The New Era Pinstripe Bowl is an interesting matchup to kick off the Wednesday slate of bowl games. We have a Big Ten vs ACC showdown which should be a doozy of a game. The matchup is between Maryland (6-6) and Virginia Tech (6-6). Two completely different styles of teams going up against one another should create and intriguing matchup. With that being said here is my preview for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
The Terrapins offense has put up good numbers all season long. Maryland averages 307.1 passing yards per game (22nd in the nation) and 457.3 total yards of offense per game as well (36th in the nation). This offense is led by quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa threw for 3,595 passing yards to go along with 24 passing touchdowns and 11 interceptions. This passing attack is solely the reason why Maryland became bowl eligible. Without this passing attack, Maryland would have been an absolute terror to watch every week.
Defensively for Maryland, they don’t do anything spectacular. They give up over 32 points per game and give up over 430 total yards of offense per game. The only positive thing about their defense at the moment is their run defense. That is the only consistent part of this Terrapins defense. Maryland struggles against good passing teams, however Virginia Tech is not a good passing team. That means this should be a favorable matchup for Maryland in this bowl game.
This Virginia Tech offense averages 387.7 total yards of offense per game. So there should be no issue right, well this Hokies offense is depleted at the moment. Their starting quarterback is transferring so he won’t play in this bowl game. Then to add onto that they will be without their top two wide receivers as well. They will have to rely heavily on running back Raheem Blackshear who declared for the NFL draft, but decided to play in this game. This offense will look to go strictly run heavy and if that is the case the Terrapins defense should feast against them. If the Hokies can’t get a passing attack going, it is going to be a long game for them.
Defensively, this pass defense is pretty good. However, they will be without their top cover corner in this one. That hurts their pass defense significantly so they will have to try and apply a lot more pressure to the quarterback. Well, you see this Virginia Tech defense will be without two of their defensive lineman as well. This Hokies defense is hurting and could be in trouble in this bowl matchup.
Maryland is a 3.5 point favorite with the over/under set at 55. I lean the over in this one, but I don’t trust the inconsistency of the Virginia Tech football team at the moment. My official play is Maryland -3.5. The Terps are 5-1 against the spread in their last six non-conference games. This bowl matchup will be won on consistency and Maryland is the more consistent team at the moment. I’ll take their passing attack and give the 3.5 with confidence in this one.
-Chris Jones (@cjoneswho1212)
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