Thursday, October 30, 2008

Georgia Tech-Florida State Preview and Prediction

Florida State at Georgia Tech
Saturday 3:30 PM
Line: GT -2

FSU and Georgia Tech meet on Saturday in an important ACC showdown. The Seminoles are trying to maintain a first place tie in the Atlantic Division while Georgia Tech is trying to crawl back into the Coastal Division race. FSU has won 4 in a row while Georgia Tech had a 4 game winning streak stopped last week against Virginia.

FSU Offense vs Georgia Tech Defense
The FSU offense is improved over the last few years mainly due to a revived running game led by Antone Smith. Smith is helping FSU average close to 200 ypg on the ground. QB Christian Ponder has been slowly improving on the watch of OC Jimbo Fisher. Ponder is completing 57% of his passes with 9TD and 6INT. The FSU offensive line is young, but athletic.

Georgia Tech's defense had been carrying the team until last week when the unit could not get Virginia's offense off the field. The defensive line is one of the best in the ACC led by three seniors. The linebackers are a young group who is great against the run, but has struggled against the pass. The secondary is led by sophomore Morgan Burnett. This unit is very young though and could be starting two true freshman.

Georgia Tech Offense vs FSU Defense
Ga Tech's offense has had its ups and downs this season. QB Josh Nesbitt has had a similar season struggling with fumbles, but making plays with his feet. RB Jonathan Dwyer is a load at B-back, but around him the depth is thin. The offensive line has the toughest job learning the new system and executing it. Last week, the 0-line had a bad game and its play largely determines how well GT moves the ball.

For all the struggles of FSU over the past few years, the defense under DC Mickey Andrews has remained a constant. The run defense is very strong giving up under 80 ypg. The pass defense is a little less formidable, but not by much giving up 170 ypg. However, the strongest part of the FSU defense is their third down conversion where they are allowing under a 20% conversion rate.

I thought Georgia Tech would lose 1 more game in the ACC, but I did not expect it to happen last week. The Seminoles are on a run and improving each week. This is a gut check week for Paul Johnson's team after last week. I think the Yellow Jackets play better this week, but it will not be enough against FSU's tough defense.

Florida State 23 Georgia Tech 20
FSU Covers +2

Last Week: 3-2 ATS, 3-2 SU
Season: 23-9-2 ATS, 23-11 SU

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