Preparing for the 2021 New Era Pinstripe Bowl:
With just over an hour to go until the 11th Annual* New Era Pinstripe Bowl, let’s talk a bit about this years competitors:
From the Big 10 we have the Maryland Terrapins, and
From the ACC we have the Virginia Tech Hokies!
It’s Pinstripe Bowl Eve! As @HokiesFB and @TerpsFootball get one more sleep before game day, let’s take a look back at their whirlwind @BowlSeason week in New York City. A thread🧵 — NewEraPinstripeBowl (@PinstripeBowl) December 29, 2021
General Game/Team/Bowl Notes:
As with most notable Division-I football programs, the 2021 Pinstripe Bowl will not be the first meeting between the Maryland Terrapins and the Virginia Tech Hokies. This will be their 32nd meeting, of which the University of Maryland holds the all time series 16-15.
Interestingly enough, the Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) used to be home to both teams. Maryland was one of 8 founding members of the ACC back in 1953 and restructuring of NCAA conferences from 2004 to 2005 brought Virginia Tech into the ACC. However, other restructuring of the NCAA major conferences that took place between 2010 and 2014 saw Maryland leave the ACC to join the Big 10. During their 10 years in conference together from 2004-2013, the two teams faced off 5 times with the Hokies going 4-1. They last played against each other in 2013 when Maryland won 27-24 in Overtime.
This will be the first New Era Pinstripe Bowl for each team.
The Virginia Tech Hokies are a slight favorite (by 1) to win the Pinstripe Bowl, which would make them the first ACC team to win since Duke beat Indiana 44-41 in overtime back in 2015. Since the adoption of the Pinstripe Bowl being a meeting between the ACC and Big 10 in 2014, the Big 10 has gone 5-1.
The Away Team: Maryland Terrapins
Coming out of the Big 10, the 2021 Maryland Terrapins went 6-6 during their football season while going 3-6 while playing in-conference. In games against ranked opponents, the Terrapins went 0-4 and in away games they went 2-3. They finished the year 5th in the East Division of the Big 10 behind ranked Michigan (#2), Ohio State (#6), Michigan State (#10), and unranked Penn State (7-5 overall record).
Led by 1st year head coach Mike Locksley, it should be expected that he’ll be starting quarterback Taulia Tagovaiola, the younger brother of current Miami Dolphins quarterback Tau Tagovaiola. Tagovaiola threw for 200+ yards in 9 games this season while recording a 68.4% completion percentage, 24 passing touchdowns to 11 interceptions. He also set new records for completions (308) and passing yards (3595) for Maryland. On the rushing front, the Terrapins had 7 games with over 100 total yards on the ground.
On defense, Maryland allowed an average of 32.4 points per game. However, this includes their 4 losses when allowing 40+ points to each of their 4 ranked opponents on their schedule. Removing these games, Maryland allowed an average of 21.6 points per game.
The Home Team: Virginia Tech Hokies
Coming out of the Big 10, the 2021 Virginia Tech Hokies went 6-6 during their football season while going 4-4 while playing in-conference. In games against ranked opponents, the Hokies went 2-1 while in away games they went 2-3. They finished the year 3rd in the Coastal Division behind ranked Pittsburgh (#12) and unranked Miami (FL) (7-5 overall record).
Led by interim head coach J.C. Price- who took over for the teams final 2 games of the season-, it should be expected that Braxton Burmeister will be starting under center. Burmeister threw for 200+ yards in 4 games this season. On the rushing front, the Hokies had 11 games with over 100 total yards on the ground.
On defense, Virginia Tech allowed an average of 22.9 points per game. They allowed 40+ points to score just once (against Syracuse).
The Hokies will also be sporting the Yankees interlocked logo on their helmets (see below), though this will not be the first time a Virginia Tech team wears the logo. The school has been closely connected with the Yankees after the Yankees set up a $1 Million memorial fund after the events of April 16th, 2007. In 2008, the Yankees also took time to visit the school and to play the baseball team in an exhibition game at English Field.
In appreciation to the @Yankees for their longstanding relationship with the #Hokies, as well as the many gestures of compassion that they have extended to @virginia_tech over the years, we are proud to announce a special addition to our helmets for the @PinstripeBowl pic.twitter.com/grEl7DPbgX — Virginia Tech Football (@HokiesFB) December 28, 2021