Russell Athletic Bowl Pick – December 28th
The Scarlet Knights had the Big East title and automatic BCS Bowl Series bid firmly in their grasp but season-ending losses to both Pittsburgh and Louisville ended those dreams. They finished tied for the title at 5-2 straight-up and 9-3 SU overall. Rutgers went 7-5 against the spread and the total stayed UNDER in six of its final eight games.
If they are going to pull off the upset in this matchup it will most likely be behind the play of a defense that ended the regular season ranked fourth in the nation in points allowed. It gave-up an average of just 14.3 points a game and held teams to 13 points or less in eight of its games. Offensively, Rutgers only managed to average 22.4 points a game which was obviously enough to win nine times.
Virginia Tech started the season with two-straight wins including an opening-day 20-17 overtime victory over Georgia Tech as a 7.5-point home favorite. Things went severely downhill from there with just two wins in its next eight games. The final result was a 6-6 SU record that just barely even qualified the team for a bowl. The Hokies were a nightmare to wager on this season with a 3-9 record ATS. The total stayed UNDER in three of their last five games.
This team’s problems this season went straight across the board starting with an offense that struggled to consistently put points on the board to go along with a defense that folded at crucial times of the game. Quarterback Logan Thomas did his best to carry this team with 2,783 yards passing and another 528 yards on the ground, but the overall talent level of the Hokies was the worst in recent memory.
Rutgers comes in to this game as the better all-around team and its defense should be able to keep Thomas in check all day long. This matchup presents a golden opportunity to parlay the Scarlet Knights with the UNDER as either play should prove to be a winner.
Rutgers 20 Virginia Tech 17