I get to take a step away from the Theme Parks tonight as Orlando Bowl Week kicks off at the Russell Athletic Bowl, played at the Florida Citrus Bowl, where the Virginia Tech Hokies will be facing the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
The Russell Athletic and Capital One Bowls bring thousands of visitors to explore the City Beautiful, and offer local fans a way to watch their favorite team or conference play.
Players from both teams have spent the week practicing, visiting the kids at Give Kids the World Village, exploring Walt Disney World, and getting ready for their final game of 2012 season.
Kick-off for the Scarlet Knights and Hokies is at 5:30 pm, and it is sure to be great game.
While this is the 15th time that Rutgers and Virginia Tech have faced each other, the Hokies lead the series 11-3, they haven’t met since the Hokies left the Big East in 2004.
Beamerball returns to Florida, as the Virginia Tech Hokies make their 10th Bowl appearance in the state and their first in the Russell Athletic Bowl. It has been a disappointing 6-6 season full of injuries, but Virginia Tech looks to win tonight to avoid their first losing season since 1992 and to take the focus off of the coaching staff questions and back on the team.
Meanwhile the Scarlet Knights have had quite a different season than the Hokies. Kyle Flood, in his first season as Head Coach at Rutgers, led them in a successful 9-3 season to their first Big East Championship. A win tonight against the Virginia Tech Hokies would give the Scarlet Knights their best season since 2006 with a 6th straight bowl win.
With both teams having offensive struggles and inconsistencies at times, this game is going to come down to how well the defenses will be able to perform. While the Hokie in me is hoping that they’ll be able to dig down deep to pull out a win, I am realistic about their chances against Rutgers whose defense ranks in the top 25 nationally in four major defensive statistical categories. I am sure that both teams will try to establish a strong running game to offset a weak offense, force turnovers from defenses that are proven scorers, and hope for special teams gold. It is going to be a close game that you won’t want to miss.
If you can’t make it to the Russell Athletic Bowl tonight, make sure you tune at 5:30 pm to ESPN and follow along on our adventure @onthegoinmco!
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