While it admittedly may be a little early to drink the Kool-aid, think of the VT game this way: one of the best defensive coordinators in the country was able to employ the perfect defense because he knew he would be facing an inexperienced quarterback in his 2nd start and an inexperienced offensive line. Unless JT and the offensive line fail to improve over the course of the season, I don't think we will be seeing that scheme used to that extent, even in a bowl game with an opponent that plays good defense.
Probably the most depressing thing about the game was that the defense made such great plays on 1st and 2nd down, only to have Brewer make miracles happen on 3rd down (must be how other teams felt watching Braxton). Maybe Brewer is a phenomenal athlete and VT will have a terrific year. Time will tell. Their 3rd down conversion percentage was absurd, but last years defense could have conceivably not forced third downs.
The offensive struggles did not surprise me and I think they will get better. The inability of the defense to get off the field on third down and a mile was just terrible. Or to put it another way...
I have made these points before (and been downvoted for it as well :( ), but I think you are dead-on about Withers. Sometimes it seemed like our front 7 and the back 4 were in two entirely different schemes. I'm not sure how much of that was Fickell, but I think a good bit was Withers. I think Meyer "encouraged" Withers to leave, which is why he is at an FCS school despite being an (interim) FBS head coach at UNC.
Even before Withers left, I had heard that the front 7 and back 4 schemes were totally disconnected (which was pretty obvious). I'm actually surprised how few negative comments have come out about Withers. I really believe he was the main problem as opposed to Fickell (though he shares some responsibility). Interesting to see someone mention Mark Snyder. Synder and Withers are easily the worst defensive coordinators at OSU in the past 20 years.
I think it's interesting to note that the first drive where they marched down the field was scripted. My guess would be that the further into the game they get, the more improvising Herman/Meyer are doing, and they happen to be a lot more conservative when they improvise. I am really surprised how much Tresselball we have seen, though.
I watched the 60-min version of the game, and Miller definitely was shaky. I remain concerned that certain hits make Miller go limp and completely lose ball control. Think MSU last year, Wisconsin last week. In all Braxton had 8 fumbles (5 lost) in 2012 (tied for 8th). Maybe that's par for the course for running QBs, as Tahj Boyd had 7 fumbles (3 lost) in 2012. Still Johnny Manziel had 0 last year. At least he was no Taylor Martinez with 16 (!) fumbles (8 lost) in 2012. But at this point, Boyd, Martinez and Manziel have 0 fumbles lost vs. Miller's 2. Still something to work on during the bye week.
Fumbles have been a small but noticable issue for Braxton's entire career, but now it's time to do something about it. On certain plays where Braxton takes hard hits, he just loses all ball control. The Michigan State game last year when the play was ruled dead was a gift. Last week Braxton had two such plays. On one Wisconsin got called for a facemask and on another fortunately he was already down. I haven't checked, but my guess there are about 10-15 similar plays over the past season and a half. Just hoping that they can work on this with him in the bye week.