This is probably the most distinctly difficult prediction this season. This is completely par for the 2018 football season course. This team is the most inconsistent in recent memory. The talent is there to post consistent wins, the coaching should be, and the results have not been even remotely focused. It’s been half a game here... great offense, terrible defense... half a game there first half shutdown, second half meltdown... bad luck everywhere, coaching losses, player losses, injuries, positional inexperience, excessive youth... everything that could go wrong short of losing the last two streaks did go wrong.
And yet here we are, looking at a bowl game and a chance to put a winning season in the books. That and a chance to do it against a pretty good football team. The Bearcats roar into the Military Bowl as a serious G5 contender (When are they finally going to divide the FBS into two leagues with a playoff for each?) No one staring at Alabama Jr. (Clemson) vs. Alabama Sr. for the fourth time in a row - besides Tiger and Elephant drones - thinks that the current situation is good, at all.
But here we are.
Who wins this one; the 10-2 Bearcats or the 6-6 Hokies?
All season this team has confused and baffled me, and with the added prep time for the Military Bowl, who knows what’s going to come of them. Are we going to see the team that pushed bowl winners UVA and Marshall and beat both, or the team that got flattened by the Miami team that got flattened by Wisconsin. I have no idea. I know Cincinnati is a good running team and I know that stopping the run has been a real flaw, so I’m really going to have to peg my expectations to that for now.
Cincinnati 31- VT 21
Said what I am going to say about this, above. If the Hokies don’t play offense in the 2nd half, they are toast; period. So it’s on the O to perform, but more than that it’s on Cornelsen. It’s either STAND ON IT! or sit on it, Potsie... (70’s Happy Days reference there).
Either it’s 38-33 Hokies, or it’s 42-14 Bearcats... take your pick.
This season has been head scratching. Each week it’s a surprise to which Hokies team we’re going to see. With that being said, the last couple of weeks of the season we seemed to be turning a corner. With a couple of weeks to work out some issues, I’m hoping Tech looks a little bit more polished and can continue the momentum into the offseason.
The Bearcats are 10-2 on the season with their signature win being over... South Florida... I guess? It’s not that I don’t think Cincinnati isn’t a decent team it is just that I haven’t actually seen them do anything particularly impressive to earn their record. If the Hokies can capture the same mentality that carried them to a commanding victory over Marshall then I think they can win over the Bearcats. Hokies forever, forever Hokies.
35-21, Virginia Tech
Due to my gambling habits, I have watched Cincinnati more times than I would care to admit this season. Overall, this isn’t a terribly impressive team but unfortunately for the Hokies, Cincinnati’s greatest strength coincides with Tech’s greatest weakness. The Bearcats have a ground-and-pound mentality, especially with a freshman quarterback, Desmond Ridder, leading the huddle on offense. With rain in the forecast, this is going to be another test for the Hokies in the trenches, one they haven’t really passed all year. However, I think the Hokies will be able to score enough on offense to outweigh the potential issues on defense.
Cincinnati is a pretty good team on both sides of the ball. The Bearcats are especially good running the football. Cincinnati has three capable runners and a quarterback who can run, too. As we all know, that’s always been an issue for the Hokies, or at least in recent years. I expect this where the game is going to be decided. If the Hokies can slow down Cincy’s run game I believe they get enough from their offense to win this game. However, I don’t think Tech can keep the Bearcats under 200 yards on the ground. Cincinnati has a good offensive line and it will wear down VT’s front and that will decide the game.
Cincinnati 27, Hokies 24
So what’s your guess on this one?
This poll is closed
Hokies do what they have done for most of the season. They play have a game, score some points early and then shutdown. Bearcats take it in a walk.
Hokies surprise the Bearcats. The offense is hot, the defense actually handles the run and Cincinnati isn’t as good in the air. Hokies win comfortably.
Bearcats’ defense is really good and stone the Tech offense but the Tech Defense rallies up and stuns the Bearcat offense. It’s a knock down drag out fist fight that the Bearcats take narrowly.
Remember the Independence Bowl? This looks like a shoot out brewing. Tech can’t run well but it can pass. Hokie defense struggles.. it’s a full on shootout... Hokies snag the win by a score.
Game Day tomorrow, from Annapolis Maryland. It’s going to be drizzly, light rain, and very cool. Let’s see how the Hokies handle it. We’ve traditionally been ‘mudders’.