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Virginia Tech & Ohio State: Special Teams Breakdown

VT needs a Beamerball revival in order to overcome the Buckeyes.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The least sexiest aspect of football is the special teams but it will also play a vital role in determining whether the Hokies can upset the #1 team in the country this coming Labor Day. It's been well documented for sometime that Beamerball no longer exists and what remains is a conservative approach focused primarily on field position rather than a big punt block or the occasional roughing the punter penalty. This doesn't mean the Hokies special teams unit has completely disappeared in fact in 2014 AJ. Hughes ranked 17th in the country in punt distance averaging a respectable 39.9 yards per but that's only one stat out of many so what makes it so important? When Scot Loeffler is your offensive coordinator get used to the field position battle becoming the deciding factor of the game especially against an offense as formidable as the Buckeyes which will take advantage of any opportunity given to them.

The Buckeyes return game ranked 18th in the country last season averaging 11 yards a return, but only 1 return for   touchdown. Again those 11 yards are 11 more Bud Foster's defensive unit doesn't lose in crucial field position especially if they are on the field the majority of the time due to a Loeffler led offense struggling to open the game. Making matters most interesting is the fact that former QB Braxton Miller is currently listed on the depth chart as the #1 punt returner for the Buckeyes.

Both the Buckeyes and the Hokies started freshmen kickers last season, the Buckeyes with Sean Nuernberger and VT's Joey Slye. Based on the numbers Slye has the edge after being able to convert 20 of 28 field goals last season whereas Nuerberger went 13 of 20. What Nuerberger lacks in accuracy in comparison to Slye, he makes up for in experience hitting big kicks when it matters most, case in point going 2/2 in the semifinals against Alabama on their way to a national championship. I can see the Buckeyes holding a 7 point lead late in the 4th quarter and Bud's defense is making a huge key play on third down which leads to Nuerberger being confronted with a 42 yard field goal to make it an insurmountable two possession game or the Hokies have hope after a missed field goal with one last possession to tie it up.

Sadly, in my completely out of body, unbiased opinion I do think he hits that kick and it breaks all of VT nation's heart or maybe I'm just saying this for an elaborate reverse jinx. Only time will tell how the game plays out but if Frank has one last Beamerball trick up his sleeves, save it for Monday night.