Sons of Game Picks: Pinstripe Bowl Edition - VT vs. Maryland
What a wild 2021 for Virginia Tech football
It has only been 42 days since Justin Fuente was mercifully relieved of his duties as the Virginia Tech head football coach. Since then, Brent Pry has been brought in as the new head whistle and he has been assembling his staff, hitting the recruiting trail, shaking hands, and kissing babies.
Oh yeah, in that same time period interim/associate head coach J.C. Price found a way to beat UVA and get Tech into a bowl game which caused Bronco Mendenhall to take a step back from his coaching career at UVA.
The transfer portal has been popping, as one would expect with a coaching change, with some "big" names entering from the Hokies such as starting QB Braxton Burmeister and star WR Tayvion Robinson. Then there was the wave of NFL Draft declarations that included names like WR Tre Turner, RB Raheem Blackshear, DE Amare Barno, and CB Jermaine Waller, among others.
The cupboard is pretty bare going into the Pinstripe Bowl against old ACC rival Maryland, even back-up Hokie QB Knox Kadum has entered the transfer portal leaving Connor Blumrick and true freshman Tahj Bullock as the only quarterbacks with significant reps on the roster for the bowl game.
Because of all the attrition on the Hokies the line in Vegas has moved into Maryland's favor to the tune of 3.5 points. Maryland is 6-6 as well and ended their season losing 6 of 8 games after starting the season 4-0. However, to be fair, Maryland played one of the most brutal schedules in the country. They had to face #5 Iowa, #7 Ohio State, Penn State, #7 Michigan State, and #6 Michigan (who is playoff bound). I don't think the Hokies would have done any better.
It is impossible to predict what we are going to see tomorrow other than I'd expect a large dose of QB runs with Blumrick as Brad Cornelsen attempts to put one final game-plan together on offense.
Pinstripe Bowl kickoff will be at 2:15pm tomorrow (Wed 29) on ESPN in Yankee Stadium. Perfect for those working from home! A little mid-afternoon bowl game treat.
Here is how we see the game going...
Adam Rothe - Maryland - 24-17
So many Hokies have opted out or entered the transfer portal it is anyone's guess what this team will look like at kickoff time. Will I watch? Yes. Will I care about the outcome? No. Bring on 2022 with this new staff!
Sam Jessee - Maryland - 31-21
Bowl games are already a shot in the dark. With this Hokies depth chart, it's more like trying to hit a bullseye at a packed Hokie House after a few too many Maroon and/or Orange Effects. (For reference, one Effect drink is plenty. It's served in a large beer stein for crying out loud!) I'm not sure the Hokies will have any sort of rhythm on offense, and that will give the fighting turtles a few too many opportunities. On to 2022!
Justin Cates - Maryland - 28-14
This had the potential to be a fun match up until the Hokies ended up without a starting quarterback, or wide receivers, or defensive linemen, or… yeah you get the idea. It’s a patchwork group for Tech, and Maryland will likely have the upper hand. Could the Hokies still manage to be savages in the box? Perhaps. The chances for success don’t seem terribly likely though. This is not playoff Giancarlo Stanton walking through the door. The Hokies are the flailing version who goes 1-for-27 before starting another hot streak. But hey it’s a new experience and an unexpected bonus—kind of like receiving a gift basket—during another underwhelming season. Plus, it’s only fitting for me personally to have my football season end as so many baseball games did this year, by seeing my favorite team disappoint me on the Yankee Stadium turf.
Robert Irby - Maryland - 24-21
Hello. I have no idea what's gonna happen. We have no players, but Maryland is terrible at football. I'm going with the team without a million opt outs just to be safe. One game away from the Brent Pry Era beginning in Blacksburg!
Grant Mitchell - Virginia Tech - 38-35
Have you ever heard of seizing the opportunity? Well, believe it or not, I like some of the young underutilized talent on Tech's roster, and with J.C. Price at the helm and Brent Pry's arrival serving as bases of motivation, I think that he will get a tough-nosed team that will make mistakes but also impress with big-play ability.