Frank Beamer has engineered some brilliant wins – and some brilliant upsets – in his illustrious coaching career, but this past Saturday was pretty special. The Virginia Tech Hokies rolled into Columbus and upset No. 8 Ohio State, 35-21, handing Urban Meyer his first home loss as Buckeyes coach.
So, where does that victory rank among Beamer’s all-time wins?
“It’s up there for sure,” the Hokies head coach said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Ohio State’s a very talented team, a very well-coached football team. Our kids went up there, played great. I thought our coaches really coached well, so that’s a good combination. We came out of there with a win. But the thing we’re doing right now is concentrating on East Carolina. You kind of have to go on. If we don’t show up and play well against East Carolina, the win over Ohio State won’t mean a lot. That’s all we’ve got to get done.”
No. 17 Virginia Tech (2-0) hosts East Carolina (1-1) this Saturday at 12 p.m. ET. As of now, the Hokies don’t play another rank team the rest of the way, but their win over the Buckeyes should go a long way among national pundits.
In fact, Doug Gottlieb wondered if Beamer felt like his program had returned to national prominence even before that win.
“I think it remains to be seen,” Beamer said. “I like this football team, though. I think we got some very, very good young talent. Michael Brewer has more talent around him (than Logan Thomas had). The thing we’ve run into the last couple years is we just haven’t been able to run the ball very well. I think we’re in much better shape to do that.”
Virginia Tech’s ground game against Ohio State was by no means jaw-dropping – the Hokies rushed 41 times for 125 yards (3.0 yards per carry) – but they made plays when they had to. The aforementioned Brewer was steady – going 23-of-36 for 199 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions – and a 63-yard pick-six by Donovan Riley sealed the deal with 46 seconds to go.
Yes, Bud Foster’s defensive scheme – which didn’t include a whole lot of safeties – limited Ohio State to 108 rushing yards (on 40 attempts, no less) and forced three interceptions.
“We kind of got our corners out there on an island, but you trust them out there and try to get pressure on the (quarterback),” Beamer said. “We thought that was the way to go.”
It was – and now the Hokies are sitting pretty.
Beamer was eventually asked about the Ray Rice scandal. After all, one of Beamer’s former players, Michael Vick, was no stranger to controversy and public outrage. How do the two situations compare?
“I think they’re two different situations,” Beamer said. “One of them pertains to dog fighting, and the other one you’ve got human beings (involved). Michael, that was what he grew up (with) in his family. It was accepted. He didn’t realize how serious the dog fighting was. But Michael Vick, he never was an issue, never was a problem. (But) he should have realized how serious it was for dog fighting to take place. That’s what should have happened.”