Lane Stadium was as loud as it’s ever been last night with the Hokies hosting the #1 Ohio State Buckeyes. The Hokies played tough against the Buckeyes in front of a crowd that believed an upset was possible, but Virginia Tech just couldn’t get the job done.
The Hokies did not get off to a great start against Ohio State with the Buckeyes going up 14-0 in the first quarter. It all started on Ohio State’s first possession with Cardale Jones making some quality throws and Curtis Samuel making a diving touchdown catch against Greg Stroman.
The first really big play for the Buckeyes came on the next possession when Ezekiel Elliott went 80 yards on the first and only play of that drive for the touchdown. Elliott only had 122 rushing yards on 11 carries for the game as the Hokies slowed him down after that.
However, the Hokies found a way to build off the energy of the crowd, and turned the game around in the second quarter. Michael Brewer found Sam Rogers on a wheel route and Rogers did the rest, making a juke to complete a 51-yard touchdown that caused an eruption that was felt on a seismographs (third time that night).
The Hokies kept building on the momentum as Ohio State started to feel uncomfortable. The Hokies forced a couple turnovers including an Ezekiel Elliott muffed punt that led to 10 more points, and a 17-0 run to take the lead 17-14 at halftime.
Lane Stadium was rocking and all of a sudden, Hokie Nation believed that the upset was possible.
The Buckeyes came out quick in the second half with a 54-yard touchdown pass from Cardale Jones to Heisman sleeper Braxton Miller.
On the next possession, the biggest moment of the game happened as Michael Brewer suffered a broken collarbone on a third down hit.
Brewer will be out four to five weeks, but more than anything, this play took the wind out of the sails of the Hokies, and they never were able to take advantage of the raucous environment in the third quarter. Brewer was also playing quite well, and looked like a player that was ready to have a big year potentially.
The Buckeyes would go on to make it 42-17 with 28-straight points to put the game away as the offense just wasn’t the same with Brenden Motley. Motley and the Hokies did get a touchdown late to make it 42-24, but Ohio State was just too much for the Hokies no matter how hard they pushed.
Everything coming out of the program in the buildup to the game was that Bud Foster had a great gameplan, but Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes made him look bad. Foster had the worst game of his career as a defensive coordinator after going with basically the same gameplan as last year’s game, which Ohio State was ready for.
The lack of defensive creativity hurt the Hokies in this matchup, and Foster will have to look at changing some things.
Kendall Fuller did not have a great game, but Michael Thomas did only have two catches in this game. Fuller started cramping at the end of the game, but also doesn’t look completely like himself. In the scrimmages leading up to the game, Fuller looked like he had some sort of leg injury, and it’s worth questioning the health of Fuller going forward.
The Hokies got a fair amount of pressure on Cardale Jones, but didn’t get a single sack on him all night. Virginia Tech’s defensive line is still one of the best in the country.
Despite the loss, no one should be panicing. The Hokies left everything on the field, and the offense showed a lot of progress in year two of Michael Brewer. The defensive line also got their fair share of pressure and Virginia Tech special teams were solid in the matchup.
There is room for improvement, but this game would’ve been a lot closer if Michael Brewer didn’t get injured. Despite the Brewer injury, this Virginia Tech team still has the potential to win 10 games. The Hokies can’t sleep on the rest of their non-conference schedule, but don’t be surprised if the Hokies are 4-1 when they face N.C. State on the second Friday of October.