Michael Brewer Breaks Collarbone; Ohio State Rolls, 42-24


box score (hokiesports.com)

For 30 glorious minutes, Virginia Tech played toe to toe with #1 Ohio State, leading 17-14 at half time. Then the second half started.

Michael Brewer suffered a broken collarbone early in the second half, and that injury helped spark a second-half Ohio State explosion that turned a 3-point half time deficit into a 41-17 fourth-quarter lead. The Hokies scored a cosmetic touchdown late, but never really threatened the Buckeyes in the second half.

The early report on Brewer is that he has a broken collarbone and will be out 4-5 weeks. That would put Brewer’s return for the NC State game on Friday, October 9th at the earliest, or perhaps the October 17th game at Miami. Brewer will have surgery Tuesday, September 8th and could be out as long as eight weeks, per Virginia Tech’s post-game press conference information.

“I put that kid through hell, and he played his tail off today,” offensive coordinator and QB coach Scot Loeffler said in the post-game. “We’re going to rally around Motley. We probably had the best preparation we’ve had around here. We got over the hill, in my opinion, but we had a misfortunate thing happen here. But no one [outside of Virginia Tech] cares. We’re going to rally around Motley … and we’re going to find a way to win.”

Brewer was replaced by Brenden Motley, who went 4-of-9 for 36 yards with one interception and one touchdown, a late pass to Isaiah Ford after the game was well in hand for Ohio State. True freshman quarterback Dwayne Lawson was dressed but didn’t see any action for the Hokies.

Ohio State started Cardale Jones at quarterback, but all three Ohio State QBs put up scores. Jones threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, Braxton Miller started at H-back and caught a TD and ran for a TD, and J.T. Barrett threw for a touchdown after being inserted at QB late in the game.

Cardale Jones
Cardale Jones

OSU tailback Ezekiel Elliott ran for 122 yards on just 11 carries, including an 80-yard touchdown run up the middle in the first quarter. In all, Ohio State scored three touchdowns on plays of 50-plus yards, on their way to 572 yards total offense.

“We ran into an extremely talented football team,” Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster said. “They did a great job against us. We just gave up too many big plays, too many tackles. We weren’t as sharp as we needed to be.”

The Hokies had 320 yards of offense, but 211 of that came in the first half, as the Hokies ran 36 plays and held the ball for 17:47. Before being knocked out, Brewer was 11-of-16 for 156 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions.

The Hokies were led in rushing by J.C. Coleman with 12 carries for 43 yards, and the Hokies ran for 128 yards on 44 carries. Subtracting out four Ohio State sacks for 22 yards, VT rushed for 150 yards on 40 carries.

Fullback Sam Rogers was a star for the Hokies, carrying 3 times for 23 yards, and catching 3 passes for 66 yards, including an electric 51-yard touchdown catch early in the second quarter that got the Hokies going and made it 14-7, Ohio State.

Sam Rogers scores from 51 yards out for the Hokies
Sam Rogers scores from 51 yards out for the Hokies

Ryan Malleck was VT’s top receiver with 4 catches for 48 yards, but fellow tight end Bucky Hodges was shut out. Isaiah Ford had 3 catches for 61 yards and a touchdown, and Cam Phillips had 2 catches for just 4 yards.

Defensively, the Hokies were led by defensive backs Chuck Clark and Desmond Frye with nine tackles each, and Frye registered Tech’s only interception. Other notable Hokie defenders: Luther Maddy with four tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss, Andrew Motuapuaka with four tackles, and Dadi Nicolas with two tackles. After sacking Ohio State seven times last year in Columbus, the Hokies registered just four tackles for loss in this game, including zero sacks.

Luther Maddy takes down Ezekiel Elliott
Luther Maddy takes down Ezekiel Elliott

Game Recap

The game almost got out of hand for the Hokies in the first quarter. Brewer was sacked twice in VT’s first two possessions, as the Hokies picked up just one first down and couldn’t advance beyond the Virginia Tech 31 yard line. Meanwhile, Ohio State drove 64 yards in 8 plays on their first possession and scored on a 24-yard catch by Curtis Samuel. The Buckeyes faced a 3rd and 21 on that possession, but picked up 16 yards and then converted the following 4th and 5 before scoring on the catch by Samuel.

On OSU’s next possession, Elliott roared right up the middle for an 80-yard TD run on the first play of the possession, making it 14-0 Buckeyes, with 6:39 to go first quarter.

Virginia Tech's Ronny Vandyke pursues Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott.
Virginia Tech’s Ronny Vandyke pursues Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott.

Tech responded by driving from their 35 yard line to the Ohio State 32, and Joey Slye, who made two field goals of 55+ in fall scrimmages, missed a 50-yard field goal from there. Ohio State took over and drove down the field again, appearing to set the table for a blowout when Cardale Jones rushed for a 16-yard TD to put Ohio State up by three touchdowns. But the Buckeyes were flagged for two holding penalties on the play, negating the touchdown, and Buckeye kicker Jack Willoughby missed a 43-yard field goal to give the Hokies a reprieve.

The Hokie offense finally came to life, going 74 yards in 6 plays. On first down from the Hokie 49, Brewer rolled right and threw it back left to an uncovered Sam Rogers, who bolted down the sideline, juked an Ohio State defender at the ten-yard line, and scored to make it 14-7 and fire up Lane Stadium.

That also fired up the Hokie defense, and they registered an interception when Jones rolled left and tried to get the ball over the outstretched hands of Deon Clarke, who tipped it. Desmond Frye came up from the defensive backfield and made a diving interception that held up after replay review.

Tech took over on their own 44-yard line, and moved the ball 27 yards in 7 plays. Slye punched in a 44-yard field goal to make it 14-10.

With 1:30 to go in the half, the Hokies got a huge break when Ezekiel Elliott muffed a punt and Tech’s Anthony Shegog recovered at the OSU 38-yard line. Brewer threw to the end zone but left it short on the next play, but Isaiah Ford came back to catch it at the Ohio State two yard line. Two plays later, on 3rd and goal from the one, Brewer executed another throwback play, this one to a wide-open Ryan Malleck with just 15 seconds left, and Tech took a 17-14 lead into half time.

Lane Stadium was rocking and rolling … but then the second half started.

Ohio State made short work of the Hokies in the second half, scoring 28 straight points, 14 in each quarter. After the Buckeyes “drove” 75 yards in 3 plays and scored on a 54-yard pass play to Braxton Miller, Tech’s Michael Brewer got crushed on a 3rd and 4 play by Ohio State defensive tackle Adolphus Washington. At 6-4, 290, Washington outweighs Brewer (6-1, 198) by almost 100 pounds, and when he hit Brewer and knocked him to the turf right after Brewer released the ball, Brewer landed on his left shoulder, breaking his left collarbone in the process.

With Brewer out and Ohio State leading 21-17, the rest was, in retrospect, a foregone conclusion. The Buckeyes rolled up 305 second-half yards in just 29 plays, highlighted by a Braxton Miller video-game spin move during a 53-yard touchdown run. Miller took the direct shotgun snap, ran left, and created a trail of abandoned jock straps with a spin move that will be featured on ESPN for the rest of the season, any time the Disney network needs an OSU highlight.

“I thought he was really special,” Frank Beamer said of Miller. “I really would have preferred [he] be over there competing for a quarterback job, rather than out there as [an H-back].”

The only second half highlight for the Hokies was a late touchdown pass of 17 yards from Brenden Motley to Isaiah Ford with 1:55 left. Motley escaped pressure and rolled right, then threw back to the middle of the field to Ford, who had gotten lost in the end zone.

Brenden Motley is the man at quarterback for now, and he'll have to improve quickly for the Hokies to have a good season.
Brenden Motley is the man at quarterback for now, and he’ll have to improve quickly for the Hokies to have a good season.

The Hokies won’t have much time to mourn the loss, or Brewer’s injury, as they return to action against Furman on Saturday at 3:30 on ESPN3.

Post-game notes, courtesy Virginia Tech Athletics Communications

  • 1 Ohio State’s visit to Blacksburg marked the first top-ranked team to play in Lane Stadium since Dec. 1, 2001 (Miami), a 26-24 Tech loss to the Hurricanes.
  • The Buckeyes’ also became the first Big Ten school (active) to visit Lane Stadium.
  • Tonight’s matchup marked the first time in last 50 years that the defending national champion opened up the next year with a team it lost to during its championship season. Alabama (2012 champ, Texas A&M) and Miami, Fla. (1983 champ, Florida) are the only schools to face that team in its second game.
  • On Tech’s second quarter kickoff, Trey, Terrell and Tremaine Edmunds all appeared on the field, marking the first time in Tech history three brothers have played for head coach Frank Beamer at the same time.
  • Desmond Frye’s second-quarter interception was the first of his career and pushed the Hokies’ total to 328 since 1996 – the most for any Power Five school.
  • Anthony Shegog’s fumble recovery on a Tech second-quarter punt set was the first fumble recovery of his career.
  • Brenden Motley saw just 23 offensive snaps last year at quarterback and was in for the last 26 plays tonight.
  • True freshmen Adonis Alexander, Tremaine Edmunds, Yosuah Nijman, Steven Peoples and Mook Reynolds all saw action in the opener.
  • For the first time in Tech history (under Frank Beamer), the Hokies wore orange helmets with maroon jerseys.
  • This is the 23rd time the Hokies have worn maroon jerseys with maroon pants. Tech is 12-9 in this combination wearing a maroon helmet and 1-0 with the Hokie Stone helmet.
  • Tech’s announced crowd for the game was 65,632. It’s the school’s first sellout since the 2012 season.


28 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. From Section 31, the Hokies looked as good as we could expect until the obvious crushing of MB. Clearly, the OSU offense had a physical speed advantage over our Hokies at the skill positions, but, our offense was holding its own and kept the Hokies were in this game. The offense has to rally behind Motley, and Coach Foster knows he has to fix some key problems in the LBs. But, it’s just game 1 and that means there’s 5 more tailgates & chances to watch our Hokies.

  2. Regardless of who we point fingers to something is out of whack! We simply have to get the recruits and it all starts with recruiting. The elite which we strive to be get the 4 and 5 star guys. The next coach better be a good recruiter or we will see more of the same. Sucking this up is tough but that is exactly what we have to do. I hate it for the players, coaches and fans but it won’t get better until the recruiting is kicked up several notches. Sometimes the truth hurts.

  3. No need to worry about the colors of the helmets or uniforms any longer. We’ve got some big problems that were exposed last night that need fixing in a hurry. The coaches are going to be earning their money this year!

  4. The problem with our defense is #54 Matuapuaka, watch the tape. He took poor angles, over ran plays, didn’t stuff the holes, went to the wrong hole, missed tackles, etc. I used to think Chris was too hard in his criticism of him, but not after last night. He had 4 tackles, Chase Williams would have had 14. We need to find a middle linebacker quick!!

  5. It is the same old story for you nay-Sayers. Beakers gotta go. Who do do you think brought us here? You are also the same guys that said Brewer had to go and be replaced by Motley. How’s that working for you? You are all so critical of everything on the field and not a one of could these guys jock straps. It is time to rally around the team, not tell them how bad they are. Go Hokies!

      1. Damned autocorrect? More like a damned post.
        Here’s a few cliches for you.
        Be careful you don’t fall off that high horse.
        Can’t stand the heat – stay out of the kitchen.
        Some call them as they see them.

    1. My friend, it is possible to be a loyal and supportive Hokie, yet still point out the deficiencies in this team. It should be perfectly obvious that there is a trend in Hokie football going back at least 3 years and that trend is down. I say this from the perspective of being 71 years old and watching the Hokies play since the early 1960’s, and being a substantial emotional and financial supporter. It is not naysaying to point out what’s obvious. But it may be like wearing blinders to overlook it.

      1. Well I’m 74+ and have been watching the Hokies since the late 50’s. Talk about some lean years. It is not necessary to point out deficiencies. Don’t you think they are aware of them without neophytes constantly pointing them out. Let them play and enjoy the games win or lose. Yeah it’s always better to win, but it’s also good to make a good effort.

          1. Hey, I just appreciate all you OG’s still being around to tell us new guys how it was and how it is now!

            In the big picture, while it hurts, it’s just one game, and at some point in the future, it will get better.

            Thanks for the perspective!

        1. Well said sir! The Hokies gave it a good go and once again suffers a critical injury. My biggest concern, win or lose, was coming out of this game reasonably healthy. I feel real bad for Brewer and hope Motley can step up. There’s a lot of season to go.

  6. I’ll tell you what’s so disappointing — it’s the same old thing. How many games have we lost in the last three years because of the defense giving up multiple big plays? Maryland, Georgia Tech, ECU, to name just a few. I saw missed tackle after missed tackle after missed tackle. This is VT defense? I saw Cardale Jones running through a 6 foot wide corridor whenever he wanted to and nobody wanting to tackle him. I saw receivers running free and wide open all night long. I saw our secondary get juked out of their shorts time and time again. This is a bad defense.

    And another thing — improvement in the offensive line? I saw the same old lousy offensive line. Our running game was just like it has been the last couple of years –lousy.

    And how about returning kickoffs? How many times did we receive the ball in the end zone and run it out to the 12 or so, instead of taking a knee and taking the ball at the 25? Same old thing as last year.

    And — I really hate to say this because I admire the man so much — Coach Beamer’s interview on the radio after the game was awful — rambling, sounding tired, sounding totally out of sync.

    Now, look at the recruiting for next year, the 2016 commits — 3 stars every one.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the state of Virginia Tech football is bad.

    1. Don’t agree with most of your lament. OSU is loaded with 5 star athletes, and future NFL players! They are really, really good. They beat Oregon in the national championship game 42-20. You are correct about kickoff runbacks out of the end zone … just stupid, same as last year.

      I was very impressed with Tech’s discipline. Other than the 30 yards (?) of pass interference calls, illegal procedures and offsides were almost non existent.

      1. I totally agree. When was the last time we had good offensive execution (for the most part) and not-so-great defensive execution? I can’t remember that far back! Yes we lost, but as I posted below, who knows how that game ends if Brewer goes the whole 60 minutes? I do believe that it would have been a lot closer. And that is something to feel pretty good about. Now going forward without Brewer for the next 5 or so games will be a tough road. I hope Loeffler’s up to the challenge!

    2. I feel your frustration…but if performance against OSU is the measuring stick then pretty much every team in the country is going to fall short…often WAY short.

      OSU, especially on offense might be one the best teams in the last decade of college football.

      Fact of the matter is, when Brewer was in we had a fighting chance and it gave our defense time to rest. Once Motley came in and the 3 and out show started it was only a matter of time before the defense was exploited.

      1. 100% on the money. We may not have won with Brewer, but just a few series with 1-2 first downs would have given the defense 10 minutes to rest and that would have made a big difference. Again, it may not have won us the game, but we wouldn’t have been so tired on defense. A few stops of OSU and 31-17 wouldn’t have been too ridiculous to believe. And I think with Brewer we could have put up another score or two. Remember when he was throwing it, the play calling was really confusing OSU’s Def and we got a few big plays on them. Once they didn’t have to worry about the pass, they just bum rushed us. The one play Motley used his legs lead to an OSU blown coverage for a TD.

    3. Gotta disagree with most of your post. If we are bad as you seem to think, does that make Oregon bad? Because they lost by an almost identical score to OSU in the playoffs last year. Let’s face it – we were playing a team loaded with 5-star talent across the board, with other 4- and 5-star backups to boot. And yet, at halftime we were in that game. Our offensive play-calling was great, our defense was not great but doing a passable job, and there was hope that we could play them tough, if not actually pull out another upset. Then Brewer went down. There’s no way to know how it would have turned out with Brewer going the distance, but I believe that the final score would have been a lot more respectable. Against the undisputed #1 team in the land. Not too shabby in my book.

      So go ahead and continue to rant and rave about the state of our program – I will continue to enjoy the positives and look forward to the future.

      Go Hokies!

  7. Feel sorry for MB. Kid is a warrior but same story different year. He was getting murdered out there.

    We won’t be .500 w Motley.

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