Buckeye Leaves: Virginia Tech

Ohio State wasn't able to win its home opener Saturday night vs. Virginia Tech but some Buckeyes still stood out in the 35-21 loss. Here's BSB's players of the game in this week's edition of the Buckeye Leaves.

Ohio State fell at home for the first time in the Urban Meyer era as Virginia Tech posted a 35-21 victory, but we still have our players of the game that we're giving Buckeye leaves to.

Kane Anderson: With regards to a gutsy performance by J.T. Barrett and strong showings by the starters on the defensive line, I’m going with Mike Thomas as my player of the game. Thomas was the only person who seemed to consistently do his job offensively. He was the only skill player who could make plays throughout the game. He is the only offensive player I left feeling good about after this game. He could be the true number one receiver this team has been lacking for so long. Hopefully he can continue to improve after being pretty involved these first two games.

Ryan Ginn: On a day when not many players stood out, I thought sophomore defensive end Joey Bosa had a solid performance. His numbers alone stood out – two tackles for loss 19 yards and a forced fumble – but the way he went about accomplishing those plays was a sight to behold. When he’s at his best, he’s unblockable. The defensive line seemed like it was always on the cusp of sacking Brewer only to let him out of their grasp, but Bosa made a handful of plays and certainly did his part.

Matthew Hager: There wasn’t much to be excited about on defense for Ohio State, but I’ll give my Buckeye leaf to sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa. His sack of Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Brewer, which led to a fumble and eventual game-tying touchdown, seemed like it was going to be the play of the game when it happened. That did not work out, of course, but Bosa still had a very solid night with two tackles for loss and a 1½ sacks.

Marcus Hartman: Michael Thomas provided a much-needed spark when he caught a slant pass from J.T. Barrett and raced 53 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. The score brought the Buckeyes within seven points at 21-14 and came after the attack had stagnated for a while. It was also the type of big play made out of something small Urban Meyer has been pining for since he arrived in Columbus. Thomas finished with a game-high 98 yards on six catches.

Jeff Svoboda: OK, he wasn't quite the best player on the field, but I am going to give my Buckeye leaf to J.T. Barrett. His stats were pedestrian (24 rushes for 70 yards, 9-of-29 passing for 219 yards and a TD) but I thought the freshman showed guts in handling a relentless Virginia Tech pass rush as well as receivers who just didn't help him out all that much. For a redshirt freshman, Barrett has some good skills and is cool under pressure, so it will be fun to watch him grow over the years here at Ohio State.

Blake Williams: I would describe the defensive performance as mixed at best for the Buckeyes, but the defensive line consistently got pressure and Joey Bosa made the play that kept Ohio State in the game. With Ohio State trailing 21-14 the sophomore split two blockers to knife his way into the backfield and hammer Michael Brewer, forcing the ball to the turf and into the hands of Rashad Frazier. That play gave Ohio State the ball at the Hokies' 15 and much-needed injection of energy. Had the Buckeyes been able to pull out the win that would be the play remembered for turning the tides.

Who do you think should be so honored? Let us know in the Ask The Insiders forum.


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