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
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One of the most consistent pieces of Wisconsin’s passing attack, such as it is, will be on the shelf for the foreseeable future.
A UW official confirmed to madison.com that Austin Traylor sustained a right-arm injury in Saturday’s loss to Iowa. As a result, the tight end will be sidelined for the rather broad period of 4-8 weeks.
At best, Traylor could return for the Nov. 7 game against Maryland after missing contests with Nebraska, Purdue, Illinois and Rutgers. At worst, he’d miss the remainder of the regular season, but could return for a bowl game, and perhaps the Big Ten championship game if the Badgers were to earn another berth.
Because he’s already played in five games this season, Traylor would not be eligible for a medical hardship waiver if he were to miss the remainder of the year.
Traylor is tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns with three while his 15.6 yards per reception is tops on the team. He’s third in receiving yards with 156 and tied for fourth with 10 receptions.
With each passing day, it appears Miami won’t be able to avoid one of the most talented and productive running backs in the country.
Thursday, Dalvin Cook returned to practice for the first time this week. Cook suffered a hamstring injury in the first quarter of Florida State’s win over Wake Forest this past Saturday, and had spent the previous two days of practice riding a bicycle while the rest of his teammates prepped for the in-state and conference rivalry game against The U this Saturday.
The Palm Beach Post wrote that Cook showed “no signs” of the hamstring injury that had some worried about his availability in Week 6.
Head coach Jimbo Fisher, who said Wednesday he doesn’t “ever count Dalvin out” because of his healing ability, will meet with reporters later this evening and could address Cook’s status for the weekend then. Or, he could play to keep the Hurricanes guessing, even as most assume the All-ACC back will be on the field.
Cook is far and away FSU’s leading rusher, with his 142.5 yards per game good for eight in the country and his six rushing touchdowns tied for 20th.