Sure, the 390 yards total rushing by Navy last Saturday against Ohio State was impressive. But for Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, the stat equally as important was what the Buckeyes did.
After trailing 7-6 at halftime, Ohio State stormed past the Midshipmen, en route to a 34-17 win. What jumped out to Foster was that after rushing for just 66 yards in the first half, the Buckeyes ran for 128 in the second.
And equally as impressive was the play of redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett. Thrust into the starting role after the season-ending torn right labrum to senior Braxton Miller, Barrett completed 12 of 15 passes for 226 yards, two touchdowns and an interception to go along with 50 yards rushing against Navy. Barrett's play certainly gives Foster plenty of reason to be ready for a balanced and still potent attack.
"I know they were a little bit disappointed in the first half of the Navy game, but they came out in the second half and probably rushed for about 200 yards in the second half," Foster said. "That's where I'm comparing them to a Georgia Tech. They spread you out, but they wanna run the ball. They rushed for 308 a game last year. That's pretty impressive."
As was pointed out to Foster this week, it's not often that he faces an offense for the first time. And with the ability to run and pass, Foster has plenty to guard against.
"It's a challenge and it's exciting," he said. "They've done a great job. The guy has been good wherever he's been, at Utah, Florida and Bowling Green and now he's at Ohio State. At each place, they've had a dynamic quarterback. They lost their dynamic guy, but this guy's not far behind. He's played one game under his belt, but he's the same guy. He's Braxton Miller as a redshirt freshman. I just want you guys to know, that's who he is."
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