By Matt McCoy
Saturday night is a big night for the Ohio State football program. Not only do the No. 8 Buckeyes face Virginia Tech in OSU's biggest non-conference game of the season, but they also will welcome several top prospects on what Coach Urban Meyer called the biggest recruiting weekend of the year.
In addition to the recruits, Meyer confirmed that an influential sports figure and well known Buckeye fan is expected to be in the stadium as well....LeBron James.
"It's a big recruiting game and it's a big national audience," Meyer said. "It's Ohio State at night. I call it 'night games Buckeye style' and that stadium is awesome. We've had some great games the last two years at night."
The Buckeyes, under Meyer, have responded big time, in night games at the stadium. In 2012, Ohio State erupted to thump Nebraska 63-38 in prime time and last season, the Buckeyes won 31-24 over Wisconsin, and 63-14 over Penn State at night.
The game Saturday night is the first time Ohio State and Virginia Tech have matched up. It's also the first time Meyer will coach against Hokies head coach Frank Beamer, though the two know each other well. In fact, Meyer calls Beamer a good friend.
The two met when Meyer was an assistant coach at Notre Dame and was made the Irish's special teams coordinator. To find out more about improving special teams, he sought out Beamer, well known as a special teams guru.
"I talk football with him and special teams," Meyer said. "1998 was the first time I became engrossed on the kicking game and that was because of coach Beamer.
Beamer is in his 28th year at Virginia Tech and developed a national program thanks to superior defense and special teams.
"In the old days the punt return was you went and hope for a fair catch and get the ball back," Meyer said. "He was the guy that just started storming the castle, blocking punts and just being really aggressive. Back in the day, and even recently, they would win games because of that."
In addition to Beamer, Meyer has some familiarity with the Virginia Tech staff because of his connection to Hokie offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler.
In Meyer's final two seasons at Florida (2009-10), Loeffler served as the Gators quarterback coach.
"He's very knowledgeable and he's a great guy and great coach," Meyer said. "How does that help us?, I don't (know)...I've not spent a lot of time watching their offense. I've got enough issues (preparing for the Virginia Tech defense)."
To listen to all of Coach Meyer's comments following Wednesday's practice click here: