seanhiggs Posts:201 Followers:6
On 12/31/2013 12:13 AM in Cappers

Sean Higgs Free Bowl Winner

Virginia Tech vs. UCLA, 12/31/2013 14:00
Point Spread: +7½/-105 Virginia Tech

Here is your FREE PICK from Sean Higgs here on New Year's Eve.

The Hyndai Sun Bowl features the 8-4 Virginia Tech Hokies vs the 9-3 UCLA Bruins. UCLA is currently listed as a 7 point favorite for the game here at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso.

I'm going to start here with Jim Mora and his Bruins. Make no mistake, these guys are looking at their first 10 win season in a few years and will want to get rid of that 23 point bowl loss last year to Baylor out of their mouths. No point of arguing here. UCLA has the much better offense on the field today. QB Brett Hundley had a nice year throwing for over 2800 yards and leading the Bruins in rushing (587) and contributing 31 TDs on the year (22pass 9rush).

So we have the spread offense and a solid defense for UCLA. At first look I was close to moving on UCLA. I think they played a tough schedule and showed they can play with some of the better programs in the land. It looks like Jim Mora is not going anywhere and he has a pretty QB that will come back next year and maybe lead this team further up the rankings.

On the other side of the coin we have Virginia Tech. What can I really say about these guys? Frank Beamer has this guys bowling for the 21st straight year. 21! That is the longest streak in the nation. It must be respected that even though he refuses to do anything about his stagnant offense, Beamer and DC Bud Foster continue to churn out top defensive units. Not too mention a special teams squad that always seems to make key plays.

I'll start with the Hokies O or lack there of. I really thought VT could be a dark-horse BSC contender. The defense, #4 in total yards allowing under 270 a game is a top flight unit. On their merit alone, this team should be good. But the QB play of Logan Thomas has been terrible. I think the kid regressed this year. He tossed 13 INTs this year to just 15 TDs. And adding insult to injury, his rushing yards were nearly cut in half.

So we have VT with a poor offense but the defense generated 25 turnovers of their own. This defense is on par with anything the Bruins have seen. I will say close to Stanford. Hokies aren't flashy. If these guys ever changed their style of play watch out. They are going to run the ball. Eat clock. Force turnovers and maybe do something on special teams.

I am going to back the VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES +7 here. Again. Not a knock on UCLA. But I will grab the team with a better defense here. UCLA put together an impressive season. But this is by far their toughest non-conference game. Not sure if they are physical or disciplined enough to play a 'between the trench' type game that VT is going to want to do. Hokies will slow the tempo and it wouldn't shock me to see them with a chance for the outright win here. BURY THE MAN ~ Higgs

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