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Virginia Tech vs. Maryland Odds, Predictions, Picks for 2021 Pinstripe Bowl (Wednesday, December 29)

Virginia Tech vs. Maryland Odds, Predictions, Picks for 2021 Pinstripe Bowl (Wednesday, December 29) article feature image

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images and Mark Brown/Getty Images. Pictured (L-R): Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) and Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver Tayvion Robinson (9).

Virginia Tech vs. Maryland Odds

Wednesday, Dec. 29
2:15 p.m. ET
Virginia Tech Odds
-115o / -105u
Maryland Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Pinstripe Bowl
Wednesday, Dec. 29 · Bronx, NY

Virginia Tech and Maryland match up in the Pinstripe Bowl to be played in historic Yankee Stadium Tuesday afternoon.

Maryland opened the season winning its first four games, including victories over West Virginia and Illinois. It was then steamrolled by 37 points by Iowa, which led to a Terrapins spiral down the stretch. After losing 5-of-6 games Maryland beat Rutgers in the season finale to sneak into its first bowl game since 2016.

Virginia Tech hasn’t missed out on a bowl game (in a full season) since 1992. It took an upset in the season finale over Virginia to keep that streak alive this season.

The Hokies opened the season 3-1 with a strong win over North Carolina but couldn’t string together victories the remainder of the season. The lack of consistency led to head coach Justin Fuente’s firing after 10 games.

Starting quarterback Braxton Burmeister also hit the road through the transfer portal.

Maryland looks to win its first bowl game since 2010 while Virginia Tech hopes to end its three-bowl game skid Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.

Virginia Tech Hokies

The loss of Burmeister at quarterback is monumental for the Hokies. Burmeister was the main source of offense both through the air and on the ground. He averaged 7.7 yards per pass attempt and tossed 13 touchdowns to four interceptions. Burmeister was even more efficient on the ground, averaging over 10 carries per game and 4.5 yards per attempt.

Connor Blumrick, who transferred from Texas A&M, will start under center for the Hokies. Blumrick has thrown only 16 pass attempts in his collegiate career and was utilized more as a runner for the program this year.

Blumrick’s targets will be a major concern after wide receivers Tayvion Robinson and Tre Turner announced they won’t be playing in this game. The duo combined for 57% of the total receiving yards for the program and eight of the 17 touchdown receptions this season.

The Hokies will also be without cornerback Jermaine Waller, defensive end Amare Barno, and defensive tackle Jordan Williams. The three defensive starters will forgo the Pinstripe Bowl to prepare for the NFL Draft.

Running back Raheem Blackshear led the offense with 5.9 yards per carry and averaged 60 rushing yards per game. He will need to have a big game against a Maryland defense that ranked outside the top 100 in Rushing Success Rate to give the Hokies a chance in this game.

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Maryland Terrapins

When Maryland’s offense scored 20 or more points, it was 6-1. In its other five losses, the group averaged just 16 points per game. Much of that was due to the insanely tough schedule that the Terrapins faced, which ranked 12th-hardest, according to PFF.

Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa had a historic season, breaking Maryland’s single-season passing record with 3,595 yards. Tagovailoa threw for 300 yards per contest and 8.0 yards per pass attempt. He led the offense to the 25th-ranked passing Success Rate while facing some of the toughest defenses the Big Ten has to offer.

Wide receiver Rakim Jarrett is the top pass-catcher who accounted for 56 receptions and 769 receiving yards this season. He’s capable of taking any reception to the house and is poised to have a big game with Virginia Tech missing its top cornerback.

Rakim Jarrett finds the end zone

— Greg Brandt (@devywarehouse) October 9, 2021

Maryland’s defense has shown its flaws, allowing 40 or more points to Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Michigan. But luckily for the Terps, the Virginia Tech offense is nowhere near the same caliber as those programs.

The Terrapins will stack the box with their focus on stopping the run and force Blumrick to try to beat them through the air.

Virginia Tech vs. Maryland Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Virginia Tech and Maryland match up statistically:

Virginia Tech Offense vs. Maryland Defense
Rush Success68102
Line Yards3374
Pass Success9263
Pass Blocking**14114
Big Play7884
Finishing Drives10977
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Maryland Offense vs. Virginia Tech Defense
Rush Success9276
Line Yards90101
Pass Success2520
Pass Blocking**2672
Big Play5849
Finishing Drives8664
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling10243
Middle 892108
SP+ Special Teams28122
Plays per Minute8717
Rush Rate62.% (16)47.% (117)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Virginia Tech vs. Maryland Betting Pick

Maryland’s offense averaged nearly 440 yards of total offense per game this season. The offense has been electric throughout Tagovailoa’s record-breaking season. Virginia Tech’s defense was solid in defending the pass, but missing three starters will take its toll on the Hokies.

Offensively, Virginia Tech will be playing with only about half of its normal starting group. Burmeister hit the transfer portal and wanted to play in this game but was denied. That decision will come back to bite the Hokies, as Burmeister contributed to 64% of the program’s total yards this season.

He will be replaced by a backup quarterback who has thrown only 16 passes in his career and is missing the team’s top two receivers. Where the Hokies will find a source of offense is a question that I’ve been unable to find an answer to.

Maryland will take away the run game from Blackshear and Blumrick, forcing the Hokies to beat it through the air. If the Terps can jump out to an early lead, the Virginia Tech replacement offense is not built to come from behind.

Maryland will find its first bowl victory in a dozen years, and Virginia Tech will lose its fourth bowl game in a row.

Pick: Maryland -3 (Play to -4.5)

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