Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer chose to go with quarterback Cardale Jones as his starter tonight and it ended up being a very good decision. Jones and the Buckeyes were able to shred the Virginia Tech Hokies en route to a huge 42-24 victory.
The first half wasn’t pretty for the Buckeyes and Virginia Tech led 17-14 at halftime, but Ohio State made the necessary adjustments and came out in impressive fashion in the second half.
Virginia Tech suffered a major blow to their chances in the second half when starting quarterback Michael Brewer was forced out of the game after taking a huge hit. It was later announced that Brewer will have to undergo surgery due to a broken collarbone and will miss at least five weeks.
VT QB Michael Brewer says 4-5 weeks after left collarbone surgery tomorrow, he tells Heather Cox
— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) September 8, 2015
Ohio State ended up winning the second half 28-7 over the Hokies, which was obviously them making a point that they belong at the top of the nation in the rankings.
Jones came through with a monstrous performance for the Buckeyes, completing nine of his 18 passes for 186 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also picked up 99 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Virginia Tech tried to force Jones to beat them on the ground instead of a heavy dose of Ezekiel Elliott, but Jones was able to make them pay for it.
Elliott did come through with a big game for Ohio State as well, picking up 122 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
Perhaps the biggest story of the game was the play of converted wide receiver Braxton Miller. He had played the quarterback position throughout his entire career, but decided to change to wide receiver in order to stick with the Buckeyes.
Miller ended up picking up 62 yards and a touchdown on the ground, while also catching two passes for 78 yards and a touchdown.
It's not even fair. pic.twitter.com/cd6bh2fVMT
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) September 8, 2015
Virginia Tech came through with a very strong showing as well despite the injury to their starting quarterback. If he hadn’t gone down for the game, it is very possible that the Hokies would have hung in with the Buckeyes longer and had a chance to come away with a win. That can’t be proven, but the Hokies were playing extremely well before the injury occurred.
Despite that fact, the Buckeyes were able to make the plays in the second half to come away with a blowout win on the road. They cant be happy with the way that they played in the first half, but the win cannot be taken away from them.
J.T. Barrett was able to come into the game to replace Jones at quarterback for Ohio State in the fourth quarter and promptly picked up a 40-yard run and 26-yard touchdown.
Looking ahead at the rest of the season, both teams should be very encouraged with their play tonight.
They were both able to execute their game plans very well and the first half was extremely close. Both Urban Meyer and Frank Beamer know the needs that their teams have moving forward and can make the necessary changes throughout the next week.
All of that being said, Ohio State definitely made a point this evening after the slow start. They are without question the top team in the nation and have to be respected as such moving forward.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports