Gobbler Country is your one-stop shop for pre-game Ohio State v. Virginia Tech news! Here are some of the goings on around campus this weekend, and important news from all sorts of aspects around the biggest game Blacksburg has seen since Miami in 2009!
The biggest event in Blacksburg is obviously the game, but Virginia Tech is also going to host three big events: College Game Day, Brett Paisley, and a private event from a couple of Tech Alumni.
The Brad Paisley concert will take place in the Cassel lot starting at 8PM Sunday the 6th with the opening act of Eric Paslay. Brad Paisley will start at 9PM. Parking starts at 5PM at Lots 2, 3, 5, 8, and ADA parking in lot 4. This will close Washington Street from West Campus to Kent Street, and Beamer way from Washington Street to Southgate. Brad Paisley is a 32 time Top 10 single singer and songwriter, with 19 number one hits, 12 million albums, three Grammies, 14 ACM Awards, 14 CMA awards, and two AMA awards. He's a member of the Grande Olde Opry, and with songs like ‘He Didn't Have To Be', ‘We Danced', ‘I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)', ‘Mud on the Tires', ‘She's Everything', and ‘The World', it should be a great time in our little ‘burg. Please visit HokieSports.com for more information.
College Game Day- or rather, a shortened version, College Football Countdown- will visit Blacksburg as well, with Rece Davis, Desmond Howard, and David Pollack making up the ESPN contingent. It'll start at 7PM. This is the seventh time ESPN's flagship college football presentation will have visited Blacksburg, the last time being the ECU game in 2007. Please visit HokieSports.com for more information.
Lesser known is the return of two VT DBU alumni to Blacksburg for an autograph signing event. Two members of the Washington Redskins, Deangelo Hall and Kyshoen Jarrett, are coming down Tech to enjoy the pregame with fans and sign memorabilia. Please visit their site for ticket purchases. Tickets include 1 guaranteed signature from both players. Tickets are $20 online and $25 at the door.
Frank Beamer and Urban Meyer are good friends, and Virginia Tech and Ohio State have had a relationship between coaches and players going back to Jim Tressel's time with the team. It came as no surprise to this writer when it was revealed that Ohio State will also be wearing a helmet decal to remember Alison Parker and Adam Ward, senselessly killed a few days ago. The WDBJ-7 Cameraman Ward was a Virginia Tech graduate, and WDBJ is the Roanoke CBS affiliate, so Parker would often be seen on Virginia Tech area broadcasts. This is a class request from Ohio State and one would hope that all contact between the teams and fans be as classy and respectful. Virginia Tech has a sterling host reputation, and I hope to see that continue.
Ohio State will join Virginia Tech in honoring the memory of two journalists who were tragically killed Aug. 26. pic.twitter.com/fgUtGzOAJf— Jerry Emig (@BuckeyeNotes) September 3, 2015
In terms of the depth chart, we're going to have to wait for gametime to see the starting quarterback for Ohio State. Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes are being tight-lipped about who will see the field ‘first'- JT Barrett or Cardale Jones. Most likely, Virginia Tech will have prepared for both and will see both on the field- all indications are that both will be featured in an effort to confuse the Virginia Tech Defense. Barrett is the greater rushing threat, almost rushing for 1,000 yards on the season last year- and combined with Heisman hopeful Ezekiel Elliot- could prove problematic for Bud Foster's undersized defense. Jones is more of a downfield thrower, and with so many weapons for OSU being either suspended, graduated, or hurt, expect a heavy diet of zone read, option plays, and JT Barrett for most of the game to play to their best advantage. Last year Barrett was inexperienced and their offensive line wasn't much better. This year they've got a national championship and additional starts under their belt.
This is also a huge recruiting weekend, as uncommitted prospects for the 2016 and 2017 class will be visiting from all over the country. The top 2016 recruit I'm looking forward to is 4/3 Star tight end recruit Jovani Haskins from New Jersey. His internal battle is between us and Rutgers, so if we can put in a good impression this week, it would go a long way toward securing his commitment.
Taking My First Official This Weekend Down To Blacksburg VA To Watch The Hokies Do There Thing! 66K Strong! pic.twitter.com/rCqY8gugaJ— Jovani Haskins (@Nani_2_) September 3, 2015
Other recruits visiting include 2016 recruit and current UVA commitment Nick Grant from Courtland(teammate of current Virginia Tech commitment Victor Greene), and 2017 recruits Keyshawn Johnson (yes, son of THAT Keyshawn Johnson) and Darnay Holmes from California, DJ Matthews and Shaun Wade (a former teammate of Isaiah Ford) from Florida, Madison Cone from North Carolina, Chase Young from Maryland, and Darnell Ewell from Norfolk, VA. All are currently projected to go elsewhere, so it would do great things to make a good impression on these young men.
Stay tuned to Gobbler Country for any breaking news on the game!