BLACKSBURG- The Virginia Tech Hokies had their spirits lifted on Thursday. Ohio State’s defensive star Joey Bosa is suspended along with 3 others for “Department of Athletics violations”. Running backs Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson as well as receiver Corey Smith are also suspended.
Chances are the Ohio State Buckeyes will be on upset alert. Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreight, and Brad Nessler will likely call this game the biggest chance for a week 1 upset on ESPN’s College Gameday.
However, before anyone gets too excited with dreams of grandeur involving the potential for the biggest upset of the season, it’s important to look at the hurdles Virginia Tech must overcome.
First, the Hokies defense has to stop running back Ezekiel Elliot who will likely rush for 120-150 yards and at least two touchdowns in this game. Elliott was the number one weapon on the Buckeyes offense last year as he ran for 1,878 yards and 18 touchdowns.
The second significant hurdle is putting pressure on Cardale Jones who is the presumed starting quarterback. He is elusive in the pocket and is physical like Ben Roethlisberger. Jones is also capable of running the ball 15 to 20 yards if he sees a hole or the receivers are blanketed.
Can the Hokies stop the new number one receiver Michael Thomas? He caught 54 passes for 799 yards and 9 touchdowns last season.
Thomas caught 11 passes for 119 yards and one touchdown in the college football playoffs against Alabama and Oregon. He no longer has to share receptions with Devin Smith so he will likely post over 1,000 yards and catch at least 7 touchdowns this year.
Ohio State will give up a lot of points without Bosa on the field. Normally, a game like this would end in a blowout but the final score will be relatively close. The Buckeyes will win 45-31.
The Buckeyes will face the Hokies on Monday, September 7th on ESPN.