Ohio State Buckeyes(0-0SU,0-0ATS) vs.Virginia Tech Hokies(0-0SU,0-0ATS)
College Football Week1
Date/Time:Monday Sept. 7, 2015, 8pm ET
byTim B,NFLHandicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:OSU -12/Va.Tech +12
When someone asked ESPN mouthpiece Lee Corso who would win this OSU-Va Tech matchup, Corso dribbled out Millard Fillmore! Hes as tough as they come!nuff said. The Hokies bring back 16 starters from a pretty horrible 7-6 team against the defending National Champion Buckeyes. Ohio State travels to Blacksburg with 3 Heisman Trophy Candidate QBs and 4 returning starters suspended for smoking rope; allegedly! Of all the Week 1 openers this matchup is the most intriguing. Lets take a look at both these teams.
Va Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer does bring back 16 starters from last years 7-6 team and some speculate 16 is a little too much to carry over into 2015. The Hokies did finish the 2014 season 21stin total defense, but the offense under-whelmed their supporters finishing 96thin total offense. Adding to the lethargy of the 2014 Hokie offense, Va Tech was the 109th most penalized team in College Football giving up almost 1,000 yards. So, the Hokies bring back 16 starters who like to play stubborn defense, are woeful on offense, and 16 starters that arent very disciplined. Beamer might be wondering if 16 might be his unluckiest number of all?! Rumors continue that if Beamer doesnt win in 2015, hes out as Boss. Lets look at the Buckeyes.
Ohio State is the 2014 National Champion but MANY things went right for the Buckeyes during their journey; except the 14 Virginia Tech Game! Much has been made of the Bucks 2015 QB race but I say Shake yourself!J.T. Barrett will be the OSU QB throughout 2015 unless he gets hurt; Period! The Bucks were 9thin total offense in 2014, 19thin total defense, 25thin time of possession, 5thin scoring, 2ndin team passing efficiency, 8thin rushing offenseand the hits just keep going and going! Ohio State is highly talented, fast, and exceptionally well coached. This team is a juggernaut statistically and by the looks at the stats Virginia Tech seems to be Name Any MAC School opener for the defending champs. But looks can be deceivingand in this case—Ohio State vs Virginia Tech—I believe looks are not as valuable as personality. Lets take quick glimpse at OSUs personality!
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Anyone who watched Ohio States 2014 march to Mount Olympus must have come away from the experience scratching their heads. Braxton Miller goes down and, after a couple of games to acclimated, J.T. Barrett sets the world on fire. Barrett goes down, the whole Buckeye Conglomerate panics, and Cardale Jones comes in and looks like a world beater! But if you watched those gamesthe games Cardale Jones startedthere is a TON of room for improvement in Jones QB repertoire. Lets talk about it. Jones is a massive human at quarterback routinely running over DBs, Safeties, LBs, and even DTs. What Cardale Jones is not is: Accurate. If anyone is to thank for OSUs 2014 success, it is OSUs WRs. Throw after throw Jones was short, late, or inaccurate and time-after-time OSU WRs would make a spectacular grabNOT in stridecoming back, drifting towards, or out jumping defenders. Four of those receivers are gone for the Virginia Tech game and that is HUGE! Senior Devin Smith graduated last year and WRs Jalin Marshall, Dontre Wilson, and Corey Smith all were busted for getting lifted (allegedly). Thats a lot of firepower left in the bunker and probably explains why Braxton Miller was kicked to the curb (to WR) during spring drills. Also, Ohio State lost Broyles Award Winner and Assistant Coach Tom Herman to the Houston Cougars filling their Head Coaching vacancy. Who is Tom Herman?? Ohhhhh, just a little known Quarterbacks Coach who was in charge of preparing in the same season probably the greatest college quarterback ensemble and story in the history of college football; thats who Tom Herman is! The Buckeyes will most definitely miss Tom Herman in 2015. Additionally, sophomore sensation DT Joey Bosa will be missing in Blacksburg for the same offense as the WRs were charged with (allegedly). If you think Bosa missing isnt big then imagine a defensive line without Reggie White or the great (greatest!) OG LT Lawrence Taylor for a moment?! Bosa was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2014 and a finalist for the Lombardi Trophy! Bosa IS the Ohio State defensive line! Bosa cannot be replaced against Virginia Tech.
In 2014 Michael Brewer walked onto Va Techs campus as a transfer from Texas Tech and had 2 months to learn the playbook. Brewer not only learned the playbook but got the starting nod at QB. One year later, each of those freshman WRs Brewer threw to at Virginia Tech are now sophomores and Brewer has had ample time to swallow the Virginia Tech offensive scheme. I know, Virginia Tech got beat at home by East Carolina last year, and lost 6-3 in double overtime to a horrid Wake Forest team (which may go down as the worst college football game ever played!), but everything was brand new for the Hokies in 2014not so in 2015. Virginia Tech led the nation in 2014 with Running Backs Injured requiring a 7 deep replacement to fill the injury void. Thats the facts! Defensively, the Hokies defensive line are ALL back and being touted as one of the best in the country. Things are definitely different with the 2015 Hokie teamthe same team that waltzed into Columbus and beat the Buckeyes, in front of a home record crowd, at night, 35-21. What the Hokies proved last year is; This team—essentially this SAME team—can P-L-A-Y and finish in 2015.
Im not sure what was a bigger surprise in 2014; the Buckeyes losing to Va Tech or Va Tech beating the Buckeyes in 2014? On Monday night we are going to find out together. Urban Meyer is known for plugging in replacements and getting first-rate performance from whoever he has on the field. Frank Beamer has been known for fielding marginally teams the last few years and his rump is firmly in the Hot Seat in 2015. I believe the Buckeyes will win but this game appears to be a lot closer matchup with the suspensions to Buckeye players and Virginia Techs one year maturity. The home field advantage may, in fact, turn this game into a potential upset. Itll be closeand high scoring! Id stay off the spread though. If J.T. Barrett does not miss a beat from where he was when he got injured, OSU may blow out the Hokies! Im taking the OVER here.
Tim BsPick to Cover the Point Spread:OVER 54. Bet your Ohio St./VT pick for FREE by taking advantage of a giant 50% sign-up bonus at BetOnline!