This coming Thursday, a college bowl game mainstay kicks off for the 28th time and 17th edition of the event since moving to Orlando's Camping World stadium. Dubbed the Camping World Bowl for the 2017 rendition of the holiday classic, the game will feature the No.22 Virginia Tech Hokies (9-3) vs the No. 19 Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3).
The December 28th game should be one of the best matchups of this year's bowl season. One cause for excitement is the opportunity to get one more look at Oklahoma State's high-energy scoring machine which averages 392.3 yards passing and 46.3 points per game. That effort is fueled by QB Mason Rudolph from Rock Hill, SC and recievers Marcell Ateman and James Washington. Rudolph garnered 4,553 yards passing and 35 touchdowns this season connecting with his dynamic duo for more than two thousand yards of it.
Washington (69 REC, 1,423 YDS, 12 TD) and Ateman (54 REC, 1,049 YDS, 8 TD) are sure to test the limits of Virginia Tech's defense as the Cowboys make their first Camping World Bowl appearance. However, the Hokies definitely have the muscle to push back.
Virginia Tech makes it's 25th consecutive post season bowl appearance led by a defense forged by Bud Forsters 30 years of defensive coaching experience. The Hokies biggest threat is linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and ALL-ACC corner Greg Stroman. Edmunds' 102 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, more than 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles will be one of the biggest obstacles for Oklahoma State to overcome. Virginia Tech allowed just 13.5 points per game this season - ranked fifth nationally in scoring defense. Who you won't see on the field for the Hokies is reciever Cam Phillips along with his 71 receptions for 964 yards. Phillips recently underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia and has been ruled out for Thursday's game.
The Hokies will be making their second appearance in the Camping World Bowl event. Previously, the Hokies downed Rutgers 13-10 in overtime in 2012.
If you're looking for the X-factor in this game you should keep your eyes on the Mason Rudolph to James Washington connection. Despite Virgina Tech's tough defense, there should be some memerable highlights from the duo.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 31, Virginia Tech 27
The team's were also busy with a whirlwind of off-field events over the weekend. Some of the events included theme park visits and shopping spree experiences to test out the lartest gadgets just in time for Christmas.
GAME TIME: Dec. 28, 5:15 p.m.
LOCATION: Orlando, Florida, Camping World Stadium
Be sure to log on to anotherdamnsportsnetwork.com for updates on the Camping World Bowl throughout the week.