Sam Hubbard came to Ohio State as a safety. He played linebacker in practice when he redshirted as a freshman last fall. He had never stepped on a field as a defensive end in his life until Monday.
Hubbard also faced the pressure of replacing the suspended All-American Joey Bosa. He handled that with ease. On the fourth play of the season, Hubbard sacked Virginia Tech’s Michael Brewer for a loss of five yards.
“It was definitely big for my confidence,” Hubbard said. “Nobody knew who I was. I wanted to make my name known. I think that first series really gave me the confidence to do my thing.”
Hubbard finished the 42-24 victory with four tackles. While Hubbard started at Bosa’s spot, sophomore Jalyn Holmes also got a lot of action and finished with six tackles and a forced fumble.
Holmes appeared in 11 games as a freshman. Hubbard hadn’t played since his senior year at Cincinnati Moeller High School.
“I forgot how good playing in a game actually feels after taking a year off last year,” Hubbard said. “It means a lot to me. I’m excited about getting out there and glad I was able to do my job. … This is a pretty big stage. I was nervous but a good nervous.”
Depth chart: Ohio State released its second depth chart Wednesday. Bosa or Hubbard are listed as the starters at defensive end.
OSU lists Braxton Miller as the starter at hybrid back. Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson, who played H-back last season and were suspended for the opener, are listed as backups at wide receiver to starters Michael Thomas, Parris Campbell and Johnnie Dixon.
The depth chart still lists Cardale Jones or J.T. Barrett as the starter at quarterback. Meyer said Wednesday he told Jones two or three days before the game he would start against Virginia Tech. Jones claimed after the game he didn’t know until moments before the offense took the field. Meyer joked that maybe Jones didn’t hear him.
Top performers: Meyer awarded champion grades to Taylor Decker, Chase Farris, Ezekiel Elliott, Curtis Samuel, Adolphus Washington, Raekwon McMillan, Gareon Conley and Tyvis Powell for their performances Monday. Miller was named player of the game.
Spin cycle: Miller’s spin move to free himself for a 53-yard touchdown run in the third quarter did not surprise offensive coordinator Ed Warinner.
“I’ve been around here four years,” Warinner said. “I’ve seen him do all kinds of things when he gets the ball — maybe not that move, but hang around next week and you’ll see something else. He’s dynamic with the ball in his hands. I’ve coached football for a long time. There’s not many like him on the field.”
Miller became the first Buckeye since Ted Ginn Jr. in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl to record a touchdown run and reception of 50 or more yards in the same game.
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