5 Answers: Ohio State vs. Toledo

The Buckeyes brushed aside fears of a slow start with tough defense and a quick strike through the air. The defense made Aaron Opelt's day a long one while Terrelle Pryor took a step toward meeting some of the lofty expectations of him. The OSU running game remained a work in progress, however.

1. Can the Buckeyes avoid a slow start?

Ohio State wasted no time in jumping on their "hosts" from Toledo. The defense forced a three-and-out to open the ball game, and Ohio State's third offensive snap, Terrelle Pryor found Dane Sanzenbacher for a 76-yard touchdown pass that got the Buckeyes off and rolling. Pryor hit Sanzenbacher again from 18 yards out later in the first quarter, and there was never much doubt who controlled the contest.

"It was very very crucial," Pryor said of scoring early. "We had a lot of energy coming in because the defense got a three-and-out and that was big on third down to get a touchdown. It's big to score on the first drive."

2. How will Ohio State handle its first look at a spread offense this season?

The Buckeye defense, fresh off a strong performance but a disappointing finish against USC, passed their first spread test of the year with flying colors.

Toledo entered averaging 42.5 points and 558.5 yards per game, but the Rocket attack never got off the ground.

The first two Toledo possessions were three-and-outs, and the Rockets did not run a play in Ohio State territory until the 4:26 mark of the third quarter after an interception.

The Toledo offense did not advance the ball across midfield until the final play of the third quarter, and when all was said and done, the Rockets had just 210 total yards and nine first downs.

The Rockets' best chance to score came on their only drive that went more than 37 yards, a 71-yard march that ended with a fumble at the goal line Ohio State recovered in its own end zone for a touchback.

3. Can the veteran Rocket quarterback continue his hot start to the season?

The Buckeyes short circuited the Toledo attack by preventing Toledo quarterback Aaron Opelt from ever getting comfortable in the pocket. Through two weeks, he led the nation in total offense but came nowhere near matching his lofty averages.

He finished with 197 yards passing after completing just 22 of 45 attempts.

That was thanks mostly to the fact the Ohio State defensive line overwhelmed the Rockets, often without sending any extra rushers, although there were some effective blitzes by the Buckeyes, too.

They intercepted Opelt once, sacked him twice and hit him numerous other times.

"We have guys up front that can play," Tressel said. "We roll them in, keep them fresh and we've got guys on the back end that can cover and all of the sudden you look out there as a quarterback and there's no one open, that makes the pressure look even worse. Our guys run, they really run. Our defensive staff does a good job designing things."

4. Will the Ohio State running game show some improvement?

With 247 net yards rushing, the Buckeyes had by far their best day on the ground, but the ills of previous weeks were not exactly cured.

Pryor picked up 43 of those yards on a scramble that was intended to be a pass play, and he had 110 overall.

The Ohio State power running game continued to leave something to be desired as starting tailback Dan Herron ran for 42 yards on 15 tries, an average of just 2.8 yards per carry. Many of his carries came between the tackles, where an ever-shifting offensive line had some trouble developing much consistency.

Brandon Saine led the way among Ohio State tailbacks as he picked up 45 yards on nine carries, and true freshman Jordan Hall added a spark late with his quickness as he picked up 44 yards on seven totes.

Pryor enjoyed watching Hall, his old high school teammate, make his college debut.

"He had some great cuts," Pryor said. "He's going to be tough."

5. What's next for Terrelle Pryor?

Pryor had his best day yet as a Buckeye. The sophomore completed 17 of 28 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns along with the aforementioned damage done with his legs.

He still had some questionable throws, including a pair of interceptions, but overall looked much more comfortable than he had a week before against USC.

He also looked more decisive and willing to run when called upon but took issue when asked if that was the case.

"No, no," Pryor said. "I'm not indecisive at all. I just love getting the ball to my receivers and letting them make a play. Believe me, if I can run, I'll take off and get 10 yards or whatever. That's a choice. I could take off and get 10 yards every time, but I love getting the ball in a receivers hands and maybe he can go for 70 or 80 for a score. They played pretty well today."

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