This is a bit of a square play for me, but I have said all along that I thought the Big 12 was a bit better than the ACC from top to bottom. This to me is a bad match-up for Virginia Tech. Oklahoma State is a balanced offense that probably would have better numbers had their offensive line not been banged up in the middle of the season. Virginia Tech leans on their defense more than the offense, but they only topped 24 points once all season against a power 5 opponent. I don't see how that would get it done against Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma State outgained their power 5 opponents by 156.3 yards per game and 8 went to bowl games. Virginia Tech outgained their p5 opponents by 29.8 yards per game while 6 are in bowl games. Both teams faced a similar strength of schedule. Virginia Tech faced around a 72.1 opponent while Oklahoma State faced 73. Virginia Tech ranked on average 44.8th in the country in key stats, while Oklahoma State ranked 29.3. Both teams beat up on the weaker teams, but a key look in at who they lost to reveals Oklahoma State is the play for me.
Virginia Techs' #13 passing defense only faced 1 top 60 passing offense in West Virginia. West Virginia threw all over Va Tech and outgained them by 123 yards, but lost the game. Mainly, because they turned the ball over and they ranked 100th against the run and 75th running the ball. Oklahoma State ranks #3 in passing, #38 in rushing ypc, and their run defense ranks 17th. They are a more complete football team, and in Virginia Tech's games against top 50 rushing teams they went 1-3 on the year. Those 4 opponents did not have a passing attack even remotely close ranking 61st, 114, 116, and 71st.
Oklahoma State lost 3 games and each one came against a top 50 offense. Virginia Tech ranked #84 in yards per play offense. Their QB Josh Jackson is the key, but Oklahoma State has had success against mobile QB's this year holding Kenny Hill to just 15 yards. Jackson has to be able to run the ball for them to stay in this game, and I just don't see it happening.
Lastly against common opponents Oklahoma State outgained Pitt & West Virginia in 2 road games by a total of 439 yards while Virginia Tech at home and neutral field were outgained by 114 yards. Virginia Tech's losses came by 14, 18 and 6 points to Georgia Tech. Last year in Fuente's first year they lost 4 games by 21, 14, 10, and 7. So in 7 loses for Fuente they have lost on average by 12.8 points per game and I can see a similar result here with Oklahoma State winning by 10-14 points.
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