Things looked dicey at halftime, but the Ohio State Buckeyes bounced back from some self-inflicted wounds and pummeled a game Virginia Tech team in the second half to win, 42-24. The win avenges Ohio State’s only loss from last year.
This was a good win on a number of levels. The quarterback controversy is finally over. Urban Meyer went with Cardale Jones as the starter, and Jones played a pretty good game, throwing for two TDs (against one tipped interception) and rushing for almost 100 yards and another touchdown. Equally important, for the first half, at least, Ohio State didn’t look like the invincible juggernaut that a lot of people were touting. The OSU coaches will have a lot to talk to the team about after this win, because there is definitely room for improvement.
Virginia Tech is not an easy place to play for a visiting team, and when the Hokies took the lead just before halftime before a roaring home crowd, some teams might have folded — but not Ohio State. They obviously have a lot of leadership (something Urban Meyer consciously tries to instill in his players) and a lot of talent, and you saw no panic on the Buckeye sideline. A few dazzling Braxton Miller plays later, and OSU was on top and pulling away. The fact that the Buckeyes’ defense knocked the Hokies’ starting quarterback out of the game didn’t hurt, either. (The drop-off in talent between Virginia Tech’s starter and back-up just shows, again, how special the performance of Ohio State’s QB back-ups was last year.) By the end of the game, a bunch of Buckeye back-ups were on the field, getting game reps in a hostile environment — something that also will probably pay dividends in the future.
In all, a nice, solid win in a tough venue that had its character-building elements as well. It’s not a bad way to start the season. Bring on Hawaii!