Ohio State vs. Virginia Tech Preview

osuHelmet(This preview is brought to you by aspiring blogger (and writer) Jacob Seymour. We hope to hear and read more from Jacob in the very near future! -Ed)

After a tough week one opponent, the Buckeyes look to continue their regular season winning streak. While Virginia Tech seems to be the second best opponent on Ohio State’s schedule, the Buckeyes might be in a position to do something not many would expect.

Va. Tech’s Last Game in Review

Last week Va. Tech played William & Mary and won 34-9 and gained almost 500 yards of total offense. Now when we look at the box score it looks like Virginia Tech had no problems against William & Mary, but for those who actually watched the game the score is a bit misleading. Several times when Va. Tech was inside the 5 yard line they had difficulties putting the ball in the end zone in 2 attempts. Also when Va. Tech was inside the 5 yard line they seemed to struggle against William & Mary’s D-Line or shoot themselves in the foot with stupid penalties. At halftime the score was 17-6, William & Mary shot themselves in the foot on a miscommunication around the 50 yard line, when the center snapped the ball before the quarterback was ready. William & Mary were playing well up to that point and if they get another field goal or a touchdown on that drive who knows how the momentum of the game swings. When you look at the box score again and see that William & Mary only gained 76 yards of rushing, consider this. When a quarterback gets sacked it actually goes against their rushing yards. William & Mary’s Mikal Abdul-Saboor ran the ball 10 times for 85 yards, although almost half came from a 40 yard run. William & Mary was able to move the ball on the ground with some success against the Hokies. Also Tre McBride had 4 catches for 62 yards, 43 of those yards came on one play. The Hokies seemed to give up a few big plays and if William & Mary had a better offensive line, we may have had a different ball game.

Virginia Tech on Offense

The Hokies like to create a very balance attack and keep defenses on their toes. Va. Tech has a good freshman running back named Shai McKenzie. McKenzie is a powerful back who has some speed; McKenzie averaged around 11 yards per carry and had a good 39 yard run. If the Hokies are to pull the upset Michael Brewer, the quarterback, must have an exceptional game. Brewer played well in his first start, after transferring from Texas Tech. While Brewer had a good performance throwing an interception and having an adjusted QBR rating of 72.2 is not going to win the game against Ohio State. A guy Ohio State does need to watch for is freshman WR Isaiah Ford. This freshman is not your average freshman wide receiver. Ford had 4 receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown. Ford is quick and has some good height at 6-1 and if the Buckeyes’ secondary is not ready, Ford could have a breakout game. The Hokies offensive line does need to step up this week, the Hookies start two sophomores. The offensive line did not have its way with William & Mary, like they should of, and I expect the O-Line to come out and be very physical.

Ohio State on Offense

Ohio State’s offense failed to score a single touchdown in the first half, which is a bit surprising because Ohio State was moving the ball in the first half. Ohio State’s offensive line must improve; the Hokies have a quick D-Line and need to give Barrett some time to throw the ball. Barrett will need to be sharper throwing the ball. While the Hokies lost two very good players in the secondary to the NFL, this secondary does not miss a step. Most of the players returning in the secondary played quite a bit last year and the Hokies secondary could be arguably top ten in the nation after the season is all said and done. Barrett is going to have to keep his eyes out for Brandon Facyson and Kendall Fuller. Both of those cornerbacks, who are sophomores, are very good and have a future in the NFL if they continue to play the way they are. The Buckeyes will need to give Devin Smith some more deep ball chances because the Hokies defense has the secondary to play one on one with Ohio State and crowd the box. The Buckeyes need to establish a running game to help Smith and the other receivers to get open. I expect a lot more play action from the Buckeyes this coming Saturday.

NFL Future for Virginia Tech

While there are a few players on the Hokies roster that could play in the NFL someday, I want to focus on the best player and that is Kendall Fuller. The sophomore cornerback is the fourth Fuller to play at Virginia Tech, but he could be the best one. Fuller had 58 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 6 interceptions, 11 pass deflections, and 1 forced fumble in his freshman campaign. Not only is Fuller physical, he is a playmaker. Fuller has great hands and plays the ball beautifully when it is in the air, as seen by his six INT’s last year. I see Fuller having potential going in the Top 15 in the 2016 NFL draft, if he stays healthy and continues to play better jamming wide outs at the line of scrimmage.

Buckeye to Watch

Last week we predicted Darron Lee to have a big game, which he did. So hopefully we can go two for two. Devin Smith is the Buckeye to watch this week. He will probably be matched against Fuller all night, so if Smith wants to prove that he should be on the rise, in next year’s NFL draft this is the week to do it. The Buckeyes will need Smith to stretch the field and make some plays after the catch because I expect the Hokies to stack the box and make Barrett beat them through the air.

Bottom Line

Ohio State wins BIG. After seeing how the Hokies offense played against William & Mary, I have a tough time seeing them showing up against the best D-Line in the country on the road. Ohio State’s Bennett and Washington dominated the line of scrimmage most of the game and with Va. Tech playing a more traditional style of offense I expect them and the rest of the D-Line to man handle this O-Line. While the Buckeyes defense is able to keep off the field, I feel the Buckeye offense will find its groove at some point and start piling up the points.

National Perspective of the Game

If Ohio State is able to shut down Va. Tech, like I believe they will, the voters give Ohio State a bit more credit. What will also help Ohio State’s victory is Navy going on the road and just dismantling Temple.

Weekly Getting SEC Fans Fired Up About the Truth

Alabama is so overrated they made a four win team, in the Big Twelve conference, look like a Top 25 team. Alabama’s pass defense is in need of a lot of work. I understand that Trey DePriest was suspended, but come on now West Virginia threw the ball almost fifty times, it’s not like you didn’t know what they were going to do. One of Alabama’s biggest strengths is their wide receivers’ ability to stretch the field vertically, but the problem with that is their quarterback, Blake Sims, has as much arm strength as Jamie Moyer throwing a fastball. The defensive line is not what I thought it would be, neither are the linebackers. Luckily Alabama played a team who has a pretty horrendous defense, otherwise Alabama loses that game. If Alabama plays to this caliber all year long, which they will not, Bama is in for a long year. After this game, I do not see Alabama winning the SEC West and I see them losing to LSU, Auburn, Texas A&M and/or Ole Miss. Which means once again we have to hear from SEC fans how hard their conference is because a team who dominated the BCS era could lose three games in this conference. Somehow Alabama to the voters will be like the popular guy at your high school reunion. You know the star quarterback who comes to the reunion fat, bald, but still gets all the attention because of what he used to be.

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