Despite a shaky second quarter, the Buckeyes stepped on the gas, and stepped all over Virginia Tech Monday night.
Ohio State went into a hostile Lane Stadium, looking to avenge the sole loss from their 2014 National Championship season. Mission accomplished – in a 42-24 dominating win over the Hokies.
“It’s not so much about pride as it is about taking care of your business,” Head Coach Urban Meyer told ESPN following the game. “This is a hard-working team and they care about each other. That showed tonight.”
With never-ending offseason discussion over who the starting quarterback would be, it was former QB Braxton Miller who stole the show. Miller only had eight touches, but accounted for 140 yards and two touchdowns, one of which included a jaw-dropping spin move that will be replayed on highlight shows for years.
“I fought back, I fought hard, those long nights and early mornings,” said Miller. “I’m just happy to be back out here with my guys.”
And oh, yeah….Cardale Jones was named the starter. At least for the first game. J.T Barrett took over in the fourth quarter, and the offense did not seem to slow down.
“We have two good players, and both guys are gonna play. Cardale managed pretty good,” Meyer added. “The good thing is, the first thing they’ll tell you is they can get a little better.”
The Buckeyes opened up with two quick scores on their first two possessions, taking a 14-0 lead after an all-too-familiar breakaway 80-yard TD run by Ezekiel Elliott. However, several Ohio State miscues allowed Virginia Tech to claw back into the game. When Elliott fumbled a punt return late in the half, Tech converted it into a touchdown and took a 17-14 lead into the locker room.
Virginia Tech never threatened again, and Ohio State rattled off 28 straight points in the second half to bury the Hokies. A garbage-time TD accounted the final points for the home team.
The Buckeyes, despite four key players missing on offense, put 572 yards of offense against the vaunted Bear defense of Tech head coach Bud Foster. Even more impressive, OSU accounted for 360 yards on the ground, on an incredible 10.1 yards per carry.
The game may have been put away five minutes into the second half, when Miller broke loose on a long TD reception, which was soon followed by an injury to Tech’s QB, Michael Brewer. Brewer took a hard hit from DL Adolphus Washington, and immediately left the field with his arm pinned to his chest. Moments later, the Hokies athletic staff announced that Brewer would not return, and it was eventually released that he broke his collarbone. He is expected to be out for 4-5 weeks minimum.
Brewer’s backup, Brenden Motley, was shaken by the Ohio State pressure and could not get his feet settled long enough to move the ball. He finished the night 4-for-9 for 36 yards, one TD and an interception. Brewer was 11-of-16 for 156 yards and two TDs.
The Buckeyes have a short week, returning home to face Hawaii on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. They will also regain the services of four key players, Joey Bosa, Jalin Marshall, Dontre Wilson, and Corey Smith.
my brothers took care of business now its time to maks dis run!sorry 2 the fans we let down but we will make up 4 it on me! #BuckeyeNation
— Dontre Wilson (@treydayy_) September 8, 2015
- Cardale Jones accounted for 285 total yards – 186 passing, 99 rushing
- Ezekiel Elliott only had 11 carries, but he made it count. 121 yards rushing, marking the 8th out of his last 9 games in which he hit 100 yards.
- The Buckeyes only completed 10 passes on the night, but they averaged 21.2 yards per catch.
- The defense was expected to control Virginia Tech, and they did. The Hokies only accounted for 320 total yards on 69 offensive plays.
- Last year, Virginia Tech never trailed in the game vs. Ohio State. On Monday night, they only led for a total of 1:22.