Tuesday, December 31, 2013
AdvoCare V100, Sun Bowl predictions
By Kevin Gemmell
Both Kevin and Ted correctly picked Oregon, but missed on Arizona State. Kevin is 79-19 on the season, and Ted is 75-23.
AdvoCare V100: Arizona vs. Boston College
Kevin Gemmell: The big storyline here is obviously the running backs – Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey and Boston College’s Andre Williams. Both were Doak Walker finalists, and Williams took home the trophy. But the real story should be B.J. Denker, who is averaging 95 yards per game on the ground with four touchdowns over the past six games. Boston College is a better team than the one that lost to USC, 35-7 back in September. But the Eagles also feasted on a lot of weaker competition. So did Arizona, but it at least has a win over a top-five team (Oregon) to its credit. I like Carey and Co. to outdistance the Eagles. Arizona 38, Boston College 28.
Ted Miller: While all the hype of about this game is about the running backs, and justifiably so, here's a guess that the ultimate difference-maker is someone we're not expecting, though Kevin's noting Denker would be my first guess. Boston College played Florida State tough and beat Virginia Tech, and Arizona's red-letter moment was a win over Oregon. This feels like a game that might go to the fourth quarter, but we like the Wildcats' chances because their offense is ultimately not one-dimensional. Arizona 35, Boston College 24.
Hyundai Sun Bowl
Kevin Gemmell: Virginia Tech doesn’t give up a lot of points -- only 17.4 per game, to be exact. They don’t score many, either (23.4). And they head into the postseason having lost three of their past five. The Bruins got healthy in a lot of different areas, and they have the offense (36.5 points per game) and the defense (24.1) to match the Hokies on both sides of the ball. As is always the case when UCLA plays, the question is whether Virginia Tech can 1) get to Brett Hundley and 2) actually get him down. No quarterback in the Pac-12, maybe the country, is as good at extending plays. That’s going to put a lot of pressure on Virginia Tech’s defense. And after last season's bowl debacle, I think the Bruins feel like they have something to prove. UCLA 31, Virginia Tech 21.
Ted Miller: It's not good that the UCLA defense will be without leading tackler Eric Kendricks, but Virginia Tech has struggled to run the ball and, forced to pass, it has yielded 2.5 sacks per game. That's not a good sign with Anthony Barr is on the opposite side of the line. Hundley and the Bruins' offense should be challenged by a good Hokies' defense, but they'll score enough to get the W. UCLA 24, Virginia Tech 20.