Arkansas (7-5) vs Virginia Tech (9-4)
A little known fact about Bowl Season is that the SEC tends to have their 7th or 8th best team face off against the losers of opposing Conference’s Championship Games more frequently than people realize. Such is the case this year as Arkansas (8th in the SEC) plays Virginia Tech (2nd in the ACC.)
When Arkansas Has The Ball: The Razorbacks move the ball through Rawleigh Williams III. The junior totaled over 1300 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season, good for third overall in the SEC in yards per game. Quarterback Austin Allen is effective, if not spectacular, but there simply isn’t much to work with there and Allen has a tendency to throw too many interceptions. Woody Baron and Tremaine Edmunds lead a solid Hokie front 7 and will need to make some plays behind the line of scrimmage, something that the Razorbacks have trouble with.
When Virginia Tech Has The Ball: Unlike the Razorbacks the Hokies tend to be a pass first team that doesn’t really worry about balance. This will help them apply constant pressure to the Razorback defense but might put their own defense in some difficult situations. The terrific junior receiving tandem of Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips should have a productive day and open up the offense for the rest of their teammates. Ryan Pulley and Jared Collins lead a pretty good passing defense that will have their hands full.
Analysis: Neither team is great with turnovers or on third down offensively. Virginia Tech has a clear edge defensively on third down, however, and, coupled with their more experienced defensive front 7 should be able to control the line of scrimmage enough to win the field position battle.
Virginia Tech 31 - Arkansas 21