Rutgers vs Wake Forest Prediction, TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Game Preview

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Rutgers vs Wake Forest: TaxSlayer Gator Bowl prediction, game preview, how to watch

Rutgers vs Wake Forest: TaxSlayer Gator Bowl How To Watch

Date: Friday, December 31
Game Time: 11:00 am ET
Venue: TISAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
How To Watch: ESPN, Live stream on ESPN+
Record: Rutgers (5-7), Wake Forest (10-3)
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Rutgers vs Wake Forest TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Preview

Well look at what we’ve got here. It’s an interesting curveball that might make this one of the more fascinating bowls of the late part of the season.

Texas A&M couldn’t go because of COVID issues, so in comes a Rutgers team that had the highest APR – Academic Progress Rate; the first criteria among programs that didn’t get to six wins – among 5-7 teams.

There’s a plus side to that. Even a healthy Texas A&M would’ve been missing a slew of key parts. It just means more to Rutgers.

Which style can take over the game early on? Wake Forest wants to go fast, keep the Scarlet Knight defense on its heels, and strike in a hurry with its exiting offense that can score points in bunches. Rutgers wants to grind this down to a dead stop.

There’s no sugar-coating this – Rutgers can’t and doesn’t score. There’s a chance Wake Forest turns the lights on on this game in a hurry with a whole slew of early points, but the Scarlet Knight defense has been able to crank up the defense at times with a whole slew of takeaways.

The best Rutgers win was against … Illinois? The team didn’t have a win over anyone that went to a bowl game and failed to score more than 16 points in any of its seven losses.

Wake Forest had a magnificent run with an ACC Championship appearance. The loss to Pitt obviously wasn’t a plus, but it was great moment for the program just to get there. Win this, and a great season becomes something special. Lose, and it becomes the team that lost to the 5-7 fill-in.

Why Rutgers, Wake Forest Will Win
Prediction, What’s Going To Happen, History

NEXT: Why Rutgers Will Win, Why Wake Forest Will Win, TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Prediction

Why Wake Forest Will Win The TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

Again, Rutgers just doesn’t score points.

It put up 61 in the opener against Temple, hung 45 on Delaware, and 38 on Indiana. That was it.

The 20 scored on Illinois in a road win was the equivalent of the Greatest Show on Turf for this bunch.

The offense was dead last in the Big Ten in downfield passing, third downs, and it rarely showed anything consistently strong in any way.

The passing attack? It didn’t get to 165 yards in any of its last six games.

Wake Forest is the opposite. It might have fizzled in the ACC Championship loss to Pitt, but it led the league in third down plays and yards per completion.

The O might have turned it over too often, but the D made up for it with an ACC-high 27 takeaways. As long as QB Sam Hartman and the passing attack can make the Rutgers offense have to press, everything should be okay.

However …

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Why Rutgers Will Win The TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

When Wake Forest melts down with turnovers, it goes all the way.

Again, the defense normally made up for the issues, or the offense would bomb its way back from a mistake, but the four giveaways against Pitt were a killer.

Over the last five games of the regular season, Hartman and the passing attack gave up 13 picks with three in the loss to Clemson – only one of those was on Hartman – two in the loss to North Carolina, and three more in the close-call win over NC State.

In the 2020 Duke’s Mayo Bowl, Wake Forest was rolling right along against Wisconsin – and then the Badgers took the ball away with four picks in their 42-28 win.

To keep pressing this home, Rutgers can’t keep up with its offense. However, there’s a decent enough running game – at times – to give it a try against a leaky Wake Forest defense that allows over 200 yards per game.

Grind, grind, grind, and then wait for the mistakes.

The Rutgers defense that forced five takeaways against Temple and six against Indiana has to strike. The chances will be there.

Prediction, What’s Going To Happen, History

NEXT: What’s Going To Happen, Rutgers vs Wake Forest Prediction, TaxSlayer Gator Bowl History

Rutgers vs Wake Forest: TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, What’s Going To Happen

Rutgers can come in totally loose and without any worries – it gets to play an extra game and can have some fun.

Wake Forest, though, will get the offense going early, the defense that has so many problems in so many ways will make up for them with a few takeaways and plenty of plays behind the line.

Rutgers will fight the good fight, but it won’t have the offensive pop – and it just won’t have had the time – to keep up.

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: Rutgers vs Wake Forest Prediction, Lines

Wake Forest 38, Rutgers 16
Line: Wake Forest -15, o/u: 62
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3.5
Expert Picks: CFP & NY6 | Dec 28-Jan 4

Must See Rating: 2.5

5: New Year’s Eve in a bar
1: New Year’s Eve watching a ball drop

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TaxSlayer Gator Bowl History

Jan. 2, 2021 Kentucky 23, NC State 21
Jan. 2, 2020 Tennessee 23, Indiana 22
Dec. 31, 2018 Texas A&M 52, NC State 13
Dec. 30, 2017 Mississippi State 31, Louisville 27
Dec. 31, 2016 Georgia Tech 33, Kentucky 18
Jan. 2, 2016 Georgia 24 Penn State 17
Jan. 2, 2015 Tennessee 45 Iowa 28
Jan. 1, 2014 Nebraska 24 Georgia 19
Jan. 1, 2013 Northwestern 34 Mississippi State 20
Jan. 2, 2012 Florida 24 Ohio State 17
Jan. 1, 2011 Mississippi State 52 Michigan 14
Jan. 1, 2010 Florida State 33 West Virginia 21
Jan. 1, 2009 Nebraska 26 Clemson 21
Jan. 1, 2008 Texas Tech 31 Virginia 28
Jan. 1, 2007 West Virginia 38 Georgia Tech 35
Jan. 2, 2006 Virginia Tech 35 Louisville 24
Jan. 1, 2005 Florida State 30 West Virginia 18
Jan. 1, 2004 Maryland 41 West Virginia 7
Jan. 1, 2003 N.C. State 28 Notre Dame 6
Jan. 1, 2002 Florida State 30 Virginia Tech 17
Jan. 1, 2001 Virginia Tech 41 Clemson 20
Jan. 1, 2000 Miami 28 Georgia Tech 13
Jan. 1, 1999 Georgia Tech 35 Notre Dame 28
Jan. 1, 1998 North Carolina 42 Virginia Tech 3
Jan. 1, 1997 North Carolina 20 West Virginia 13
Jan. 1, 1996 Syracuse 41 Clemson 0
Dec. 30, 1994 Tennessee 45 Virginia Tech 23
Dec. 31, 1993 Alabama 24 North Carolina 10
Dec. 31, 1992 Florida 27 N.C. State 10
Dec. 29, 1991 Oklahoma 48 Virginia 14
Jan. 1, 1991 Michigan 35 Mississippi 3
Dec. 30, 1989 Clemson 27 West Virginia 7
Jan. 1, 1989 Georgia 34 Michigan State 27
Dec. 31, 1987 LSU 30 South Carolina 13
Dec. 27, 1986 Clemson 27 Stanford 21
Dec. 30, 1985 Florida State 34 Oklahoma 23
Dec. 28, 1984 Oklahoma State 21 South Carolina 14
Dec. 30, 1983 Florida 14 Iowa 6
Dec. 30, 1982 Florida State 31 West Virginia 12
Dec. 28, 1981 North Carolina 31 Arkansas 27
Dec. 29, 1980 Pittsburgh 37 South Carolina 9
Dec. 28, 1979 North Carolina 17 Michigan 15
Dec. 29, 1978 Clemson 17 Ohio State 15
Dec. 30, 1977 Pittsburgh 34 Clemson 3
Dec. 27, 1976 Notre Dame 20 Penn State 9
Dec. 29, 1975 Maryland 13 Florida 0
Dec. 30, 1974 Auburn 27 Texas 3
Dec. 29, 1973 Texas Tech 28 Tennessee 19
Dec. 30, 1972 Auburn 24 Colorado 3
Dec. 31, 1971 Georgia 7 North Carolina 3
Jan. 2, 1971 Auburn 35 Mississippi 28
Dec. 27, 1969 Florida 14 Tennessee 13
Dec. 28, 1968 Missouri 35 Alabama 10
Dec. 30, 1967 Florida State 17 Penn State 17
Dec. 31, 1966 Tennessee 18 Syracuse 12
Dec. 31, 1965 Georgia Tech 31 Texas Tech 21
Jan. 2, 1965 Florida State 36 Oklahoma 19
Dec. 28, 1963 North Carolina 35 Air Force 0
Dec. 29, 1962 Florida 17 Penn State 7
Dec. 30, 1961 Penn State 30 Georgia Tech 15
Dec. 31, 1960 Florida 13 Baylor 12
Jan. 2, 1960 Arkansas 14 Georgia Tech 7
Dec. 27, 1958 Mississippi 7 Florida 3
Dec. 28, 1957 Tennessee 3 Texas A&M 0
Dec. 29, 1956 Georgia Tech 21 Pittsburgh 14
Dec. 31, 1955 Vanderbilt 25 Auburn 13
Dec. 31, 1954 Auburn 33 Baylor 13
Jan. 1, 1954 Texas Tech 35 Auburn 13
Jan. 1, 1953 Florida 14 Tulsa 13
Jan. 1, 1952 Miami 14 Clemson 0
Jan. 1, 1951 Wyoming 20 Washington & Lee 7
Jan. 2, 1950 Maryland 20 Missouri 7
Jan. 1, 1949 Clemson 24 Missouri 23
Jan. 1, 1948 Maryland 20 Georgia 20
Jan. 1, 1947 Oklahoma 34 N.C. State 13
Jan. 1, 1946 Wake Forest 26 South Carolina 14

Rutgers vs Wake Forest Preview