A closer look at all position groups and other key factors in our season opener.
Lane Stadium (home of VT Hokies) - a good deal has been made of the noise and the potential impact of the night-time atmosphere. For a team like OSU this should be a non-factor. OSU routinely plays at large and loud stadiums. I look for the crowd to be similar to the Spartan crowd last season. Most key OSU starters have experienced hostile crowds. One key factor - it is game one of the season. Non-factor.
Head Coaching - advantage OSU Offensive Coordinator - advantage OSU Defensive Coordinator - advantage VT (I think this is closer than what it seems)Special Teams Coordinator - PUSH (Beamer ball is legit but OSU had a banner season last year)
Quarterback(s) - advantage OSU Running Back(s) - advantage OSU Wide Receivers - PUSH (Both teams seem to have 1-2 good options, than plenty of unknowns) Tight Ends - advantage VT (Vannett is real solid, but VT simply has more options; this is their team strength) O-Line - advantage OSU Offensive Playmakers - advantage OSU
Defensive Line - PUSH (VT has talent, OSU is inexperienced) Linebackers - advantage OSU (This could be the key to game) Cornerbacks - advantage VT (Thomas will have to get free or be a high-end decoy to get Brax, Samual, etc. free in space) Safeties - advantage OSU
Punter - advantage OSU Place Kicker - PUSH (both teams appear young; kicking hurt us last year in this game) Special Teams (overall) - PUSH
Simple math - OSU 9, Virginia Tech 3, PUSH 5. To me, the PUSHs would heavily have to lean VT for the Hokies to come out on top on this one. Last year, unfortunately for Buckeye fans, that is exactly what happened. VT dominated the PUSHs and outplayed the more talented OSU. Unfortunately for VT, most of our advantages are big advantages namely RB, O-Line, Playmakers, LB.