Posts Tagged ‘Champs Sports Bowl Picks’

Champs Sports Bowl Picks: West Virginia vs. NC State Analysis

December 27th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Champs Sports Bowl Picks: West Virginia vs. NC State Analysis

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The Sunshine State is the home to a number of bowl games, but this one at the Florida Citrus Bowl between the West Virginia Mountaineers and the NC State Wolfpack is one that you certainly aren’t going to want to miss! These two teams play vastly differing styles of play, and they are expecting to put on a great show. But before you make your Champs Sports Bowl picks, be sure to take a peek at the three keys to the game that will determine the winner of this one on December 28th.

Key #1: Noel Devine finally needs to shine
2010 was supposed to be a season in which Devine really shined as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate. However, he never even emerged as one of the top players on the Mountaineers, let alone one of the best in the Big East or the best in the country. Devine did carry the ball 201 times this year, and in Morgantown, they had to figure that that would have been good enough for the senior to rush for at least 1,200 yards based on his history. However, an average of just 4.4 yards per carry was easily the lowest in his career. Devine only had 886 yards, and he didn’t even lead the team in rushing TDs, let alone total TDs. Over the course of the last two games against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Pitt Panthers, Devine only has 17 carries for 58 yards, and he hasn’t found the end zone. There is no doubt that the Fort Myers product can leave school with a bang, as he has rushed for 4,267 yards in his illustrious career, but we really haven’t seen anything of late that has suggested that. More importantly for Devine, he is going against the No. 10 rush defense in the land at 106.9 yards per game. NC State did a great job against some of the better backs that the ACC has to offer this year, and if this is any indicator, Devine very well could struggle again.

Champs Sports Bowl Odds at BetUS Sportsbook
West Virginia Mountaineers -2.5
North Carolina State Wolfpack +2.5
Over/Under 48.5
Click Here to Bet on Your Champs Sports Bowl Picks!

Key #2: Russell Wilson must take care of the football
There really isn’t a more fierce defense that you’re going to find outside of the BCS games than that of the Mountaineers. WVU ranks No. 2 in the land in total ‘D’ at 248.8 yards per game, and as a result, there was no team that scored more than 21 points against this team all season long. The defensive line has been absolutely dominating at times, and there is a real chance for this unit to get into the face of QB Russell Wilson all day long. Wilson has put together an offense that has averaged over 400 yards and 32 points per game, but he has the ability to really turn the ball over as well. Wilson has been picked off 14 times this year, and he has had a few outings with multiple INTs. This is a man that, as a freshman, broke the record for most passes by a freshman without a pick, and Wilson has only gone backwards from there. If the junior can’t take care of the football against this defense, there’s going to be absolutely no chance to beat the Champs Sports Bowl odds.

Key #3: Someone for the Wolfpack has to emerge as a leader on the ground
Remember that Wilson has the ability to do this as well. Against the Florida State Seminoles, Wilson was all over the field as both a runner and a thrower, and though he only had 394 yards on the season, he can run for 100 yards against a napping opponent that doesn’t keep him inside the pocket. Aside from Wilson though, the backs for the Wolfpack are nothing to write home about because they are both freshman that have a lot of growing to do. RB Mustafa Greene rushed for 584 yards and four scores on the campaign, while RB Dean Haynes had 320 yards and three visits to the end zone. Again, we have to stress just how good the Mountaineers are in their front four, but if there aren’t at least a few holes that are opened up for the NC State offensive line, there’s just no hope. The Wolfpack ranked No. 95 in the land in the rushing game at 125.8 yards per game this year, but they would love to be able to reach this point on Tuesday against a rush defense that ranked No. 2 in the country at 82.6 yards per game.