Here is everything you need to know about the showdown between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Virginia Tech Hokies in our Camping World Bowl preview and prediction.
4:15 CT | Thursday, December 28, 2017 | Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida
TV: ESPN (Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Rocky Boiman)
Local Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, Dave Holcomb, and Robert Allen)
Satellite Radio: Sirius/XM channel 80
Internet Radio: http://okla.st/osutunein
Virginia Tech Hokies
LB Tremaine Edmunds
The numbers say it all on Edmunds; 6 foot 5, 250 pounds, 102 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, 5 1/2 sacks, 3 forced fumbles. The Hokies play defense as well as anyone and the junior linebacker is a big part of their success. Against Oklahoma State he’ll need to dominate the line of scrimmage. Pressuring Mason Rudolph and wrapping up RB Justice Hill, who makes a living breaking tackles, will be key in slowing down the best offense his squad has seen all season. Edmunds, a probable first round pick, has the size, speed, and talent to make it a lone day for the Cowboys offense.
DT Tim Settle
Virginia Tech has a very good secondary but given time Oklahoma State has the quarterback and receivers to beat anyone through the air. Enter Tim Settle. The redshirt sophomore is huge at 6 foot 3, 328 pounds and should pose a problem for the suspect OSU offensive line. Blowing up a play before it even starts is always a good strategy and Settle has that potential. If the second team All-ACC tackle draws double or triple teams it will just open things up more his talented teammates to wreck havoc in the Cowboy backfield.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
QB Mason Rudolph
Rudolph has been a star for Mike Gundy’s team for a little over three years now. He holds basically every record possible for an Oklahoma State quarterback. He has a chance for another achievement by leading OSU to its third consecutive 10 win season, a milestone that has never been achieved in Stillwater. Despite all his accolades Rudolph has a habit of coming up short in key games. That’s hasn’t been a problem in bowl games where he has shined except for a sophomore year Sugar Bowl loss where an overachieving Pokes squad was very outmatched against Ole Miss. The coaching staff usually lets it all hang out in bowl games, and with a month to prepare added on top of it being his last game not only as a Cowboy but with his two star senior receivers you can expect an A+ game from the national leader in passing yards.
WR James Washington
Washington won the Biletnikoff award for a reason. He’s a bad dude on the field. Despite drawing basically all the attention from every secondary he faced all season he posted 1,423 yards and 12 touchdowns on just 69 receptions. After a great career wearing Orange he’s only 69 yards from topping Cowboy legend Rashuan Woods to become OSU’s all time leader in receiving yards. No easy task at a school with past players like Woods, Dez Bryant, and 2x Biletnikoff winner Justin Blackmon. The Hokie defense hasn’t seen a quarterback-receiver combo this prolific all season and Washington should test them deep early and often.
Who flexes their muscles, the nations fifth ranked scoring defense or the nations third ranked scoring offense? Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State is maybe the best case of strength versus strength in all the bowl games this year. The Hokies boast the best defense the Cowboys have face all season but the reverse is true also, Virginia Tech hasn’t faced anything close to what Oklahoma State is going to throw at them offensively. Can the Cowboys get in rhythm and get the Hokies playing on their heels? Can Virginia Tech make Oklahoma State frustrated and force them to work hard for yards in small chunks? With a load of future NFL players on both teams strong sides whoever can find their groove first probably wins the game.
Oklahoma State 34, Virginia Tech 17
The only defense on the level of Virginia Tech’s OSU has seen this year was versus Texas where they only scored 13 points and needed an overtime interception to seal the win. The bad news for the Hokies is unlike in Austin the Cowboy offensive line is healthy for this game and offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich has had a month to work on a plan that doesn’t included Mike Gundy’s more conservative influence, something he typical lets go of for post season play. Three years ago OSU shredded a stout Washington defense that had three first round picks in its front seven, and then last year scored 38 with ease on a Colorado defense that ranked in the top ten in scoring defense. Virginia Tech is average on offense and with the news breaking that top receiver Cam Phillips will miss the bowl game doesn’t bode well. The Cowboy defense has had ups and downs this year but after playing the likes of OU, West Virginia, and Texas Tech, Virginia Tech shouldn’t present much of a challenge. If the Hokies can’t move the ball and control the clock it will just give Oklahoma State more cracks at that defense.