This is a game that has as good of a geographic draw as any bowl game this year. This matchup has been in the works for several years now, but every attempt to get the two programs together has failed. Virginia Tech is led by the legs of freshman running back Ryan Williams, who is 110 yards away from breaking the school’s all-time rushing record in a single season. Tennessee is led by its great defense, coached by longtime NFL coordinator Monte Kiffin. The Volunteer program is on the way back to the top under Lane Kiffin, and he surely wants to help use a win in this game to recruit and bolster his program.
Player to watch: Eric Berry is arguably the best defensive back in college football since Charles Woodson (apologies to Chris Gamble, DeAngelo Hall, Sean Taylor). Monte Kiffin loves to place Berry in different situations all over the field to get him involved in as many plays as possible. It will be up to Berry to stop Ryan Williams from breaking off long runs, and from letting the Tech receivers break open downfield.
Who has the edge?
The Hokies were more than likely the better football team in 11 of their 12 games this season. Talent-wise, few teams can stand toe-to-toe with Frank Beamer’s squad. However, Lane Kiffin has had the Volunteers play their best football against the biggest teams, i.e. Florida and Alabama. This game will be a great one, and a close battle.
Virginia Tech 24, Tennessee 17