The Art of Revenge: Virginia Tech

marked the beginning of the 2015-2016 College Football season.  With a few high profile games in the books we have already witnessed a perceived upset at TTUN’s expense.  College Football is a beautiful thing and any team can be beaten, at any given moment or anytime during the season.  We as fans have been dealt a near death-blow at The Shoe last season when the visiting Hokies came in and outplayed us.  I am sure that we all experienced a lot of anxiety and a lot of doubt afterwards.  The ESPN pawns doubting The Buckeyes and doubting the BIG as a whole.  We suffered that entire week.  But look what happened.  We took the loss like men, the team came together and we took the entire nation by storm en-route to being crowned the Inaugural College Football Playoff Champions.  What a feeling.  Now after spending the year in the hunt and as the hunter, the Buckeyes find themselves as being the hunted.  The Chase has now been dubbed as The Grind.  The Grind to defend.  The Grind to prepare for every teams best shot.  During this article I will compare and contrast both teams.  I will also let you know who has the upper-hand in each category.  I want to analyze and predict the outcome, but most importantly have fun with it.

The Coach:

This year our Buckeyes will be opening up the season in Blacksburg and the atmosphere will be intense.  With Frank Beamer at the helm as Head Coach, the Hokies have gone an impressive 134-39-1 in his 29 seasons at Virginia Tech.  He has a career winning percentage of .667% out of 348 games.  That is 231-115-2 for you analytical folks.  Urban Meyer has coached for the last 14 years with stints at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and then Ohio State.  He has compiled an astounding 142-26 W-L record and a 8-2 record in Bowl Games.  Meyer holds a .845% winning percentage, besting rival Nick Saban’s .754% record.  Even though Saban and Beamer have been coaching longer, you cannot sleep on or doubt Meyer’s ability to get his team to perform at a higher level, during big games and throughout the season.

Beamer pulled out the win last season by upsetting the Buckeyes in Columbus.  Do they have what it takes to pull out another?  As I fan, I hope not, but like what Lee Corso would say, “not so fast my friend.”, the silver bullets will look to decimate the same opponent who nearly cost them while pursuing the Championship Chase.  I understand that it was last year, but I am still semi-upset about it.  The one play that immediately comes to mind is the pick-6 at the end to seal the game for Virginia Tech.  But I know Meyer has a plan in place.  During highly anticipate “revenge games”, Meyer has compiled a 9-2 record during these instances.  This is since 2001.  So watch out Beamer.  The Silver Bullets are coming.  With that statement, I am predicting Meyer to stretch that record to 10-2.  Meyer will scheme and find ways to make the Hokies pay for almost costing them a championship last year.

My Prediction:  Ohio State.

Offense vs Offense:

The Buckeyes are absolutely loaded on offense even with the suspensions of two of their premier offensive weapons, Dontre Wilson and Jalin Marshall.  They will also be without Corey Smith, who showed up when the Buckeyes needed plays the most last season.  That is a huge loss for the Buckeyes.  Couple that with the loss of Noah Brown and a less confident Buckeye fan would spaz out.  Don’t fret though, with the QB battle still raging on and with the positional switch for Braxton Miller, I expect no drop off.  The younger, less experienced players (ahem, Johnnie Dixon, James Clark) and potentially a few freshmen (looking at you K.J Hill).  Someone will step up.  Other than that, RB Elliot, WR Thomas and TE Vannett all have returned and the Buckeyes looked primed for another run.  They will also look forward to doling out some revenge.

Now on the Virginia Tech sideline, Michael Brewer is back and primed for another huge game against the Buckeyes, but during this game they will be the home team.  Other than Brewer, TE Ryan Malleck and WR Demitri Knowles will provide the necessary Senior leadership to a young Hokies Offense.  Can the younger players make an impact and will they step up?

Advantage:  Ohio State.

Defense vs Defense:

With Joey Bosa being held out for this game, it will be interesting to see how DE Jalyn Holmes and DE Sam Hubbard will fare during Bosa’s absence.  With LB’s Lee, Perry and McMillan returning and with DT Washington and DB’s Bell, Powell and Apple in the fold, it would be difficult to get momentum against this defense.  There are pieces in places and emerging underclassmen who will also be utilized at some point this season.  There is a ton of potential and I am anxious to see who will step up and who will falter.

On the Virginia Tech sideline, CB Kendell Fuller is the most well know player on the defense.  FS Riley, the player who recorded the pick-6 at the end of regulation will look to shut down the Ohio State offense.  With a young defensive line the defense will look toward the challenge.  Last year the defense caused 3 INT’s.  Can they repeat and will the Bear Defense work again?

Advantage:  Ohio State.

While this won’t be a walk in the park.  Blacksburg will offer a lot of crowd noise and a bunch of obnoxious fans, but it won’t deter Ohio State from getting the revenge that they want and that they need to have.  They are hungry and they want to come out swinging on all cylinder and I expect to see a lot of fireworks.  J.T. Barrett will be the starter, but the Hokies mustn’t focus on him alone.  Cardale Jones will apparently get some time at QB and former QB Braxton Miller will look to burn DB’s all around the field.  Let’s not forget about Ezekiel Elliot, Michael Thomas and Nick Vannett could do to shred a defense.  I know that it may seem biased, but hey I said that I wanted to have fun with it so I predict the Buckeyes to shred the Hokies in every phase of the game.  Go Bucks!

Final Score:  Ohio State defeats Virginia Tech, 52-17



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