Hokies upset Ohio State 35-21


With 30 minutes left to play Saturday night, Virginia Tech was leading the No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes by 14 points and was within sight of the first road win in program history over a top-eight program.

With 15 minutes left to play, the lead was cut to seven; three minutes later it disappeared completely.

Not rattled by the change in momentum or by the largest crowd in Ohio Stadium history, Michael Brewer, the poised first-year Tech quarterback, orchestrated a drive midway through the 4th quarter.

Two minutes and 56 seconds after taking possession in the tied ballgame, Brewer silenced the revitalized Horshoe, connecting with tight end Bucky Hodges in the corner of the end zone to retake the lead for Tech with 8:44 left.

The touchdown extended the Hokies’ lead to seven, and they eventually won 35-21.

“We talked all week, you got to be able to ride the waves,” Brewer said. “Don’t get to high, don’t get too low because whoever can stay level-headed and just keep plugging away consistently throughout the game was going to win this game, and I think we did a pretty good job of that.”

Hodges was flagged for an excessive celebration penalty for celebrating with what he called the “shmoney dance”, putting the then-seven point lead in jeopardy by giving Ohio State excellent field position on the ensuing kickoff.

“He’s got an appointment with me Wednesday morning at 6 a.m.,” Frank Beamer said about Hodges’ punishment for the penalty. “We’ll check his dance moves out then.”

Ohio State’s redshirt freshman quarter J.T. Barrett was trying to stage dramatic drive of his own in the final minutes, but when Barrett was forced to hurry a throw for what seemed like the hundredth time on the night, his bail sailed into the arms of cornerback Donovan Riley. Riley returned it 63 yards to the end zone for the exclamation point on the upset victory.

“I wanted to be the dagger in their heart,” Riley said.

Brewer’s controlled confidence that led Tech on that final drive was a shock to no one watching. The Texas Tech graduate, despite being under constant pressure from a Ohio State defensive line that had its way most of the night with the Tech front five, was 23-for-36 for 199 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

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He led an offense that converted on nine of its 17 third downs, including its first five, and twice converted a pair of 10-plus yard third-down situations when throwing from inside his own end zone. He connected with seven different receivers, including six of them multiple times.

“I like that guy. I really like that guy,” Beamer said of Brewer. “He does a lot of good things out there. I think he’s a confidence builder for our whole football team, just the way he handles himself and gets us in good plays. He’s a confidence builder.”

After not being sacked once all game a week ago against William & Mary, Brewer took several shots, both in the backfield and down the field gaining positive yards.

After walking into the postgame press conferences a little bit gimpy, Brewer admitted “just about everything” was sore.

The toughness is a trait his teammates praise, though.

True freshman running back Marshawn Williams, who gained 28 yards and scored from 14 yards out, endearingly called his quarterback “a dude.”

The Hokies used nine rushers to gain 165 yards on the ground.

Realizing they were going to be unable to power the ball into the Buckeyes’ defensive line, offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler orchestrated an offense that used plenty of variation – including wildcat, jet sweeps and reverses – to move the ball any way they could. It was successful for 320 yards and 35 points.

For all the pressure that Brewer was under though, he may be thankful he wasn’t the Buckeyes’ quarterback.

In the tough spot of relying on four offensive lineman making their second start to block Bud Foster’s relentless defense, Barrett was fleeing the hot Tech pursuit all night.

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The Hokies dispersed seven sacks amongst six players, and rarely took a play off from sending more rushers than Ohio State could block. Barrett connected on nine of his 29 passing attempts and threw three interceptions.

Several times, especially earlier in the contest, Barrett was able to break containment on the blitzes and earn yardage in chunks, but that didn’t stop the Hokies from going after the quarterback.

On Ohio State’s first scoring drive, Barrett rushed for 61 yards, including two 20-plus yard pick-ups.

“That’s frustrating, but that’s just part of the game,” linebacker Chase Williams said.
“You got a guy like that that’s such a great athlete, he can make plays with his feet, but we did a pretty solid job for the most part.”

“The goal was to shut down the run, and anytime they showed pass we added it.”

Even when the Hokies led by 14 in the second half, they never stopped.

“A lot of people, when they get up, they want to get into a prevent (defense) and keep people in front of you,” Beamer said. “We don’t do that. We try to keep getting after you and keep the heat on.”

After the Hokies took a 21-7 half time lead, the Buckeyes’ comeback started with a missed tackle by cornerback Brandon Facyson alone on an island, which allowed receiver Michael Thomas to score from 53 yards out with 3:01 to go in the third. Six minutes later Ezekiel Elliot scored on a speed option, but in the final drives when Tech needed stops most, the defense responded.

For the first time since 1982, a nonconference unranked team beat the Buckeyes at their place.

“This whole time, people are saying Virginia Tech needs to get back from where they’ve been,” Brewer said, “and how are they going to do that. But behind closed doors we’re all about just taking it one day at a time, and if we do that and prepare like we’re supposed to and play like we’re supposed to, we have a chance to win every game we’re in. And if we do that, I think everybody will be pretty satisfied with that.”

The Hokies return to action next Saturday, hosting East Carolina at noon at Lane Stadium. The game will be televised by ESPN.

— hokiesports.com box score —

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30 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. What a game. I feel like I did 18 years ago in New Orleans. We are so blessed to have Coach Beamer and his tenacity to win. He’s got a potentially special group here. Let’s hope they shelved this one today and get totally focused on a good ECU team. Classic trap game, and the team needs to be ready.

    Going to be fun folks! It’s great to be back in the conversation again, and especially ranked above CLEMSON!!!!!!!

  2. 134022Hokie
    Two of the most critical and best executed blocks late in the game came from Trey Edmonds. He is truly a team player. We cannot wait until you get back to 100%. Go Hokies!!! Tom

  3. Great schemes by defensive & offensive coordinators. Lots of good blocks by backs & receivers. Let’s keep foot on pedal on all opponents. GO HOKIES!

  4. Nice win, been a long time since we felt this way….now…that game is over, let’s get ready for a good ecu team and not get beat from the hangover. Riding the bubble like we are this year, no opportunity for big headed mistakes. Have to keep this young team focused, and committed to hard work = wins. Keep driving hard boys!

  5. I had forgotten how wonderful it is to stay up late watching ESPN run the highlights of a big Hokie win.

    1. My thoughts exactly!! I was up til waaay too late and felt it today!! Good feeling though a bit drained

  6. Signature win…goes without saying. Will/CC, question for you guys…did anyone fell like that there was a clip on Ohio State’s tying TD after Brewer’s fumble? Sure seemed like it to me.

    1. Couple of blocks on that play looked from behind but I didn’t replay it to see what the entire block sequence. A few questionable calls.

      1. More than a few questionalbe calls and spots. Refs were trying to keep OSU in the game. Made the win all the sweeter.

  7. Great to have an offense that did not go to three runs up the middle when they got up seven points – kept doing what was working and playing to win. Solid coaches, solid team, solid play and a very solid win.

  8. Ohio State found little space to run Saturday, gaining 42 yards on 14 designed rushes inside the tackles. The Buckeyes had 4 yards before contact on those runs. The Hokies hit the Buckeyes’ ball carriers at or behind the line of scrimmage on nine of 14 rushes. If we can do that consistently all season, will be a long one for our opponents.

    Kinda chuckle to myself when I think about this team in 2016.

    Mr Sweat and Mr DeBerry, make that a full belly laugh please

  9. Ohio State found little space to run Saturday, gaining 42 yards on 14 designed rushes inside the tackles. The Buckeyes had 4 yards before contact on those runs. The Hokies hit the Buckeyes’ ball carriers at or behind the line of scrimmage on nine of 14 rushes. If we can do this consistently all season, will be a long one for our opponents. I kinda chuckle to myself when I think about this team in 2016. (Mr.Sweat and Mr.DeBerry make that a full belly laugh please).

  10. What a great win for sure and Hokie Nation should take big prided and enjoy this one as it was long overdue! Congrats to CFB & entire coaching staff! They had the team ready to play aggressive all night on both sides of the ball and never let off the gas pedal! Nice to see special teams playing well with our kick coverage staying strong all night! OSU has stud D-line for sure, but Lefty dug deep in playbook and found adjustments…what great balance using so many on O to move the ball down field! Our newly acquired Texas Gunslinger Brewer is the real deal and what a competitor! I’m with CFB on this one!!…let’s keep building on this!!!!
    “In Bud We Trust!”

  11. I was at the game last night….what a feeling!! We have felt the “agony of defeat” way too often, I still can’t believe we won that game. Shout out to OSU fans, they know how to put on a tailgate and they treated us in a 1st class manner, the OSUMB played the VT fight song and formed the VT on the field…. Hats off to Columbus and OSU, let’s make sure we treat them the same way in B’burg next year!!

  12. 50+ years waiting for this signature moment. What a great feeling. Congratulations to Coach Beamer, staff and players for a job well done. What a great way to start the end of Beamer’s career…we’ve lost way too many of these games, maybe winning them now will validate how great a coach he is.

    1. A 5* recruit out of Hermitage HS in Richmond a few years ago. VT was one of his finalists, but he chose OSU. Sound familiar?…stop me if you’ve heard this story before.

          1. Go over to some of the Buckeye boards and some want him benched for the younger faster recent recruit. Oh and they want their OC fired too

    2. yes,I wanted Tech to win in his face for he thought he was too good for us during his recruitment.

  13. We as Hokie fans have been waiting on this to happen. Most of these big Games VT doesn’t get the breaks or calls to go our way. Last Night VT Made the Breaks and played so that they could Win. Heck of a Win for the Team and Frank Beamer and Staff… Proud to be a Hokie Fan..

  14. This was a complete victory by the each member of the team and all of the coaches. The Hokies are definitely back! This win is significant not only because of how we see what could happen over the next 10 (or 11?) games, but also in how we can expect recruiting targets to react and ALSO to hopefully change the minds of other high-end recruits who may have previously written the Hokies off of their consideration list.

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