Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech: Bold Predictions for 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IDecember 28, 2012

BLACKSBURG, VA - NOVEMBER 24:  Quarterback Logan Thomas #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies and linebacker Bruce Taylor #51 of the Hokies take to the field prior to their game against the Virginia Cavaliers at Lane Stadium on November 24, 2012 in Blacksburg, Virginia.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
Geoff Burke/Getty Images

Virginia Tech and Rutgers will play in the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl on Friday, and it should be an exciting game between two teams with plenty of offensive talent.

The Hokies have made a bowl-game appearance in 20 straight seasons, but they currently have a two-game bowl losing streak.

Rutgers will be attempting to extend its five-game bowl winning streak. To finish the season with a win, they will need to play much better than they did over the final two weeks of the regular season.

Let's look at three bold predictions for the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl.


The Rutgers Defense Will Allow At Least Three Touchdowns

The Scarlet Knights defense allowed the fifth-fewest points (14.6) per game during the regular season, but they will be facing a very talented Hokies offense in this bowl game.

Virginia Tech has scored 24 or more points six times this season and has a balanced offense with a good passing and running game.

The Rutgers defense has not played well in the team's last two games. In their most recent game, which was a 20-17 loss to Louisville, the Scarlet Knights defense wasn't able to get off the field on third down. The result was the Cardinals offense controlling the ball for over 42 minutes.

Expect the Hokies offense to score at least three touchdowns against a Rutgers defense that won't win the battle at the line of scrimmage. Virginia Tech's rushing attack will be a major part of the team's success in this game.


Logan Thomas Will Not Throw Any Interceptions

Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas was thought of by many college football fans as a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate when the season started in August, but he had a disappointing year for the Hokies in 2012.

Thomas has turned the ball over too many times this season and has thrown an interception in eight of the 12 games he has played in. He has also thrown multiple interceptions in a game five times.

Against a Scarlet Knights defense that ranks 73rd in the nation in sacks, Thomas should have plenty of time to throw the football and find the open receiver because the Rutgers pass rush is average at best.

Thomas hasn't thrown an interception in two straight games, and there's a great chance that this streak will extend to three games.


Virginia Tech Will Win by Two Touchdowns

The Hokies won only six games this season, but they are the superior team in this matchup.

The Scarlet Knights lost against the two best opponents (Kent State and Louisville) they played this season and lost three of their last five regular-season games.

Virginia Tech has won its last two games, and quarterback Logan Thomas is playing some of his best football of the season.

Expect the Hokies to run the ball effectively against the Scarlet Knights defense, which will open up the play-action pass for Thomas and the passing game.

Virginia Tech will score at least 27 points in this game and win by at least two touchdowns. A high-scoring game isn't the ideal situation for a Rutgers offense that has scored more than 20 points in just one of its last four games.