Bowl Games Preview, 12/28

5:15- Camping World Bowl: 19 Virginia Tech vs. 22 Oklahoma State

I’m taking Oklahoma State to win and cover based on its offense alone: its 46.3 points on 579 yards of total offense per game far surpass a V. Tech offense which has scored only 62 points in its previous four games. If you allowed yourself to watch the November 24th UVA- V. Tech game past its halftime (I don’t know how), you should understand my claim that Virginia Tech will be unable to keep up with the Cowboys’ high-powered offensive attack both through the air and on the ground. Moreover, Virginia Tech’s defense will not contain Mason Rudolph: WVU’s Will Grier, the best quarterback the Hokies have faced, shredded their defense for 371 yards and three touchdowns–and Rudolph exceeds Grier in every statistical category.  Sure, I think Tech slows the game down a bit–its defense is currently operating at only 63 plays allowed per game–but I’m taking the Cowboys’ quarterback and running back, who are amassing 376 and 128 yards per game, respectively, to close this one in the first half.  Also worth mentioning, the Cowboys are likely to arrive with a heightened level of emotion following a series of Mike Gundy coaching inquiries in November. This does not bode well for Justin Fuente’s Hokies.

Oklahoma State: 38, Virginia Tech: 17

9:00- Valero Alamo Bowl: 13 Stanford vs. 15 TCU

 I’ll pick TCU in a close game. Following a blowout loss to Oklahoma in the Big-12 Championship, I predict Gary Patterson rallies the Horned Frogs to a victory to finish the season at 11-3 and a proven contender in FBS. Though neither team’s quarterback has legitimate NFL prospects, TCU’s Kenny Hill has been more consistent, completing 67% of his passes for 220 yards per game thus far. I foresee this game being run-heavy, however, and Stanford will take the field with a Heisman candidate in Bryce Love who seeks to increase his draft stock and surpass 2,000 rushing yards on the season. Over his past three games, though, defenses have contained Love to fewer than 120 yards per game and only two touchdowns, a significant decline from his 207 yards per game and nine touchdowns in the first half of the season. A TCU defense which ranks 4th in rushing yards allowed will contain Love to a below-average career finale, allowing its offensive efficiency to win a close, low-scoring affair.

TCU: 24, Stanford: 20   

 9:00- San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl: 18 Washington State vs. 16 Michigan State

Mike Leach and Mark Dantonio? I’m in.  I view this game as a coaching matchup out of which the Cougars will emerge the victor thanks to quarterback Luke Falk, who has averaged 300 passing yards and 2.5 touchdowns per game this season. Michigan State looks to win with its top-10 defense, which has allowed 298 yards and 20 points per game. However, Washington State ranks 13th in the same category, allowing only 16 more yards and four more points than do the Spartans. The difference in this game will be the Cougars’ top-10 quarterback, who leads an offense which holds an 8-point and 70-yard advantage over that of MSU on a per game basis. Also, where, you may ask, does Michigan State rank in passing defense? 31st in FBS. The Spartans will arrive in San Diego with a young secondary which has allowed an average of 196 passing yards per game, including 356 yards to Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson and 381 yards to Penn State’s Trace McSorley. Though the coaching battle between Leach and Dantonio will keep the game close, I foresee Luke Falk out-shooting the Michigan State defense for a fourth-quarter victory.

Washington State: 27, Michigan State: 21

-Admin Tam (@tomhall2323)

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