Bowl Breakdown: Gator
It's no cliché labeling this team the Cardiac Cavaliers. Virginia won an NCAA-record five games that were decided by two points or less, with the combination of a stifling defense and a 100th-ranked offense that struggled with injuries. The defense is anchored by a projected top-five pick in the NFL Draft in defensive end
With all do respect to the Air Force, it's Texas Tech that rules the nation's skies. For the fifth time in six seasons, the Red Raiders are the nation's top passing team, averaging 475.6 yards per game. Gaudy quarterback statistics have been the norm in Lubbock, with
Texas Tech's defense has been strong against the pass, ranking 17th (196 ypg) but has been hit hard on the ground, giving up 171 rushing yards a game (78th), including 269.5 in its four losses to Oklahoma State, Missouri, Colorado and Texas. The unit is led by a pair of sophomores in defensive end
The Red Raiders have allowed 15 sacks all season but you can bet Long will find his way to Harrell repeatedly. But as we saw against an Oklahoma team whose defense ranks just behind the Cavaliers, it isn't just about putting pressure on Harrell when it comes to combating the Texas Tech passing game. Teams have to be able to lock down on the receivers and there are just too many options with six Red Raiders registering 30 or more receptions in '07. Even if Virginia manages to disrupt the Texas Tech offense, it's unlikely the defense can keep the Red Raiders down enough for the Cavaliers to deliver another nail-biter victory.