Michael Brewer saw Virginia Tech as an elite program growing up.
The transfer from Texas Tech is now the Hokies' starting quarterback,
and he'll have a chance to help show Virginia Tech is still an elite
program on Saturday night when the Hokies take on No. 8 Ohio State at
The Hokies are no stranger to the big stage, but have struggled to
show they belong in recent years. Since winning 10 of 15 games against
ranked opponents from 2008-11, they have lost six of the last seven.
Brewer figures they could change that in one night. The Buckeyes
(1-0) have won 25 consecutive regular season games, longest in the
nation, and 64 in a row at home against unranked non-conference foes.
"That would be huge," he said. "It's going to be a tough matchup. We
know that going in, but I'm excited about the challenge and the task at
hand. This is what college football is all about."
The Hokies showed signs of more consistent offense in their 34-9
victory against William & Mary in the opener, with Brewer connecting
on 23 of 30 passes for 251 yards with two touchdowns and an
They also made plenty of correctable mistakes that kept them from doing much more, Brewer said.
"Being able to continuously move the ball forward and not shoot
ourselves in the foot and move it backwards is going to be a big part of
this game for us, as well as being opportunistic," the redshirt junior
said this week. "When there's a chance to make a big play, we've got to
The meeting will be the first between the schools, and Buckeyes
linebacker Darron Lee said seeing Brewer in the pocket will be a welcome
relief for the defense after opening against Navy's run game.
"I'm sure the D-line's really happy that they get to pass rush now as
opposed to taking on double-teams all day," Lee said. "It's a bit of
relief, not so much a specific job description as it was for Navy."
Hokies coach Frank Beamer, in his 28th season, has long believed that
a team makes it largest improvement from week one to week two, and
going from an FCS school to the Buckeyes requires it.
"Their defensive front, I'm not sure anybody's better in the
country," Beamer said, adding that Ohio State, across its depth chart,
"certainly has the talent of a national championship team."
While the Hokies have had high profile early season games recent
years against Alabama in 2009 and 2013 and third-ranked Boise State in
2010, some of the players will be new to the Saturday night stage.
Beamer hopes getting their jitters out against the Tribe will prove valuable.
"I think for a young team ... largest crowd we've ever played before,
we'll see how they respond," he said. "But last week was a good opening
game for them, and now this week it's another step."
Kendall Fuller knows the tradition as the youngest of four brothers
to play for the Hokies, all during the period when they rose from
also-ran status to one of the consistently elite teams in the nation.
The sophomore cornerback expects his teammates to be just as excited as he will be.
"It's definitely going to be fun, something we're all looking forward
to, playing a team like that that's been successful over the years with
a great environment and great college atmosphere," he said.