Friday, December 28, 2012

13-10 OT Win for VT at Russell Athletic Bowl

Betting Line:
The early Russell Athletic Bowl odds listed the Hokies, who just managed to extend their bowl streak to 20 seasons, as 2.5-point favorites over the Scarlet Knights, who were 9-1 but lost their last two games to miss out on the Big East championship. Sportsbooks have the Hokies pegged as 1.5-point favorites in this matchup Friday afternoon. The total, meanwhile, was a low 41.5.

How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Virginia Tech's No. 80-ranked offense (26.1 PPG) against a Scarlet Knights defense that ranks No. 4 at 14.2 PPG. The Hokies passing attack has averaged 234.1 yards per game, more than the Scarlet Knights give up through the air (216.2 YPG on average).

In comparing defenses, the Scarlet Knights own the league's No. 4-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 87.2 yards per game when on the road. Virginia Tech, on the other hand, rates No. 60 this week in generating rushing yards at home.

Washington Post:
But in a game dominated by defense, the Hokies awoke from the dead just in time, defeating Rutgers, 13-10, in overtime to win the Russell Athletic Bowl and avoid their first losing season since 1992.

In a fitting conclusion to the lowest scoring game in this bowl’s history, the winning points came when the Hokies were forced to settle for a 22-yard field goal by place kicker Cody Journell during their first overtime possession. His counterpart, Rutgers redshirt freshman Nick Borgese missed wide right on a 42-yard field goal to end the contest. It was Journell’s third game-winning field goal of the season.

Virginia Tech’s defense was its lone saving grace considering its offense finished with a season-low 196 yards. The Hokies (7-6) kept Rutgers’s offense out of the end zone the entire game, the Scarlet Knights’ lone touchdown coming off a bad snap to Logan Thomas on the second play of the night. Thomas recovered it and appeared to have a knee down in the end zone before the ball was jarred loose and recovered by Rutgers linebacker and two-time Big East defensive player of the year Khaseem Greene.

In what could be his final game in a Virginia Tech uniform, Thomas finished 15 of 39 for 193 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The redshirt junior is considering declaring for the NFL draft, but looked shaky most of the night behind an offensive line that allowed four sacks.

“I still have a big decision in front of me, and either way it goes, I’m glad to be a Hokie,” Thomas said after the game.

Luckily for the Hokies, Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova was even worse. He completed just 17 of his 40 passes for 130 yards as the two teams combined for a Russell Athletic Bowl-record 21 punts. Rutgers (9-4) ended the game with just 197 yards.

Virginia Tech Bowl History:
Year Bowl Team1 Score Team2 Score Team2 Line ATS win
1995 Sugar Bowl Virginia Tech 28 Texas 10 -2 VTECH
1996 Orange Bowl Virginia Tech 21 Nebraska 41 -15.5 NEBR
1997 Gator Bowl Virginia Tech 3 North Carolina 42 -9 UNC
1998 Music City Bowl Virginia Tech 38 Alabama 7 5 VTECH
1999 Sugar Bowl Virginia Tech 29 Florida State 46 -6 FLAST
2000 Gator Bowl Clemson 20 Virginia Tech 41 -6.5 VTECH
2001 Gator Bowl Virginia Tech 17 Florida State 30 0 FLAST
2002 Emerald Bowl Air Force 13 Virginia Tech 20 -11 AIRFOR
2003 Insight Bowl Virginia Tech 49 California 52 3 CAL
2004 Sugar Bowl Virginia Tech 13 Auburn 16 -6 VTECH
2005 Gator Bowl Louisville 24 Virginia Tech 35 -9.5 VTECH
2006 Chick-Fil-A Bowl Virginia Tech 24 Georgia 31 3 GEORGI
2007 Orange Bowl Kansas 24 Virginia Tech 21 -3 KANSAS
2008 Orange Bowl Virginia Tech 20 Cincinnati 7 -2.5 VTECH
2009 Chick-Fil-A Bowl Tennessee 14 Virginia Tech 37 -5 VTECH
2010 Orange Bowl Virginia Tech 12 Stanford 40 -3.5 STANFO
2011 Sugar Bowl Michigan 23 Virginia Tech 20 3 Push

More information:
» Offensive Changes Haven't Worked as Planned, Coaches Can't Adjust
» Washington Post: Thomas, Gayle, and Exum Gauge NFL Draft Prospects
» Bleacher Report: Hokies' Struggles in 2012
» 100 Best Traditions in College Football

» Bleacher Report: Hokies' 2013 Depth Chart

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