Russell Athletic (Orlando, Fla.): Virginia Tech (6-6) vs. Rutgers (9-3), Dec. 28, 5:30 p.m. ET
Why To Watch: The Hokies are trying to stave off their first losing season since 1992.
Who To Watch (Scarlet Knights): RB Jawan Jamison – Rushed for over 100 yards in six of Rutgers’ first eight games, but suffered a late-season ankle injury that hampered him down the stretch. Expected to be a full-go for the game.
Stat Advantage for Virginia Tech: Passing defense v. Scarlet Knights’ aerial attack – Giving up 204.9 YPG (30th nationally) against Rutgers’ 215.2 YPG (83rd).
Stat Advantage for Rutgers: Rushing defense v. the Hokies’ running game – Holding opponents to 105 YPG (11th nationally) to Virginia Tech’s 157.8 YPG (64th nationally).
What Happens: The Hokies are almost a field goal-favorite, despite the disparity in records. Rutgers stumbled down the stretch, closing by letting an 11-point halftime lead slip through its fingers to lose out on an Orange Bowl trip against Louisville at home, 20-17. Both teams are led by defense (both top-25 in total D), with offenses that have struggled with consistency. The key, though, is consistency for the Hokies, and they haven’t shown much of it this season – playing up to competition like FSU (28-22 loss) and getting drilled by Pittsburgh (35-17). Maybe this ACC season has soured my outlook, but Frank Beamer’s boys are one of a few teams that need to prove something this bowl season.
The Picks: Brandon Rink – Rutgers 24-20; Griffin Wong – VT 24-20; J.J. Greenstein – VT 26-23; W. Gustin Vandiford – Rutgers 27-17.