10 reasons why Tennessee State football will beat Virginia Tech in the Big East title game
By Ryan Leavitt | Published Mar. 23, 2017 9:08:42At 8-0, the Aggies have the conference’s best record and have been playing better than most teams in recent years.
But they haven’t been able to overcome Virginia Tech’s dominance of the conference, which has led to two of the top 10 most successful seasons in college football history.
After an incredible 2016 campaign, the Hokies are entering their third year in the league.
They had a 13-1 record in 2016, but fell in the ACC Championship Game to Louisville and lost to Clemson.
Virginia Tech is currently sitting at 12-1, but they’re in their third season in the division.
The Hokies also won the Atlantic 10 in 2015 and finished sixth in the conference last year.
The Hokies won four games in a row and finished third in the West Division last season, before finishing in the top five the last two seasons.
The team is led by former Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, who was named a First Team All-American in 2017 after leading the Yellow Jackets to a 12-2 record and a berth in the Sugar Bowl.
The Blue Raiders will look to win back-to-back ACC titles for the first time since 2008.
They won two games in the regular season and a home-and-home series against Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinal, but failed to win the ACC title.
The Red Raiders have one of the best offenses in the country, led by quarterback Ryan Griffin and receiver Michael Rector.
The duo has helped lead the Red Raiders to six wins and a 12th straight win.
The defense has been one of Virginia Tech most successful offenses since returning to the field in 2017, finishing second to Clemson in points allowed per game (13.8).
But they’ve struggled to stop the run, averaging 4.4 yards per carry.
Virginia is looking to make a statement with its first-ever bowl appearance, as the Hokiers are looking to add to the bowl record of 12.
In 2016, the team went undefeated and went to the College World Series.
After a disappointing season, the Yellow Raiders are back in the hunt for their first ACC title since 2004.
The Yellow Raiders have lost four games, but are ranked No. 4 in the latest CBS Sports poll.
This is the second year the team has played in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
The team is in the midst of a stretch of five straight home games with the Peach Bowl, and will need to win at least two of them.
The Yellow Raiders’ defense ranks No. 10 nationally in scoring defense and No. 5 in yards allowed per play allowed, and the Yellow Claws will look for more from their defense in the bowl game.
The Red Raiders’ offense has struggled to convert long passes into points since returning in 2017.
In the last four seasons, the Red Claws have been ranked in the bottom half of the Big 12 in points per game allowed.
This year, they rank in the upper half.
Virginia Tech will try to get back on track in the upcoming bowl.
Virginia will be looking to take home the first bowl appearance in program history after the Hokie team won the title in 2016.
The Blue Raiders have won two bowl games in their last three seasons, but haven’t won a bowl since 2008 and 2013.
The first meeting between the two teams was played in 2015, when the Hokines won the ACC regular season title.
The last time the two met in the Peach was in 2014, when Virginia Tech lost to Virginia Tech by 31 points.
Virginia has lost its last five bowl games, including two to ACC teams.
In 2015, the Cavaliers lost to Miami, 35-32.
The following year, the Hoosiers won their only ACC contest, 38-32 over Wake Forest.
Virginia won the Orange Bowl in 2015 after beating Georgia Tech.
The Cavaliers went on to lose to Alabama, 35, in the Cotton Bowl, but beat Oklahoma State, 38, and LSU, 39, in bowls in 2016 and 2017.
Virginia’s last bowl victory came in 2017 when the Blue Raiders lost to Alabama 35-28.