Week 4 - Bowling Green at Virginia Tech

Posted Sep 19, 2012

Week 4 CFN Fearless Prediction – Bowling Green at Virginia Tech

Bowling Green (1-2) at Virginia Tech (2-1) Sept. 22, 12:00, ESPNU

Here's The Deal: Virginia Tech, even at the height of their success, has had a nasty habit of imploding against an inferior opponent at least once a year. Its 2012 collapse took place a week ago in Pittsburgh against a Panthers team that had previously been fitted for a toe-tag. The Hokies were impotent at Heinz Field, losing 35-17 to repel completely out of the rankings. As bad as Week 3 went, Tech is still the favorite in the ACC Coastal. In other words, there's still plenty of time for the program to author one of its patented rallies under Frank Beamer. Bowling Green is traveling to Blacksburg for the first time since 1993. The Falcons have limped out of the gate, losing twice in three tries, including a week ago against MAC rival Toledo. Pegged in the preseason as an East Division contender, Dave Clawson's kids will need a turnaround to approach their projections.

Why Bowling Green Might Win: The Falcons have been sneaky-tough on defense in September, a concern for a Virginia Tech team that's whiffing offensively. In their two games versus FBS teams, the Hokies have scored just 37 points, and turnovers and blocking have been a problem. Bowling Green has already kept the offenses of Florida and Toledo in check by allowing just three touchdowns apiece. DT Chris Jones and LB Dwayne Woods are liable to give fits up front to a Tech O-line that's still looking to gel as the season enters the second quarter.

Why Virginia Tech Might Win: Bowling Green's problems on offense aren't likely to be solved at Lane Stadium. The Falcons are averaging just 16 points a game, which included dates with defensively-challenged Idaho and Toledo. RB Anthon Samuel has had moments, but veteran QB Matt Schilz has regressed. And a one-dimensional MAC attack will have a tough against a Hokies defense that just got done being kicked in the tail. This is one of those games that Tech will win at the line of scrimmage, unleashing ends James Gayle and J.R. Collins on the lumbering Schilz.

What To Watch Out For: Much like this time last year, Hokies QB Logan Thomas has started slowly. However, it's costing the offense more because RB David Wilson is no longer around to bail it out. Tech hasn't produced a single back that's rushed for 100 yards … in total through three games. The 6-6, 250-pound hurler will need to start perfecting his throws if he's going to carry the attack to a higher level. Thomas missed WR Marcus Davis on multiple occasions last weekend, which is not easy to do. Davis goes 6-4 and 232 pounds, and has the athletic tools to confound opposing defensive backs.

What Will Happen: Virginia Tech was served a wakeup call in Pittsburgh. It's time to get back to work. The Hokies may very well have been overrated in the preseason, but this remains a team with plenty of upside if it can start executing better on both sides of the ball. Although Bowling Green won't be taken behind the woodshed on Saturday, it will struggle to match the intensity and sense of urgency with which Tech will play. The Hokies will commit to running the ball more, grinding out 200 rushing yards to help create more opportunities for Thomas over the top. At least for now, the Gobblers will look like a team that belongs in the ACC title chase.

CFN Prediction: Virginia Tech 34 … Bowling Green 13
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Virginia Tech -19.5; O/U: 48
Must Watch Rating (5 �� Ray Lewis: A Football Life, 1 – Frankenweenie): 1.5