Pryor tribute noticed

Published 12:41 am Monday, September 7, 2009

COLUMBUS — Quarterback Terrelle Pryor’s small tribute to Michael Vick is drawing a lot of attention.

During Saturday’s narrow 31-27 victory over Navy, Pryor wore eyeblack — a waxy substance used to cut down on sun glare — on each cheek. In white letters against the eyeblack under his right eye was the word ‘‘Mika,’’ which he said referred to his sister. Under his left eye was the word ‘‘Vick.’’

Vick served 18 months in federal prison for his involvement in a dogfighting ring before signing with the Philadelphia Eagles last month.

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‘‘I always looked up to Mike Vick and I always will because I still think he is one of the best quarterbacks,’’ Pryor said after completing 14 of 21 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown. ‘‘I love Mike Vick.’’

Pryor threw a late interception that resulted in a Navy touchdown with 2:23 remaining that pulled the Midshipmen to 29-27. Navy went for the tying two-point conversion, but Ohio State linebacker Brian Rolle intercepted and returned the pass 99 yards for two points. The Buckeyes then recovered an onside kick.

A noted scrambler on the field, Vick was a three-time Pro Bowl pick during six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.

Pryor didn’t think Vick was getting a fair shot.

‘‘Not everybody is the perfect person in the world,’’ Pryor said. ‘‘Everyone does — kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me. I just feel that people need to give him a chance.’’

Asked if he had seen the tribute to Vick on Pryor’s face, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said he hadn’t noticed.

‘‘I’m not tall enough to see his eyebrows,’’ Tressel said of the 6-foot-6-inch Pryor. ‘‘I don’t know what he had.’’

BIG STAT: Ohio State’s tight ends had four catches and the running backs had six.

COOL FROSH: Matt Barkley, a true freshman, started at QB for No. 4 USC against San Jose State on Saturday night. He completed 15 of 19 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions.

He also did a good job as a cheerleader.

‘‘(Barkley) came to the huddle calm and collected,’’ said TB Joe McKnight, who rushed for 145 yards. ‘‘He even gave us a couple of pep talks.’’

POLL SITTING: The latest Associated Press Top 25 will not be announced until Tuesday at noon — after the Miami at No. 18 Florida State game at 8 p.m. Monday.