Bowl season has been very tough to this point at 13-16-0 ATS and 17-12-0 O/U. But things can change, so we carry on with the Allstate Sugar Bowl—January 3, 2011 @ 7:30 p.m.—New Orleans, Louisiana
Michigan Wolverines (10-2) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (11-2)
Line: Michigan -2.5 O/U 51.5
The Big 10 needs this win after their bowl performance to this point and Michigan needs this win to take the next step as a program. Michigan has struggled against balanced offenses this year losing to Iowa and Michigan State, however Virginia Tech has been demolished by Clemson twice and Michigan has that same level of speed on offense. I still don’t trust Denard Robinson in third and long but I think Michigan stays ahead of the chains tonight. Big 10 gets a win.
PREDICTED FINAL: Michigan 34 Virginia Tech 27
PLAYS: Michigan -2.5 (two units) Over 51.5 (Honorable Mention Only)
Michigan enters this game after finishing 6-2 in the Big 10 Conference. The Wolverines feature a potent offense that averages 34.2 points and 424 yards per contest. That offense gains a majority of its yards on the ground. Denard Robinson is a special football player with blazing speed. However, he has some significant limitations with his arm. Robinson completed 56% of his passes this year but averaged only 171 yards per game passing the ball. Furthermore Robinson was responsible for 14 interceptions and struggled in third and long. However, 1163 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns indicates just how special this kid can be in the spread offense. Fitz Toussaint is the other key to the running game and finished the year with 1011 yards and 9TD’s. The offensive line did an excellent job protecting the QB this year giving up only 12 sacks and six of those came in their contest against Michigan State.
The Michigan defense has improved greatly in Brady Hoke’s first year giving up only 17.2 points per game and allowing just 318 yards per contest. The defense is a little more susceptible to the run (130 yards per game) than their counterparts but just like Virginia Tech they can pressure the QB sacking the opponent 25 times this year. The defense is led by LB Kenny Demens who finished the year with 86 tackles, 3 sacks and 2TFL.
Michigan was 7-2 against bowl teams.
The Virginia Tech defense continues to be solid year in and year out giving up only 17.2 point per game this year. The Hokies are yielding only 108 yards per game on the ground but have struggled against teams that have a mobile QB. One of the Hokies’ keys has been to get pressure on the QB recording 38 sacks this season. The defense is led by Rov Antone Exum who recorded 85 tackles, one sack, 3.5 TFL and 10 pass break ups this year.
The Hokie offense is led by Logan Thomas who finished the year with 2799 yards passing and another 416 yards rushing. Thomas was responsible for 29 touchdowns (19 passing, 10 rushing) and completed 59% of his throws. The rushing offense is built around David Wilson who finished the regular season with 1627 yards and 9 TD’s averaging over 6 yards per touch. The Passing game averages 227 yards per game and the likely targets will be Danny Coale (52 receptions, 787 yards) and Jarrett Boykin (57 receptions, 731 yards).
Virginia Tech was 6-2 against bowl teams.