Ohio State hammered the Hokies Monday night, strolling out of Blacksburg with a 42-24 win.

After a first-half scare that left them trailing by three, the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes scored 28 unanswered points on Virginia Tech en route to a 42-24 win Monday night in Blacksburg. The Buckeyes, with new starting quarterback Cardale Jones calling plays, jumped out to a 14-0 lead. Curtis Samuel hauled in a 24-yard touchdown on the game’s first series, and Ezekiel Elliott added an 80-yard touchdown run on the Buckeyes’ next play from scrimmage. It looked like a blowout was imminent.

The Hokies stemmed the tide in the second quarter, as quarterback Michael Brewer completed a pair of touchdown passes and Bud Foster’s defense stiffened. But Brewer was knocked out of the game with a broken collarbone early in the third quarter, sucking the wind out of a typically loud Lane Stadium crowd. Ohio State quickly took over, with former quarterback Braxton Miller scoring a pair of touchdowns and Jones adding another.

Ohio State, likely still the unanimous top team in the country next week, hosts Hawaii next week. Virginia Tech will play host to Furman Saturday.

Three things to know

1. Cardale Jones is the OSU quarterback. Urban Meyer had been tight-lipped about his quarterback choice until Monday’s first offensive series.  He chose Jones, and there was nothing about Monday’s performance that should make Meyer second-guess that decision. Jones finished the night with 186 passing yards and two touchdown passes, along with 13 carries for 99 yards and another score. When asked to rate his quarterback’s performance at halftime, Meyer said, “Cardale’s doing okay, but we might get the other one ready, too.” But while J.T. Barrett was impressive in fourth-quarter mop-up duty — his first two plays were a 40-yard run and a 26-yard touchdown pass — Meyer is not known for changing quarterbacks on a whim. Jones did enough to win the job in August, and likely did enough to keep his spot Monday night.

2. Braxton Miller has embraced his new role. One quarterback who won’t be under center — except for the occasional Wildcat, at least — is Miller. The two-time Big Ten Player of the Year was Ohio State’s most destructive weapon on Monday, running six times and catching two passes for 140 total yards and two touchdowns. The second touchdown came with a PlayStation-worthy spin move that dropped jaws across the country. Miller might not be under center anymore, but he could still be the Big Ten’s most dangerous player.

3. The Hokies need help. Aside from the second-quarter outburst that won them a 17-14 halftime lead, it was a bad night for Virginia Tech. The Hokies looked physically outgunned early, and it only worsened once Brewer left the game. Virginia Tech now faces the prospect of five weeks without its starting quarterback and inexperienced junior Brenden Motley under center (fortunately, there isn’t much beyond a trip to East Carolina and a home game against Pitt to concern the Hokies during that stretch). With the heat under Frank Beamer’s seat only increasing, it could be the worst possible time for the Hokies to tackle injury problems.

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