"Saturday night's all right for fighting, get a little action in." -Elton John
So over 107,000 fans showed up on a Saturday night in Columbus expecting to see their #8 Ohio State Buckeyes extend a few win streaks. Namely their home opener win streak that dated back to 1978 when they lost to an elite Penn State team, and another lengthy streak of wins against unranked visitors that numbered 64 games. And if the historical records weren't enough, they entered the game with a 25 game regular season unbeaten streak, tops in the country.
While I initially projected a loss in my preseason pundit picks, when asked this week, I changed my tune to indicate that I liked us by a FG due to Ohio State miscues even in the face of those daunting streaks I just mentioned.
Without further ado, let's go through the action chronologically and try to make some sense of this thing!
15:00 Holly Rowe has fallen in love with the Dadi/Maddy rhyme. We are in for a long night with Holly harassing people. Meyer is concerned about his O Line. That sounds potentially fortuitous, considering how strong the VT pass rush is.
14:55 Deon Newsome's legs move too fast for him on some plays. Slips an awful lot.
13:50 Staying in the no-huddle, Brewer throws a dangerous ball across his body and hit Malleck, who is always open it seems.
13:11 Luke Fickell is the D-Coord at OSU? As if I needed another reason to feel old today.
13:05 Got greedy down the sideline and Brewer underthrows Hodges who can go up and get it. Is this the weak arm we were warned about? I think it was just a miscalculation personally. Brewer can sling it. It'll amount to a long punt. 41 yards, no return.
12:06 Kyshoen Jarrett scares people with his footsteps. Blew up a sure first down in the flat to force a three and out.
11:57 Miserable shank from a Ray Guy watch-list front-runner in the OSU punter. Hokies take over on the OSU side of the 50.
TIMEOUT: The picture of Brewer's granddad simultaneously directing a school crosswalk, fending off Norman Bates from Psycho in the shower, and preparing to throw a forward pass (a relatively new phenomenon at the time) is a photographic marvel to behold. 1950s poses were the best.
10:46 Brewer makes a nice play rolling to the left, and got outside the tackles, took a shot. He needs to work on self-preservation. Nice catch by Byrn to pick up yet another 3rd down conversion. Who are THESE guys that pick up 3rd and longs with regularity?
9:20 Brewer is not happy with the coaches on the sideline. Plays aren't coming in quickly enough. With the noise a factor, he is right to make an issue of it. Get this corrected ASAP. He is confident being the leader out there, very active in the process. Similarly, Logan just seemed to be following orders in the same situation.
9:14 Brewer could stare Malleck down and big 88 would still make the catch. Yet another 1st down for the RS JR.
7:52 For the 2nd time in as many weeks, poor Willie Byrn can't quite make the stretch over the goalline. He needs go-go gadget arms.
7:06 And Shai McKenzie has now established a streak of his own, having scored TDs in two consecutive games. They will review it because I think there is a service-level agreement that dictates the visiting team is not allowed to score first in the Horseshoe. Hopefully, Loeffler didn't initial it to indicate we agree.
TV TIMEOUT: 10 play drives that comprise five minutes and win us the Time of Possession battle are such a welcome sight. Particularly when there are seven points at the end of the rainbow.
The Buckeyes look like we looked like the year after we lost Wilson, Boykin, Coale. Such a large % of offense needs to be replaced.
6:53 Kendall Fuller on an island with the best OSU WR, blanket coverage. Such a luxury.
6:08 That's the one that makes you lose sleep. Barrett takes off on 3rd and 9, and his spy Chase Williams is face down in the dirt behind the line of scrimmage. Picked up 20+ yards on that. And before I can even timestamp the next one Barrett gets around the left side for 20 more yards before getting out of bounds.
5:09 Chuck Clark with great coverage, but Barrett underthrows the man coverage he's in, and Clark had no shot. Bad turn of luck. OSU driving now inside the 10 after another Barrett keeper for 14 yards. We saw this time and again last year vs Marshall, Duke, and Maryland (and then UCLA), where QBs break contain on 3rd and longs.
4:30 Another underthrown ball on an out pattern in the end zone where Fuller was initially beaten. Put it at the 2 with a fresh set of downs. Won't see too many PI calls on Fuller. Either this QB is shrewd or woefully inaccurate.
3:51 Equaliser. Barrett on a delay keeper off left guard. Took it 83 yards with most of that coming from Barrett runs. Bud has some 'justing to-do.
COMMERCIAL: Who wants to get away from Hampton Inn banjo commercials?
3:45 That needs to be 15 yards. He didn't even start to tackle Newsome on that kickoff til they got beyond the thick paint of the sideline. Reckless. OK late flag, universal balance restored.
2:40 Gratuitous Lebron on the sidelines shot, where he's probably checking the Lebron app on his phone. In case you haven't heard it ad nauseum, if Lebron hadn't had the opportunity to earn NBA millions at 15 years old, he'd have gone to Ohio State. Yawn.
1:53 Juice Williams with a strong carry. That was close, but not sure if it was conclusive. We will cross our fingers and wait approximately 23 minutes for this to be resolved.
1:44 The Hokies dodge a bullet. Hokies keep the rock.
1:30 Brewer an amazing 4 of 4 on third down now with a nice pass to Ford in stride.
1:05 Newsome on an end around for a first down. He seems best equipped of all our WRs except maybe Ford to take that hand-off. He's faster than Stanford on that play.
0:19 Juice gets loose! Hokies lead 14-7 on what looked like a 14 or 15 yard run. RIght between Wang and Gibson. Another 9 play drive. Keeping the D fresh.
0:15 Edmunds in on the tackle on the kickoff. Man without a country right now. He might be getting Wally Pipped.
2nd Quarter (Hokies lead 14-7)
14:15 Can this Barrett kid throw? Clark was on the WR like the proverbial stink and Barrett dropped it right in there even though Maddy lit him up like Times Square.
13:19 From experience I think VT fans could caution Urban against running so much of the O through one guy (like Logan, and like Braxton Miller also). Not sure Barrett will have the stamina to do that for 60 minutes against a D like VT's.
12:09 Deon Clarke showing athleticism to bat that pass down, and Chase Williams unabated to the QB just buried him. The D is starting to look a little more comfortable with this battle in the trenches. Having their way a bit.
12:00 Poor throw by Brewer in the flat to Byrn. Not the right throw to make on the checkdown, had Malleck open.
DEFINITION OF A SPREAD OFFENSE: When six players have rushed the ball and five guys have caught a pass, and you still have 42 minutes left in the game.
11:19 Need Hughes to keep them on their half of the field, cannot start a drive in FG position here. He'll be kicking from inside the VT 5. While the announcers laud Urban's teams' kick-blocking acumen the way they used to bow to Beamer.
10:35 Chuck Clark is toasted for 58 yard completion after Hughes gave the Hokies a good spot to start from defensively. Can't win for winning.
10:09 The Joe Montana-John Taylor super bowl winning play (vs Cincinnati, 1989) was just run to perfection, the ball was where it needed to be, Facyson couldn't stick with the WR who dropped it. If OSU loses this game, that play is going to be viewed as critical.
9:58 Simply feeling too much glee as the OSU K misses his 2nd FG attempt of the night off the left upright from about 27 yards. Things are coming up Milhouse! Hokies maintain their 7 point cushion.
9:16 Caleb Farris is flagged for a false start. Bad penalty to take in that spot of the field on 3rd down. Hokies will play it conservative on 3rd and 14 and prepare to punt now.
8:30 Ohio State will begin the drive in long FG range. These are the field position battles that need to be won to keep the VT D fresh. Things were going swimmingly, until the last couple series. I guess one way to combat that is to do wholesale subs in the front four. That kind of confidence is nice to see.
7:43 JT Barrett is the polar opposite of Brewer on 3rd downs tonight. Hasn't completed a pass. And now a bad snap costs OSU 16 yards and they will punt having screwed themselves out of great field position.
6:31 Greg Stroman, a true FR who is just so fast you can't find a way to keep him off the field, is going to be one of the best return men VT has had when he is done. He may not find any other positional home, but he looks like he could go Dante Hall all over some teams ST units.
6:12 Holly Rowe on decibel watch. Such an important topic to discuss during game action. Its not like we don't have 30 minutes of halftime coming up.
5:15 Caleb Farris another delay of game on VT. The chemistry between Farris and Brewer has led to 3 penalties in 3 halves of football to this point.
4:48 I remember when 3rd and 15 from our own five would result in the Beamer draw being called, wouldn't even need to look at the sideline for the signal. Not being converted with true FR WRs in space. Isaiah Ford continues to impress.
2:58 Fuller step for step with their best guy. Barrett can't sell a pump fake very well. I've seen better pump fakes out of Junior High School signal-callers.
2:27 You love to see after a whole half of football that the average 3rd down for your opponent to need to make is 7.2 yards. Chuck Clark keeps coming up and making the stops in the open field after the front four (and Chase W) flushes Barrett.
Commercial: Shameless WNBA plug. Nothing we can do about it when you put it on ESPN, so why spend valuable commercial time promoting it. Can't be a discernible value-add from not selling that ad time to an advertiser outside of the DIsney family.
2:08 Big hangtime on that punt, Stroman as if on cue, takes it out from the VT five all the way to the 40. I move that we no longer need Kyshoen Jarrett in that role, we don't need to risk him. Who seconds my motion?
1:52 Willie Welker with another catch inside the hashes and has some bidness to discuss with his tacklers. A penny for your wicked burns, Byrn!
1:28 VT gameplan has OSU guessing. Ford narrowly missed a big gain inside the five with a drop. And then Stanford gets isolated on the right side and picks up the first.
1:02 Perfect execution on a misdirection pass to the weak side flat where Malleck was wide open. Pure timing. Really impressed with the patience on everyone's part.
0:52 And now we're just toying with them. A pass to FB Sam Rogers after Brewer calmly sidesteps a serious Buckeye blitz. Great catch and run by Rogers to take it into the end zone for a TD. The defender had no chance to A) Defend that pass or B) Bring Rogers down.
We've always wondered what we might look like if we put all aspects of the game together. The fact that it comes against AN OHIO STATE (AN) UNIVERSITY adds a certain texture to the pleasure that my endorphins are presently releasing.
0:40 Is Haitian Sensation acceptable? I'd discourage it, ESPN. Chuck Clark and Deon Clarke (no relation) are quite visibly wrecking shop.
Urban Meyer looks like he's ready to tell his assistant to get Papa John's on the phone. He's going to need some comfort food after the game. Hokies lead 21-7 at half, though I'd caution: 2006 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl vs UGA. That game will never stray far from the place where I keep all the horrible nightmares I've experienced in my day.
3rd Quarter (VT leads 21-7, OSU to get the rock first)
Huge stat: VT 3 red zone possessions, 21 points. This game has been the reverse of all the recent big game failures of the past 20 years. The other team is making ST gaffes, we are making the smart simple plays we need to make.
14:31 That's our 6th penalty for 52 yards. Our own Gifted Idiot wrote about our need to get the laundry off of our floor last Monday. Hokies are lucky that the flags haven't cost them more.
13:20 Enjoying watching Ekanem and Clarke in tandem on the one side. Their pursuit is relentless. They just need to get a little more seasoning to be where they need to be ahead of time.
12:59 Good coverage by Fuller leads to OSU punt, which is downed inside the VT 5. Continuing to stay committed to the run is paramount here, even if it's a punt, VT can still eat up 2-2.5 minutes of clock. Last thing VT needs is Ohio State to get the rock on the doorstep.
12:14 Phewww. Brewer taking chances, throwing it away while rolling out in the end zone. He was outside the tackle box, but that's still something to be wary of.
12:09 From his own end zone, Brewer once again finds Malleck in a perfect little pocket between three defenders. Uncanny.
11:46 J.C. Coleman appearance, and in a capacity that makes sense, a quick endaround where he gets the ball with a full head of steam as opposed to a standing start or delay.
11:25 Holding call on Rogers. Looking at Beamer, someone ate beans at the pregame because that sideline must smell like pure methane and sulfur.
11:05 More flags. Stanford with an illegal crackback block below the waist. Quit watching that dirty CFL ball up there Josh!
10:45 Nessler repeatedly messing up what down it is. As well as some issues with the yardage. Guy gets paid millions to get such simple details correct. And since that info is correct in the lower right hand corner so that we all know he's messing up, I ask, what is the purpose of Brad Nessler?
9:47 Utilizing Rogers again in the pass game. It truly is a new day in Blacksburg anybody on the field outside of the down linemen can make a play at any given moment.
9:11 OK, we knew a sack would eventually come about with this OSU front, but to get 35 minutes in before it came is a triumph by Coach Searels. Farris not having the best of games. McLaughlin rough in protection there too.
8:40 Great field position for OSU to start once again. At their own 48.
7:50 Chuck Clark almost a pick there off a deflection, that young man is in the frame on every play back there. Would like to see him unseat Bonner for starter.
7:37 Four down territory and caught VT in a substitution, Hokies still almost stopped OSU from getting 4th and 1.
7:24 Keep throwing at Fuller. I mean, how much more evidence do you need Ohioans that this is step 2 of profiting off of stealing underpants?
Back to back penalties knocking OSU out of FG range here.
Fuller was white on rice with their top WR who dropped the third catchable ball he's had in his bread basket tonight.
7:10 Oh I used to love this game when I was a kid....remember 500!?! Barrett throws one up for grabs and now Jarrett is "IT" after fielding that interception as though it were a punt. Not sure if JT called out 500 before he threw it, but if I were Ky I'd be ticked if it was worth less than 250.
7:07 LOL Buckeyes, your marching band signaling for Batman with a cool formartion at halftime won't save you!
6:03 Not the time to go stagnant on offense Hokies with 21 minutes left. Still need to move the chains and try to score some points.
I won't lie. Miller Lite in the can with the old logo tastes better than those cans they were using before. I am aware there is no scientific basis for this declaration.
4:00 Ohio State offense playing leisurely as though they were the Donovan McNabb/Andy Reid Eagles team trying to lead a super bowl comeback.
3:03 Well there it was, finally the press coverage got punished by a top-flight athlete. Facyson got beat on the slant and had no safety help. Facyson has alternated between great and terrible so far this year after being very steady if nothing else throughout his freshman year. PAT good 21-14 Hokies. I am snacking on fingernails I no longer have.
2:44 Brewer simply does not give up on plays. That pass to Rogers that he floated in between about five defenders while he was being flushed was a touch play that no VT QB besides Tyrod Taylor could have made (Vicks both thew too hard)
By the way, we haven't lost a challenge/review yet tonight. Has anyone checked to see if an asteroid is about to strike the earth here?
1:33 No, no, no.....Brewer floated a pass to the left side from his spot near the right hash and it was picked off easily. Too far for his lack of arm strength. Byrn needs to know that and stay in front of the defender there to play DB for his own QB if need be.
0:05 Was half expecting a fake punt attempt there to end the third. Instead it's fair caught by Stroman inside the 10. VT hasn't had a decent starting point the whole 2nd half.
4th Quarter (VT leads 21-14, Ohio State has missed two FGs)
13:50 Brewer sandwiched between four defenders and I just saw our season flash before my eyes.
13:13 Frank is out there fighting the refs for every yard. Whatever vitamins they have him on this year have restored some of the tenacity to his game.
12:56 You don't need to be 6'6", 260 to pick up 3rd and inches after all it turns out. Imagine that.
12:15 That was gift wrapped so prettily by Brewer, the customer service desk at the mall couldn't have done any better. Fumble inside the red zone, and it didn't even look like he got jarred, more like he was surprised. Gehhhh.
11:40 Ohio State runs it in to tie up the game. Two missed tackles there on the 16 yard run. Tie ballgame. If you had told me that we'd be tied at 21 at this point in the game, I'd have taken it no questions asked.
10:50 On Twitter I referred to this play as 3rd and the Future of the Program. And where was the flag!!????!!! Holding on the CB. Thank you. Some very late flags on the penalties that are to benefit us all night.
9:48 A double reverse from JC Coleman to Sam Rogers?! And Rogers had his arm cocked back to throw? He keeps it and takes it down inside the 11. Simply amazing innovations that Loeffler is trying to integrate. Playbook is still gigantic but he is getting better execution from his charges than Stiney ever did.
8:44 A new day for Hokie football, answering a team like Ohio State on the road who has all the momentum going for them.. Taking the ball the length of the field and answering with seven points and reapplying the pressure to the home team. There just aren't too many historical references to compare this effort to.
7:45 Getting great production out of the backup DL. Williams, Alford, just doing great. Allowed for DiNardo to maul Barrett. Nicolas has been held at least five times with no whistle. Frustrating.
Football in 1978 looked slow and sorry. Matt Suhey, Walter Payton's blocking back in Chicago scored the only TD in the last home opener Ohio State lost.
5:56 Why are we throwing on 2nd and 9 there? Eat the clock. Those are the decisions that make me pull my hair out.
5:52 Nuts. Pass was for Stanford, but Hodges tried to make a play on it, and deflected it out of bounds. VT to punt again, for hopefully the last time.
5:40 Buckeyes start from their own 35, need 7 points though.After a first down incompletion, Ken Ekanem notches VT's 4th sack.
4:47 Jarrett absolutely OWNING this game of 500, pulls in his 2nd interception. Mom is calling, it's lunchtime, and she's got Sunny D, or for some of us (grape kool-aid)!
3:56 VT eating up clock with Marshawn Williams. OSU forced to use a TO before VT 3rd down. Blackledge with the hard-hitting "journalismism", I dunno WOULD THIS GAME BE A STATEMENT THAT VT IS ON IT'S WAY BACK? AT&T says YOU MAKE THE CALL!
3:20 Brewer really opened himself up to some abuse there. Sets up Slye for a 46 yard FG miss. With OSU needing 7 to tie there, I don't give Urban the 10 yards. I treat it like four down territory. Eat the clock.
3:02 Blackledge with good points about our D on the edges. We are so much more athletic out there than we were with Tyler/Edwards spearheading things last couple years.
2:46 Nicolas is going to average a sack a game. And be completely disrespected in the NFL draft due to his inability to cultivate mass.
2:38 These are the plays that are innate to being a Hokie fan. Barrett picks up 3rd and 20 on a broken play keeps Buckeye hopes alive.
1:43 Ohio State comes across the VT 50. And Fuller is down with what looks like a cramp. Just perfect. If OSU comes back some how we get to hear screeds and hot takes all week about needing to play all 60 minutes.
1:20 Blackledge harping on Fuller's replacement. Deon Clarke destroys Barrett for the Hokies 7th sack of the night. I simply cannot believe that with 7 sacks and 11 Tackles for Loss, that the Buckeyes weren't flagged for one single holding call.
0:55 Yeah, Todd, looks like Barrett took your sage advice and threw at Donovan Riley (Fuller's backup). That slick bit of playcalling was worth -7 as Riley clinches the massive road upset for the Hokies by going 65 yards to the house with it.
Hokieeeeeez WINNNN, Hokieeeeez WINNNNNN! What a great night. We haven't had too many of these over the years even with all the wins the program has compiled. I am sure you all enjoyed it as much as I did.
Stay with Gobbler Country as we wrap up Ohio State coverage, and begin our ECU coverage, though you are likely as familiar with the Pirates as we are by now, due to our contract that extends longer than British Rule (over wherever they still rule). Great win HokieNation! Huge things are now possible with this schedule in front of us. Have a great week.