever settled for less of a quarterback.  Yes, he had all the accolades and may have been the best true athlete to ever grace us with his presence but a quarterback he was not.  I have NEVER seen OSU look so desperate at quarterback.  Always threw off his back foot and as someone said earlier was the master of the punt pass.  That being said he was progressing and he could have been special his senior year...but he wasnt. He doesnt belong in the same breath as Troy!  Troy actually had an arm and a head, with mechanics I might add.

Poison nuts's picture

Don't know how I missed this. Every time I'm away from the site for a day - I miss a great article. 
Arguing over who was the better QB is like arguing over whether a Heath Bar or a 100 Grand is a better candy bar. Depends on the mood I'm in really. They're both 2 of the best ever IMO - they both did great things against UM. If you told me one was better - I could make an argument for the other one. They are both responsible for 2 of the greatest times I ever had watching Ohio State games - 2006 - The Game & 2010 Rose Bowl...
A final TP season would have been nice....

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

BrewstersMillions's picture

That's sort of been my point. I know someone said earlier had Troy won the NC, we wouldn't have a leg to stand on. I took an educated guess and Pryor's senior season and had he won it all (something that would not shock many people) he would have ended with the second most wins in NCAA history, more yards, TDs and Completions than anyone in school history by a wide margain and of course, he'd have a title. Again-pure speculation.
As for the "Pryor had Dane!" thing? Really? I didn't conviniently leave him out. Pryor had 0 first round wideouts on his team when he was the QB. Smith had 3 firsts and a second. I didn't leave anything out-just stating the obvious.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

Poison nuts's picture

Yeah - I really love both these guys. Troy turned into a legit QB as the years passed. I thought they would never find another like him. As for TP - every day that passes I have less & less of a red ass over the Tatgate/TP/Tress business & more appreciation for what TP did while playing.
If we are to play the guessing game, I think that, like you, with another season TP becomes the greatest QB in tOSU history. If that imaginary season is played under Urban Meyer...oh shit!!!! Now that would have been fun.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

nickma71's picture

I love Pryor's overall game, but his short passing game specifically is what sucks. He can throw deep and accurate when deep, but everybody knows he can't check down, nor make the pass. A real QB coach might have changed that. When Gary Kubiak became Elway's coach instead of back up, Elway became a much better quarterback. That also aligns with Mike Shanahan, but you get the idea. Try Smith was pretty good in all phases of quarterback play.

Doc's picture

I'm picking Troy hands down, BUT the other thing we are forgetting between them was a quarterbacks coach.  One had one and the other had a video store clerk.  If TP had a real qb coach he may have progressed better throwing the ball than he did.  He was/is a freak athlete and fun to watch, but Troy had more confidence and gave me more confidence watching him.  Pryor isn't as smart as Smith is either, and you have to be smart to play QB.  I also don't think TP really put the time in to learn his craft and want to develop.  Smith wanted to and did.  That could be the difference between being the #1 recruit in the country and being an after thought.
I'll tell ya what.  If Joe Germaine was given the keys to the offense starting his Sophomore year and was aloud to start for three years we may be having a different conversation.  That guy had ice water in his veins and a laser accurate arm.  He's still one of my favorite Buckeyes ever.

"Say my name."

45buckshot's picture

well, i think TP did have a Qb coach, the same as Troy Smith: Coach Tressel. 
Really, Tress was the real Qb coach. that's what i was most worried about when he... left... who was going to coach JB?
JB never had a chance... i think he could have been as good as Boeckman (which was not great, but he won some games) if Tress was still there; without him... doomed.
but i agree with everything else; especially regarding Germaine. all this arguing about TP and Troy; Germaine is my favorite Qb. laser arm is a great way to describe him, he had ice water in his veins for sure, and he was tough! i'll never forgot that photo of him holding up the Rose bowl trophy with his chin bandaged up ;)
the only thing that '98 team didn't have was Eddie, or Beanie, or even Clarett, or even Pittman or Boom...

Veni, vidi, vici

UM3

BuckeyeChief's picture

Red Kryptonite all day....

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

sfgoody's picture

Troy was great. TP was great.  That can't be legitimately argued.  You can go thru the whole 'who had more around them' and 'who played in a better suited system' convo all day, but one fact remains: TP got handed the keys in game 4 of year 1, while Troy got 2.5 years to grow.  Not only was he NOT the highest rated qb in HIS OWN CLASS, he was at one point returning punts for goodness sake!  My point is, he never had to deep with the TP hype machine, and the expectations of being #1 in the country.  Great talent, but people are always looking to sell TP short with their 'arm punt' blasts and talks of tough ints.  Point is, he was the ultimate winner.  Only Shlichter won more, and that was over 4 years.  He left a smudge on the program, but offensively, he may be the best we ever have.  Love him or hate him, you knew from the day he beat Wisky up at Camp Randall as a frosh that the kid could play and we always had a chance. *Bonus fun fact, Pur is the only B1G team neither beat on the road.

sfgoods

741's picture

Great premise for an article. Great article. Great thread!

bucknutz18's picture

I can't believe I am saying this but if theres one game we have to win...Im taking Pryor...Dude was tough to watch alot of times but I never felt out of a game with him in there...That feeling with Troy in 06 against UF means more than some people think...No way we give up like that with TP...