Ohio State – Virginia Tech Football Pick

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Ohio State

vs.

Virginia Tech

College Football Pick

9/7/15

An early loss to Virginia Tech was seemingly a thorn in Ohio State’s side all season long in 2014, although it didn’t end up mattering as the Buckeyes eventually made the Playoff and won it all. Now on their quest to win back-to-back Championships, Ohio State has to face the Hokies again, this time on the road. Still, the Buckeyes are a -12 point favorite at 5 Dimes.

Braxton Miller isn’t competing for the quarterback job anymore, but Urban Meyer still doesn’t know who he’s going to use this season between Cardale Jones and JT Barrett (or at least that’s what he’s told the media). In fact, both QBs could see action in the first few Games of the year until one of them separates from the other. Both are good in their own right and it probably won’t matter which one is behind center for the Virginia Tech defense.

The Buckeyes return tons of guys on both sides of the football and that’s a main reason they are national title favorites again. Miller has supposedly looked great in his new H-back role in practices, and he’ll join stud Ezekiel Elliott (1,878 yards, 18 TDs) and Curtis Samuel in the backfield. The offensive line returns Four starters from a group that dominated good defenses late last year, so not much drop-off is expected. Speedster Devin Smith is gone in the receiving Game, but Michael Thomas and Jalin Marshall should be just fine for this team.

The Hokies also return a lot of guys from last year’s group, especially on defense, but stopping Ohio State’s offense won’t be easy. It’s hard to look at last year’s Game as proof that they can because that Buckeye team was a lot different than the one that finished the year.

At the least, Virginia Tech returns its entire defensive line, which will be super important in this Game. Their secondary may be their biggest question, so it’ll be interesting to see if Jones or Barrett are forced to throw, and how that will go.

The offense is the problem for Virginia Tech, though, and that’s nothing new. Offensive coordinator SCot Loeffler came in with big plans for this group a couple years ago, but at times last year, this offense was downright awful.

There should at least be improvement with a lot of starters returning. Michael Brewer had a disappointing first year at quarterback, totaling just 18 TDs and 15 INTs, but he’ll get back all his weapons. That includes running back JC Coleman, as well as his top pass-catchers in WRs Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips, and tight end Bucky Hodges.

Of course, Ohio State’s defense is also a bit better than they were a year ago with Joey Bosa back leading the group. They lost a couple guys to the NFL, but return seven starters in all and still have NFL talent in the lineup.

The only way Virginia Tech can cover this Game is if their offense can show any kind of improvement from last year. Otherwise, this Buckeyes team is just too good with almost the same exact team that they had a year ago when they carved through the best teams in the country. Michael Brewer has a lot on his plate and must produce for the Hokies. If not, Ohio State could win big. But then again, this is an experienced Virginia Tech squad at home under the lights in a Monday night Game, with a line that favors last year’s champion.

Our Pick – Plenty of motivational angles to look at here. For the Hokies, it’s a home Game on Monday Night under the lights with the nation watching and a chance to take down the national champs as they did a year ago. That’s big.

For the Buckeyes, they get the opportunity to right the only wrong on their Schedule from a year ago. R-E-V-E-N-G-E!

Ultimately, talent will decide this one and Ohio State has more of it. Both teams return plenty of starters from a year ago so we let Our model crunch the numbers. If we take ALL the data from a year ago, Our model says Ohio State wins by a score of 32-20. So, right about on the nunber.

However, if we take the stretch run, the LAST 7 GameS ONLY from last year, the model tells a different story. Using that data, the model says Ohio State 40 Virginia Tech 14. That’s a testament to Urban Meyer and the improvement of his Buckeyes from start to finish last year. Virgini Tech went in the opposite direction. Ohio State -11

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