Ohio State began the 2015 season in sterling fashion in Blacksburg, Va., defeating the Virginia Tech Hokies 42-24. The game was hyped by Ohio State fans as a revenge game, as Virginia Tech was the lone team to defeat the Buckeyes in 2014. The game also was noteworthy as four key Ohio State players (Joey Bosa, Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall, Corey Smith) were suspended for the season opener, leading the college football world to wonder what type of effect the suspensions would have upon the Buckeyes.
Below are five thoughts that crossed my mind as I watched Ohio State defeat Virginia Tech...
1. Braxton Miller Is Just Getting Started
The dazzling highlights Miller produced against the Hokies are reminiscent of some of the plays he was able to create during the 2012 and '13 seasons. Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer will do whatever possible to get Miller the ball in space, as his agility and speed can be used in a variety of ways in this offensive attack.
2. Ohio State's Defensive Line Will Be Better
The suspension of Joey Bosa impacted Ohio State's defensive line, as both Sam Hubbard and Jalyn Holmes had opportunities to play in Bosa's absence. With Bosa returning, this should open up opportunities for other players to emerge, as Bosa will be demanding double teams from the opposition.
3. Cardale Jones May Offer More Risk At Quarterback
It was somewhat surprising that Jones was named the starter at quarterback. Jones' superior arm strength may open up the offense more in the vertical passing game, but it will bear watching as the season progresses how he develops, as J.T. Barrett will continue to get playing time this season.
4. Ohio State Needs To Take Care Of Turnover Issues
Against Virginia Tech, Ohio State suffered three turnovers (a Jones interception, a fumbled punt by Ezekiel Elliott, and a Bri'onte Jones fumble). This pattern of turnovers also was on display last season versus Alabama and Oregon. So far, the turnovers have not resulted in Ohio State losing a game, but it must be concerning to Meyer that his team has not been able to take better care of the football.
5. Ohio State Showed It Can Take A Punch
Falling behind at the half, Ohio State did not panic or go into a tailspin. Being able to focus, and rally on the road against a quality Virginia Tech team, was a positive sign for the fans as the 2015 season began.
— Written by Chip Minnich, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a diehard Ohio State fan. Minnich also writes and podcasts for menofthescarletandgray.com, a site dedicated to Ohio sports with a special emphasis on the Buckeyes. Follow him on Twitter @ChipMinnich.