BLACKSBURG, Va. — The old Tyvis Powell was good. The new, slightly modified Tyvis Powell can be even better, according to Powell himself.
Powell, who started his 17th consecutive game at safety for Ohio State on Monday night against Virginia Tech, has been almost as well known for his humorous observations as for his big plays.
But he says he has decided to get more serious this year once the game kicks off.
“I have definitely taken a more serious approach when stepping on the field. I still do crack some jokes but it is at the right time. Back in the day, it was always a joking, laughing matter with me but now I’ve grown up some more and matured a lot,” he said.
“I pick the right times to joke, which would be maybe after we’re not on the field, we’re on the sidelines and we’re just talking. Back in the day I was still joking when we were on the field.”
Powell had four interceptions and was fourth on the team in tackles with 76 last season.
Maybe his most memorable play was knocking down a pass on a two-point conversion attempt to preserve a 42-41 win over Michigan in 2013.
HIGH HOPES: Sophomore defensive end Tyquan Lewis could be ready to have a big season, defensive line coach Larry Johnson says.
“I think he has a great future ahead of him. He’s just a young kid. This will be his first time playing a lot of football. But I think he’s ready for it,” Johnson said.
Lewis, a sophomore from Tarboro, N.C., was a four-star recruit who earned more playing time late last season.
“He can play the run as well as rush the passer. That’s a different dimension. I think that’s what makes Joey (Bosa) special. He’s not one dimensional. Tyquan is the same kind of player. Now if you turn your protection just to take care of Joey, Tyquan can give you that much struggle on the backside too. I think he has a chance to be really special,” Johnson said.
WEARING THE COLORS: Virginia Tech asked fans to create an “Orange Effect” by wearing orange to Monday night’s game.
It also has schedule a “White Effect” game Sept. 12 against Clemson and a “Maroon Effect” game on Oct. 24 against Duke.
SEASON TICKETS: Season tickets for Virginia Tech’s six home games cost $350, slightly more than half of what Ohio State’s seven-game season ticket package cost.
LOTS OF EXPERIENCE: At 68 years old, Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer is the fourth-oldest Division I head football coach.
The only older coaches are Kansas State’s 75-year-old Bill Snyder, South Carolina’s 70-year-old Steve Spurrier and Ohio University’s 70-year-old Frank Solich.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.