There wasn’t any over hyping of the defending national champions and undisputed #1 team in the country Ohio State Buckeyes. The only question surrounding the team and head coach Urban Meyer was; who will be the starter at quarterback? There was some speculation that junior Cardale Jones will get the nod based on him getting most of the first team reps in warm ups. And it was.
The Buckeyes starter the 2015 season the same way it ended 2014 with another convincing win with Jones at quarterback.
Fighting off the early emotion of the Virginia Tech crowd in Lane Stadium; the Buckeyes showed why they are the #1 team in the country. Despite some early drops and a few miscues; the Buckeyes jumped on the Hokies to take a 14-0 into the second quarter after Cardale Jones found Curtis Samuel in the back of the endzone for a 24 yard touchdown pass despite being interfered with, and Ezekiel Elliott showed again why he’s such a dangerous back busting through the Hokies’ defense virtually untouched for a 80 yard touchdown run.
With the crowd quiet and the momentum on the side of the Buckeyes you would think that Virginia Tech would crumble under the onslaught, but that’s not a Frank Beamer team.
A few adjustments were made on defense and a slight change at quarterback to give the Buckeyes a different look and a change of pace for the Hokies to give them a little life. It seemed to work. After a missed field goal by Ohio State; Beamer decided to bring in junior quarterback Brenden Motley. A 3rd down conversion, and a couple of key runs; the crowd started to get back into the game and then the momentum flipped when former walk-on fullback Sam Rogers was able to rumble his way down the sideline for a 51 pass from Michael Brewer to get the Hokies on the board.
After a tip pass covered into an interception by Hokies’ safety Desmond Frye; the Hokies closed the margin to four with a Joey Slye field goal; 14-10 and the Hokie faithful were very much alive and back in the game.
Even with the momentum shifting to the Hokies, Ohio State was able to withstand the momentum the offense see to have forcing Virginia Tech to punt, but a muff by Ezekiel Elliott allowed the Hokies to get the ball back on the short field with a little over 3 minutes left in the half to try to take the lead. And the Hokies were fully amped to do so. With a 3rd and goal at the 1 yard line the Hokies ran a play action bootleg with the tight end Ryan Malleck sneaking to the other side of the formation for a wide open touchdown reception to give the Hokies 17-10 halftime advantage.
The true test of a champion is how you withstand adversity and get back up when you get knocked down. And the Buckeyes were down for a moment, but like a true were not out by any stretch of the imagination.
The Buckeyes needed some type of a spark to get them going again and they found it in their dynamic athletic former quarterback turned receiver Braxton Miller. Miller capped off a three play 75 yard drive with a 54 yard touchdown reception from Cardale Jones. After a hit by Adoiphus Washington that planet him in the ground; Virginia Tech quarterback Michael brewer would not throw a pass the rest of the night, and you could feel the air go out of the stadium.
Virginia Tech defense tried to stay tough, but after Hokie running back J.C. Coleman fumbled and Ohio State recovered; Braxton Miller does what he does best; line up behind the center in shotgun and run sweep for a spectacular 53 yard touchdown. And that pretty much sealed the deal for Virginia Tech.
No substantial passing game to threaten the Buckeye defense with Brenden Motley, and the Buckeyes just pinned their ears back and attacked the run penetrating the line of scrimmage at will.
The Buckeyes pretty much blew the game wide open with a touchdown run by Cardale Jones and a touchdown pass from J.T. Barrett to Michael Thomas that stretched the lead to 42-17.
The Hokies were able to get a fumble and convert it to a touchdown but the damage was already done.
Frank beamer will have to find a way to get Brenden Motley to expand the passing game, because Michael Brewer will be out for one and a half to two months with a broken collar bone and surgery.