Kenny’s Picks: Larson ends season on win, Hokies roll, and Bucs face pivotal game

Sports

Photo: WJHL

(WJHL) – This week, some teams face injuries, while others are looking at slight advantages in what is sure to be a great series of competitions.

NASCAR

NASCAR has reached the final race of the season on Sunday in Phoenix, as four drivers race for the NASCAR Cup championship. The favorite has to be Kyle Larson, given the devastating finishing kick he has shown by winning four of the past seven races. However, don’t count out the other three competitors: Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott and Martin Truex, Jr., who won on this race track in the spring.

Final Prediction: Larson wins

Titans vs. Rams

Now to the NFL where the Tennessee Titans will find out what life is like without all-pro runningback Derrick Henry, who had surgery on his foot on Tuesday. There is no timetable for when he’ll return. Henry ranked first in the league when it came to rushing attempts and yardage, so now the Titans will rely on the arm of Tannehill and the hands of AJ Brown and Julio Jones against this Rams football team, which has one of the best defenses in the league.

Final Prediction: Rams win 30-17

Virginia Tech vs. Boston College

On the college football scene, the Virginia Tech Hokies snapped a 3-game losing streak by beating Georgia Tech on the road this past weekend. Now they stay on the road and get ready to face the Boston College Eagles, who have struggled on offense and have lost four in a row. Their defense doesn’t give up a lot of points and can take the ball away, so the Hokies should win this game if they can stay away from turnovers.

Final Prediction: Hokies roll 24-10

Tennessee vs. Kentucky

In Lexington, Kentucky, the Wildcats get ready to face neighboring rival Tennessee, who at one time had a double-digit winning streak against the Cats. But this is not your grandfather’s Kentucky football team, which has a win over ranked Florida this season.

The Vols are coming off back-to-back losses to Ole Miss and Alabama and showed enough in those games that have people picking the Vols as one-point favorites. Plus, Tennessee should be rested and ready since they were off last week to heal up, while Kentucky is coming off a loss to Mississippi State.

Final Prediction: Vols bounce back 35-24

ETSU vs. VMI

Finally, in Johnson City, the No. 14 ETSU Buccaneers, who also should be rested and ready since they were off last week, host No. 18 Virginia Military Institute at William Greene, Jr. Stadium. VMI is fresh off back-to-back 45-point outings for the first time since 1922, most recently a narrow 46-45 win over Samford on Oct. 30, while the Bucs are coming off a big win over Furman in Greenville, SC two weeks ago.

This could turn into a high-scoring game in a pivotal home game that will impact playoff chances and Southern Conference Championship hopes. ETSU is 16-10 all-time against the Keydets, including most recently on April 3, 2021, when they upset then-ranked No. 10 VMI by the final of 24-20. 

Final Prediction: Bucs squeak out a 35-32 W

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