College Football Odds, Prediction for Virginia Tech vs Rutgers: Back the Big Ten
Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Rutgers quarterback Gavin Wimsatt.
Virginia Tech vs Rutgers Odds
It’s an unsexy weekend of college football, so what better way to celebrate the moment than with a pair of unsexy teams?
Greg Schiano could have his best team yet in the fourth season of his second stint at Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are off to a 2-0 start and have dominated a couple of bad teams.
Virginia Tech is hoping for more success than a three-win season in 2022. It will likely need to win this game to keep any hopes of bowl eligibility alive.
The Hokies have already dropped one game to Big Ten competition this season (Purdue), but the Scarlet Knights likely aren't on the same level as the Boilermakers. Will Virginia Tech’s fortunes change this week, or will Rutgers remain perfect on the season?
Find a betting pick, preview and prediction for Virginia Tech vs. Rutgers below.
It’s been a middling start to Brent Pry’s second season at Virginia Tech, with the Hokies splitting their first pair of games and the offense failing to inspire confidence.
Quarterback Grant Wells hasn’t made a significant leap from 2022. While his average yardage is better (over 240 yards in both games), his overall completion percentage is just 53.2 percent, and he threw two costly interceptions against Purdue last week.
The final score of last week’s game may show just a seven-point loss, but the Hokies scored all 17 of their points in a six-minute span of the second quarter. Their second-half drives ended in four punts, a pick and a turnover on downs.
Even worse, the Hokies only rushed for 11 yards on 22 carries over the entire game. They currently rank 129th and 130th, respectively, in Rush Success Rate and Line Yards, so expect a Rutgers defense that has already held one Big Ten team (Northwestern) to 12 yards in Week 1 to feast.
Forcing Wells to be the focal point of the offense is not a recipe for Virginia Tech's success.
Is Rutgers frisky this season? A 2-0 start featuring a pair of blowout wins suggests it may no longer be the doormat of the Big Ten East.
The Scarlet Knights offense was firing on all cylinders in Week 2 against a bad Temple Owls team, where it exceeded 400 yards against an FBS opponent for only the fifth time since a 36-7 win over the Owls in 2016.
Quarterback Gavin Wimsatt has avoided shooting his team in the foot, completing just over 50% of his passes while not turning the ball over. He allows the ground game in Kirk Ciarrocca's offense to do most of the work, with the Scarlet Knights rushing the ball 95 times through two games.
The Rutgers defense has held up its end of the bargain, allowing just a lone touchdown and forcing two turnovers in each game. The brightest spot so far has been the performance to start the season against Northwestern, where the Wildcats amassed just 201 yards – 189 of which were through the air.
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Virginia Tech and Rutgers match up statistically:
Virginia Tech Offense vs. Rutgers Defense
Rutgers Offense vs. Virginia Tech Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|Special Teams SP+||21||43|
|Seconds per Play||24.7 (33)||30.0 (113)|
|Rush Rate||48.2% (85)||65.8% (7)|
Virginia Tech vs Rutgers
Betting Pick & Prediction
If you like offensive firepower, this game probably isn’t for you, and the total reflects as much with the number ticking below 40.
The Hokies struggled to run the ball last week against a Big Ten defense, and even against Old Dominion, Virginia Tech averaged only 2.5 yards per carry on 43 tries.
Meanwhile, Virginia Tech has struggled to stop the run, allowing 200 rushing yards to Old Dominion and 178 to Purdue on a sloppy field. Rutgers has avoided any killer mistakes this season and is comfortable running the ball 40-50 times a game if that’s what works.
I see the Hokies struggling to score more than 10 points in Piscataway, while the Scarlet Knights should have success methodically working their way down the field.
Rutgers opened as a 4.5-point favorite and has taken money to get to -6.5, but I’m comfortable backing the Scarlet Knights in this spot up to a touchdown.