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NCAA Bowl Previews 2015: Camping World Independence Bowl

17 down, 25 to go, and next up is a face-off between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.Va Tech will be looking to


17 down, 25 to go, and next up is a face-off between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Va Tech will be looking to send off legendary coach Frank Beamer with a ‘W’ in what is their 23rd straight bowl game. Furthermore, a win would give them consecutive bowl wins and a winning record in Beamer’s final year. To do this, they will be relying on their defense. Defensively, they rank 34th in total defense (354 YPG), 9th in passing (173.8 PYG), 76th in rushing (180 RYG) and 47th in scoring (24.2 PPG). Offensively though, they rank 94th in total offense (367 YPG), 71st in passing (216 PYG), 94th in rushing (151.3 RYG) and 63rd in scoring (29 PPG). One of the keys on defense is Dadi Nicolas. Nicolas is a high motor player. As a three- or five-technique he uses a powerful, quick first step to split double teams and get an immediate jump on the ball. When he lines up outside it’s his feet that give him an advantage, he needs to work on his hands and strength at the point of attack. He doesn’t have ideal size 6’3”, 236lbs so he projects as more of a developmental 3-4 outside linebacker. The other players to watch for Va Tech are: Luther Maddy (DT), Ryan Malleck (TE), Bucky Hodges (rSo, TE), J.C. Coleman (RB), Michael Brewer (QB), Ronny Vandyke (LB) and Wade Hansen (OT). Tulsa on the other hand are looking for a 2nd consecutive bowl win in their first bowl game since 2012 and also looking to secure a winning record on the year. Unlike Va Tech, Tulsa will be looking to win this game with a high powered offense. On offense, the Golden Hurricane rank 14th in total offense (503 YPG), 11th in passing (329.8 PYG), 63rd in rushing (172.9 RYG), 26th in scoring (35.9 PPG). Defensively, it’s an entirely different story. They rank 126th in total defense (532 PYG), 124th in passing (293 PYG), 119th in rushing (238.5 RYG) and 120th in scoring (38.6 PPG). The Golden Hurricane offense is going to have to play out of its mind against a strong defense to win this game, and senior WR Keyarris Garrett will be a big factor. Garrett is 6’3”, 221lbs and when he plays he uses every bit of that size to his advantage. He uses his height and strength advantage and his long arms to high point the ball very well, above any defender, and he comes down with the ball a lot thans to his sticky, strong hands. On shorter routes he uses his big frame to shield the ball for defenders. However, his long-stride running style and speed makes scouts question his ability to challenge vertically in the NFL, but his natural skills make him an intriguing day 3 prospect. Strong safety Michael Mudoh will also be looking to make a big impact in his final game as a Golden Hurricane. If you want to watch this game, or any of the other Bowl games, the complete Bowl schedule can be found here, where you’ll be able to see how and when you can watch every game.  

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Remy Cabache

Lifetime sports fan. I have written with RealSport since the NFL section started and I have also written for my own blog, EbonyBird.com and I have had several articles published in local newspapers covering my local (American) football team.

NCAA Bowl Previews 2015: Camping World Independence Bowl

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