Ohio State at Virginia Tech
When: Monday at 8:00 ET
Consensus Line: Ohio State -12
Revenge is the key to this game.
Even though Ohio State ended the season by winning a National Championship, you have to believe Urban Meyer is constantly reminding his players what happened in early September last year. In JT Barrett’s second start, Virginia Tech upset Ohio State and appeared to derail the Buckeyes hopes of making the College Football Playoff.
Barrett improved as the season went on to put Ohio State in the Playoff conversation. When he went down in the final game of the regular season with an injury, Cardale Jones stepped in and led Ohio State to three wins as a starter. Now the Buckeyes are a good problem as they decide between starting Barrett and Jones with Braxton Miller moving to wide receiver.
Virginia Tech peaked last season against Ohio State. They dropped their following two games at home to East Carolina and Georgia Tech. Frank Beamer’s team also lost at home to Miami and Boston College, and embarrassingly lost by a final score of 6-3 in double overtime against Wake Forest. Quarterback Max Brewer will try to improve on a shaky 2014 where he threw 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
Another reason to like Ohio State in this game is because of the line value based off suspensions to Ohio State players. The Buckeyes were a 16-point favorite when the line was released in late June. It dropped immediately after Joey Bosa and three other players got suspended for the game. For most college teams, losing players like that would be a huge loss but Ohio State has the depth to replace all the players involved. The team might even rally around the suspended players, which creates more line value. Lay the points with the defending National Champions on Monday.
Pick: Ohio State -12