Thursday, September 11, 2008

Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech: Prediction



Georgia Tech vs Virginia Tech
3:30 PM ABC
Line: VT -6.5

Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech meet in an early season Coastal division battle that could go a long way to deciding who plays in Tampa. These two have either won or played for the last 4 ACC Championships. The Hokies have won 2 of the last 3 both in blowouts; however Georgia Tech won the last time they played in Blacksburg.

Keys to the Game:

1. Special Teams

Georgia Tech has not been great in special teams this year having two fumbles on returns and missing three field goals. Va Tech used special teams to set up a couple of scores against East Carolina. But a punt block by East Carolina buried the Hokies in their first game. Can Ga Tech solve their kicking game woes? Will Va Tech return to "Beamer Ball"?

2. Rushing Battle

Neither of these teams has great passing attacks and would prefer to move the ball on the ground. Georgia Tech has capable runners, but had trouble blocking a good defensive line last week against BC. Virginia Tech has struggled to find a ‘number 1’ at tailback and will turn some to QB Tyrod Taylor for help running the ball. The Hokies defense allowed just 2 first downs by rush last week against Furman, but the much more formidable East Carolina gained 158 with a mobile QB like Georgia Tech has. BC gained 120 net against Georgia Tech’s defense last week.

3. Quarterback Play

Both of these will pass and run out of the QB position. Virginia Tech does it with 2 players (Sean Glennon, Taylor) and Georgia Tech does it with 1 (Josh Nesbitt). Taylor and Nesbitt used their feet to make some big plays last week. Glennon tore up the Jackets last year, but that was against a more aggressive defensive scheme. VT head coach Frank Beamer has not been pleased with his QB play so far. Nesbitt is still learning GT’s spread base option attack.

Prediction

GT has a road game under their belt, but Lane Stadium is a more imposing atmosphere than Alumni Stadium at BC. If Georgia Tech can do a better job of blocking up front and avoid the turnovers, I really like their chances in this game. If the Hokies can sucessfully alternate QBs to keep the Yellow Jackets defense off balance I really like their chances.

Virginia Tech 20 Georgia Tech 17
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