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Predictions 101 — Russell Athletic Bowl

Frank Beamer AP

Virginia Tech vs. Rutgers
Fri., Dec. 28 – 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Orlando, Fla. – Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium

So what’s so bad with a trip to sunny Orlando, some visits to the Disney attractions, maybe a chance to lay out by the pool? Absolutely nothing … unless you’re Rutgers. Then this trip, nice as it is, still seems like a letdown.

The Scarlet Knights (9-3) were poised to claim the program’s first BCS bowl bid, but couldn’t finish, first falling at Pittsburgh 27-6, then being overtaken by Louisville 20-17 in a winner-take-all Big East showdown.

Rutgers should be motivated by the possibility of a 10-win season. And certainly its defense and the run-oriented offense of RB Jawan Jamison is enough.

Especially after Virginia Tech (6-6), which is in a strange place indeed after eight consecutive double-digit victory seasons, the only FBS team to do so. The Hokies needed to win their last two games just to qualify for the program’s 20th consecutive bowl game. Overall, the season has been an unqualified mess.

Strange, though. We see QB Logan Thomas rebounding from a disappointing individual season, somehow rallying his troops and pulling the upset. And for Rutgers, that would turn paradise into a perfectly miserable trip.

Opening point spread: Virginia Tech by 1

The pick: Virginia Tech 19, Rutgers 16

Click HERE to get predictions for the remaining bowl games.

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3 Responses to “Predictions 101 — Russell Athletic Bowl”
  1. alligatorsnapper says: Dec 5, 2012 2:47 PM

    This game may come down to who has the less mess, the least amount of turnovers. I expect them in this game. Maybe the last team to have the ball? Both teams have something to play for. I will watch this one as well, I think I am off on the 28th.

  2. wustlumdnj says: Dec 5, 2012 5:55 PM

    As a Rutgers alumnus and fan, I feel it is a great accomplishment to be playing in the most traditional bowl the school has ever been a part of, and ending the season with our first Big East conference co-championship ever. Bandwagon fans will be disappointed we’re not at the Sugar Bowl, but others of us do not believe this season ended in a let down. This is a growing program that is still reaching its potential.

  3. thegamecocker says: Dec 5, 2012 9:42 PM

    @ustlumdnj

    I am a long time RU fan who sees a bright future and a great landing spot in the Big Ten. But last Thursday night was an incredibly disappointing time for Rutgers. It missed a milestone opportunity on the national stage to make a statement about our school and our program. Academicians are familiar with Rutgers and what it has contributed to society. But it is the casual fan who came away thinking RU cannot win the big games and who are they anyway? How did they make it into the Big Ten? Two weeks in a row RU had a chance to win the Big East outright and make our selection to the Big Ten mean much more than just TV footprint! We didn’t get it done and it has left a sour taste among many RU supporters myself included! Gary Nova should have been pulled in the Kent State game and he wasn’t because Kyle Flood feels you should never change the QB despite his throwing 6 interceptions in one game! I’m happy he is not Manager of the NY Yankees! He probably wouldn’t call on a relief pitcher! And why didn’t Savon Huggins play in the Louisville game? He played Jawan Jamison who was not anywhere near 100%. The Big East Trophy was there waiting to be delivered to Rutgers! I saw it on the way to the restroom! I guess that’s where it stayed….next to the Men’s room! Sorry, but I’m frustrated with this team!!!

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