Leading up to Saturday's match up between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 17 Miami, there was a lot of talk about the similarities between the opposing quarterbacks — Terrelle Pryor and Jacory Harris.
In reality, the two are totally different quarterbacks and that was never more evident than during the Buckeyes' 36-24 victory at Ohio Stadium.
Pryor has worked to become a better passer, but it was his running ability that helped the Buckeyes keep drives alive against Miami. Harris also had some memorable moments ... most notably showing up at Ohio Stadium dressed like Jim Tressel (including the gray sweater vest).
Since the two faced off Saturday, it's time to do a head-to-head comparison of the preseason Heisman candidates.
Harris throws an excellent deep ball, especially on the post route. However, his longest completion against the Buckeyes was a 25-yarder to Leonard Hankerson (that's if you don't count his 80-yard completion to Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward).
The most disturbing stat from Harris' day was his four interceptions, and none was more damaging than the one to Heyward. It came on a nice drive to start the second half that would have put Miami right back into the game.
Pryor has improved as a passer since he arrived in Columbus as a raw thrower. He completed just 12-of-27 passes, but it was for 233 yards and one touchdown to tailback Brandon Saine. He also connected for a 62-yarder to his main target DeVier Posey.
Even more important, especially to OSU coach Jim Tressel, Pryor didn't throw any picks. "Well, he didn't have any interceptions, so that's huge."
It's almost unfair to compare the two in this category.
Pryor's freakish speed for someone who is 6'6" is what makes him so special. In the Buckeyes' opener against Marshall he wasn't asked to do too much with his feet. But in this one Ohio State's coaches realized they'd have to ask him to do more on the ground.
"The thing we always say is if they're going to play man-to-man and edge rush you with speed and so forth and if you can step up, they're dead, they've got nobody there," Tressel said.
And that's what Pryor did; rushing for 113 yards on 20 carries. He also scored on a 13-yard run to give OSU a 33-17 lead early in the third quarter.
Harris carried the ball just five times for eight yards; however he did run once for 16 yards.
When you throw four interceptions, even if two of them probably weren't your fault, everyone has to question the choices you make. Harris may have forced a few passes, but he also made some bad decisions.
Those four interceptions led to 20 Ohio State points and easily cost the Hurricanes any chance of upsetting the Buckeyes on the road.
Pryor managed the game just like Tressel wanted him to. Turn it up and run it when the defense calls for it and don't turn it over. Pryor accomplished both goals.
Neither of these quarterbacks is in any jeopardy of losing their starting jobs. Even after throwing four picks, Harris is not going to get benched for sophomore Alonzo Highsmith.
Both of these guys never appeared flustered by anything Saturday.
Pryor was facing the fastest defense he's probably ever seen, but he took it all in stride. He said last week that the game has really slowed down for him in season three and that comfort level has played a key role in his in-game comfort level.
It would be understandable if Harris lost his cool a little Saturday, but he never quit and he kept fighting until the end.
Pryor may not be a senior captain, but when he talks his teammates listen. He's earned their respect over the past year and half and his gamesmanship against the mouthy Hurricanes earned him some points in the locker room.
Harris is still the man in the offensive huddle, but you have to wonder if his teammates on the other side of the ball won't start chirping a bit if turnovers continue to be a problem for the junior.
Give Harris a boatload of respect for saying his four interceptions cost the Hurricanes the game. They were huge, but not the only reason Miami is 1-1 right now. Costly penalties were also a big reason potential scoring drives were thwarted.
But by placing the entire burden on his shoulders, Harris garners a lot of respect from his teammates, coaches and fans.
Pryor had nothing to apologize for after a 12-point win.
Right now, Pryor could easily beat incumbent governor Ted Strickland and challenger John Kasich in the November election. It's also likely Tressel would be his campaign manager.
Randy Shannon has to believe in Harris because he really doesn't have a better option. His teammates seem to like him and many of them will forgive him for a lackluster showing in a tough environment like the Horseshoe.
Harris was a long shot candidate, and Miami would probably have to run the table now to even get him back into the conversation.
Pryor, on the other hand, has been a Top 3 pick since his breakout performance in last year's Rose Bowl. Saturday's showing wasn't one for the highlights (Michigan's Denard Robinson is getting all of the attention right now), but Pryor didn't hurt his chances a bit.
If Ohio State is 12-0 Pryor will at least get the invite to New York.
If you base it strictly off Saturday's game, it would seem to be an easy choice.
But it's not.
Pryor will likely have the better numbers and get more attention as a collegiate player. He'll also get a chance at the next level.
If Harris can harness his throwing potential, he could have a decent pro career ... even as a career back-up (you know, that's not bad money).