#24 Georgia Tech (-4) vs NC State
Ever since their last loss to UNC, the Wolfpack have had to hear how they are underachieving and that Coach Amato's job is in jeopardy. A bunker mentality has set in with NC State and its football team and they plan to come out swinging tonight against a team who has given them fits over the last few years. NC State has not beaten Georgia Tech since an overtime win in 2000.
Last season, with P.J. Daniels out, tailback Reshaun Grant stepped in and run for over 100 yards and Kenny Scott returned an interception for a touchdown in a Yellow Jacket win.
Tech has been backed into a corner itself after a 51-7 mauling at the hands of Virginia Tech almost two weeks ago. Reggie Ball looks to be 100 percent after a bout with viral meningitis, but defensive end star Eric Henderson will be out again this week with a high ankle sprain. Henderson is a key cog in the Jackets defensive scheme and brings a lot of energy to the attacking defensive scheme employed by coordinator Jon Tenuta. Darrell Robertson will start in Henderson 's absence and true freshman Michael Johnson will also seem significant time.
Both teams bread and butter is running the ball and both teams have multiple backs that can very well. Daniels is the primary back in the Yellow Jackets offense, but expect to see sophomore Tashard Choice as well. The Pack's main weapon is true freshmen Toney Baker. NC State will also utilize Andre Brown and Bobby Washington in multiple roles out of the backfield. Ball and State QB Jay Davis have both shown the ability to pass the ball when necessary.
NC State's offensive philosophy is to get the ball out of Jay Davis' hands quickly and allow their fast receivers to make plays after the catch. Tech will blitz as UNC Coach John Bunting puts it, "As soon as they get off the bus", but the rush may be neutralized by the Wolfpack's 'dink and dunk' attack. Georgia Tech will try to confuse Jay Davis and make him hold onto the ball longer than wanted. The Jackets have had trouble tackling on the edge with their corners, but have tackled everywhere else very well.
Georgia Tech has to get the running game going to be successful on offense in this game. If Tech has to rely on the passing game to win then they will be in trouble. The Jackets have shown the ability to run this year on most everyone and NC State should be no exception. The Wolfpack will have to shadow Calvin Johnson with a safety, so Damarius Bilbo and the other receivers to get involved.
Expect some turnovers as the weather will play a part. Tech has too much talent and will respond well after a poor last outing.
Prediction: Georgia Tech 27 NC State 24