- Image 1 of 2
- Image 2 of 2
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Frank Beamer believes it's too soon to declare that Virginia Tech is back in the national title picture.
Still, in time, Saturday night's stunning 35-21 upset of No. 8 Ohio State might just mean that Beamer Ball has returned to the spotlight.
"We have to build on this win, go back and learn from it," Beamer said in the crush after the win. "Then be better next week. And if we do that, I think we'll get to be a national team — if we're not right now."
They sure looked like one in primetime.
Before crowd of 107,517 at Ohio Stadium — the largest ever — Michael Brewer threw two touchdown passes and was cool and calm against Ohio State's aggressive defense.
Coordinator Bud Foster's unit sacked Ohio State freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett seven times and picked off three passes — two by Kyshoen Jarrett and another, returned 63 yards for a touchdown in the final minute, by Donovan Riley.
"We're not going to let you get anything cheap," Jarrett said. "We're going to keep the pressure on and earn what you get."
That's pretty much the definition of Beamer Ball, a meld of kick-blocking special teams, defense that forces the issue and offense that plays smart and hangs on to the ball.
The Hokies (2-0) built a 21-7 halftime lead only to watch the Buckeyes (1-1) come back to tie it on Ezekiel Elliott's 15-yard run early in the fourth quarter.
But that's when Tech really showed its grit.
The Hokies took over on their own 35 after Ohio State's kickoff after the tying TD went out of bounds.
Deon Newsome went 22 yards on an end around and Rogers gained 17 more on a reverse on which he faked a pass and then picked his way downfield.
On second and goal from the 10, Brewer fired a low, hard pass to the outside for Bucky Hodges to put Virginia Tech up 28-21 with 8:44 left.
"They made the plays when they needed to," Ohio State safety Vonn Bell said of the Hokies.
Buckeyes defensive lineman Adolphus Washington said it was a tidal wave that came out of Blacksburg, Va.
"Virginia Tech had a roll going from the beginning and it was hard for us to stop them," he said. "They had a lot of things going."
J.T. Barrett, Ohio State's freshman starting quarterback, had played well in last week's come-from-behind, 34-17 win over Navy. For at least a week, he made Ohio State's faithful forget about the loss of two-time Big Ten player of the year Braxton Miller, lost for the season after shoulder surgery.
But the Hokies defense was all over him.
After Tech took the late lead, Jarrett picked off his second interception of the game and then, with less than a minute left, Riley stepped in front of a Barrett throw and raced right in front of the Ohio State bench down the right sideline for the clinching score.
Brewer, meanwhile, handled heavy pressure all day while moving the chains. He was 23-of-36 for 199 yards and the two scores with two interceptions.
"He's tough," said fullback Sam Rogers said. "I have complete trust in him."
After the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Hokies ran to their small section of enthusiastic fans near the closed end of the stadium, smiling, waving and hugging everyone they met.
"Like I told you during the week, I don't like it when (the stadium) is half empty and no one cares," Beamer said in the afterglow of the win. "I think our players like this environment."
Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RustyMillerAP