It was an interesting Camping World Bowl with both teams doing what they were supposed to in Oklahoma State’s 30-21 win over Virginia Tech. Here are five things that matter.
2017 Camping World Bowl: Oklahoma State 30, Virginia Tech 21
5. They are who we thought they were …
To quote the late, great Dennis Green.
In this wildly unpredictable bowl season, this went according to plan – for the most part.
The Virginia Tech defense was supposed to keep the high-powered Oklahoma State offense from going off, and it did. The OSU numbers were there, but the score was kept within range deep into the fourth quarter.
The Cowboy offense was supposed to be amazing, and it was when it had to be.
Mason Rudolph was supposed to be the veteran quarterback who took over, and he did.
Josh Jackson was supposed to be the up-and-coming star in need of a little more seasoning, and he was.
When needed, the Oklahoma State offense was supposed to bequest a bit better than the fantastic Virginia Tech D, and it was.
4. Virginia Tech is going to be really, really good
Remember, this was supposed to be a bit of a rebuilding year for the Hokies.
The ACC was all about Clemson, and Florida State, and Miami, but Virginia Tech was a player again despite all the inexperience and youth.
There aren’t any seniors on the defensive line, the offensive backfield is going back loaded, and the playmakers are there to get really, really excited for 2018.
Again, this was a veteran Oklahoma State team the Hokies battled with down until the final moments. Season this Virginia Tech team up just a little bit, add a little more offensive pop and then watch out.
3. Josh Jackson is going to be special, too
The Hokie quarterback showed the maturity beyond his years in the opener against West Virginia, and he carried it throughout the season. He might have been an inconsistent passer, and his decision-making will improve as he goes on, but it’s there.
To keep harping on this, he had to go toe-to-toe with a future NFL starting quarterback in Mason Rudolph, and in a lot of ways, he held his own, showing off the arm, the mobility, and the poise to never get rattled.
He came up short, but he threw for 248 yards and a score with a pick, ran for 50 yards and two touchdowns, and was strong up until the very end.
Oklahoma State was the better team, but for those who didn’t watch him throughout the year, Jackson is a star to build around. But …
2. Mason Rudolph is Mason Rudolph
I’m one of the few that thinks he’s every bit as as strong as the Rosens and Darnolds of the NFL prospect world, but he’s knocked down just a wee bit because he doesn’t have the cannon, and Oklahoma State quarterbacks are seen as part of a system.
But the guy put up massive numbers this year for the high-octane passing attack, hitting 21-of-32 passes for 351 yards and two touchdowns – and no picks.
Under the pressure of the Virginia Tech defense, he played like Oklahoma State was supposed to win because it had the superstar veteran quarterback.
It helped to have …
1. The other Oklahoma State weapons
Rudolph conducted the show, but his guys showed up, too.
Justin Hill pounded away late to help grind down the clock a bit, running for 120 yards and a score on 23 carries, and James Washington looked like his normal self with time to heal up a bit. He caught five passes for 126 yards and a score, averaging over 25 yards per catch.
Having a great defense like Virginia Tech’s is great, but if you’ve got the veteran star power at the skill spots, it makes life a lot easier.