Pinstripe Bowl pits VaTech, Md; victor gets winning record

Pinstripe Bowl pits VaTech, Md; victor gets winning record

Pinstripe Bowl: Maryland (6-6) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6), Wednesday, 2:15 p.m. Eastern, (ESPN).
Line: Maryland by 3 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series Record: Maryland leads 16-15.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
How about a winning record for both teams? Maryland and Virginia Tech each have six wins and each team became bowl eligible with season-ending victories. Just making a bowl game can be seen as a win for both programs. Virginia Tech hasn’t won a bowl game since 2016 and the Terrapins last won one in 2010. The Hokies are moving on with a new coach. Brent Pry will take over, though he will keep interim coach J.C Price on as an associate head coach and defensive coach.
KEY MATCHUP
Virginia Tech was decimated by the transfer portal and has to turn to junior Texas A&M transfer Connor Blumrick for the start. Blumrick makes his first career start and has completed only 7 of 16 passes this season for 42 yards. He did rush for 231 yards this season and he’ll try to run against a Terps defense that has held opponents to fewer than 100 yards in a game three times this season. Virginia Tech has lost so much key personnel that Maryland should be in prime position to shut down Blumrick and an offense essentially playing its first game together.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Virginia Tech: Running back Raheem Blackshear declared for the NFL draft but will play in the Pinstripe Bowl. Blackshear started his career at Rutgers and played twice against Maryland. He led the Hokies with 711 yards rushing and six touchdowns and had 244 yards receiving.
Maryland: Hey, aren’t you … ? Yes, QB Taulia Tagovailoa is Tua Tagovailoa’s younger brother and has, at times, played like the Miami Dolphins starter. Taulia Tagovailoa, an Alabama transfer, threw for 3,595 yards and 24 touchdowns this season, with 11 interceptions. He earned all-Big Ten honorable mention honors and finished second in the conference in passing. After setting the school’s single-season passing record, Tagovailoa said he would return for his senior season.
FACTS & FIGURES
Maryland has not had a winning record since 2014. … The Hokies and Terps are former ACC rivals and last played in 2013. … The Hokies have been bowl eligible for 29 consecutive seasons but opted out in 2020 because of COVID-19. They are 13-20 lifetime and playing their first postseason since the 2019 Belk Bowl. … Virginia Tech’s Jermaine Waller tied for the ACC lead with four interceptions and was tied for sixth with nine passes defended.
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