Virginia Tech Vs Ohio State: 5 Questions with Scarlet and Game


With what will be one of the biggest games in Lane Stadium history quickly approaching, there are some burning questions which Austin Layton of our Ohio State site, Scarlet and Game, was kind enough to answer.

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Fighting Gobbler) Urban Meyer stated he wasn’t going to name a starter until the day before or day of the game with the Hokies, give us here in Hokie Nation some insight on the most burning question around this game who the starting quarterback is going to be when the Buckeyes walk into Lane Stadium.

Scarlet and Game) I wish I had a certain answer, but as you said Meyer has been drawing this one down to the wire. I’ll start by saying I don’t think the Buckeyes could go wrong either way, as both guys are good. Personally, I like J.T. Barrett. I think a lot of people forget he was arguably the 2nd best quarterback in the country last year behind Marcus Mariota before getting hurt. Meyer has raved all off-season about Barrett’s natural leadership ability, and J.T. was elected as a captain by his fellow players. I’d be surprised if we don’t see him under center for the first snap.

FG) Do you believe the revenge factor will play a big part in this game or will the Buckeyes treat it like any other stiff non-conference foe?

SAG) I hope it does. I think if I was a Buckeye player it would be easy for me to say, “Hey, we’re #1, we got this, no problem” but the reality is that Virginia Tech proved they can beat Ohio State last season, and that was in Columbus. Going on the road to Blacksburg is no easy task, and I have to imagine the stadium will be very hostile. The Buckeyes better not be overlooking the Hokies or it could be long night. From what I have seen Virginia Tech is supposed to be even better than they were last year, so I can only hope the Bucks don’t come out flat.

FG) What do you believe will be the biggest factor in the game on Labor Day?  How will Ohio St use this factor to their advantage or overcome this factor?

SAG) The biggest factor to me in last years game was how Virginia Tech dominated Ohio State’s young and inexperienced offensive line. They were able to rattle J.T. all night. So that is exactly where I will look for Ohio State to turn the tables in this one. The offensive line obviously came together towards the end of their championship run, and I am eager to see how they play against the well-coached Hokie defense in comparison to last years game.

FG) How big a part in the offense do you look for Braxton Miller to play?

SAG) With offensive weapons Jalin Marshall, Dontre Wilson, and Corey Smith all suspended for the game, and Noah Brown injured for the year, Braxton will get a chance to shine. That being said, he’s still very new to the receiver/h-back position. I don’t expect him to do a lot of route running, but I could see a lot of hand-offs or direct snaps to get him the ball. He is also listed as the starting punt-returner so that will be interesting to watch as well.

FG) Losing Joey Bosa was a huge blow to the Buckeyes defensive pressure schemes. How do they recover and who do you think Hokie fans should be on the look out for?

SAG) Similar to the quarterback scenario, Meyer listed an “or” situation between two players on the depth chart. Sam Hubbard and Jalyn Holmes are the two guys expected to fill in, and are both guys that carry high expectations. Holmes played a bit last year, mostly on special teams, but is said to be in great shape. Hubbard is a freshman that was a 5-star recruit coming out of high school. I don’t expect either of these guys to be able to give a Bosa-like performance, but they are not bad guys to have fill-in.

Thanks again to Austin Layton for his insight into the Buckeye way of thinking.

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