Ohio State (0-0) at Virginia Tech (0-0)
When: Monday, September 7th, 2015
Where: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA
Time: 8:00 ET
The Ohio State Buckeyes begin their defense of last year’s National Championship against a Virginia Tech team that gave them their only loss last year. It happened in Week 2 when the Hokies upset Ohio State in Columbus 35-21. That dropped the Buckeyes to 22nd in the polls. After that, Ohio State would roll over everyone en route to a National Title win over Oregon. Coach Urban Meyer still has yet to announce a starting quarterback. It will either be JT Barrett or Cardale Jones. Either way, I expect them both to see action not only in this game, but throughout the season. Title Game MVP Ezekiel Elliott comes back for his Junior season to lead an offense with 7 returning starters. Elliott ran for almost 2,000 yards last year and caught another 28 passes out of the backfield. Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Joey Bosa will not play tonight due to his suspension, but the Buckeyes are loaded with talent on defense. They’ll be fine.
Frank Beamer enters his 29th year as the head coach of Virginia Tech and he’s looking to get his program back to their winning ways despite the Hokies being in a Bowl game for 22 straight years. The last three years have resulted in two 7-6 seasons and an 8-5. They went to the Orange Bowl in 2010 and Sugar Bowl in 2011 with 11-3 seasons. They return 16 starters (8 offense, 8 defense) from a year ago. Quarterback Michael Brewer will look to improve over his 18 touchdown, 15 interception campaign. He has all of his backs and receivers from last year, but the offensive line took a bit of hit with graduation. There’s no doubt that they will go bowling for a 23rd year in a row, but can they beat high quality opponents like Ohio State? We’ll see…
Last year’s upset win over Ohio State was a fluke, but Virginia Tech plays well at home in big games. They are 48-3 in non-conference home games since 1996. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ohio State rolls in this game, but I’m going to take a stab at the under. I think Ohio State’s defense is just too good to allow the Hokies to score many points.
Pick: Under 52.5