Friday, November 7, 2008

Georgia Tech-North Carolina Preview and Prediction

Georgia Tech at North Carolina
Saturday 12:00 PM
Line: UNC -4

The Tar Heels and Yellow Jackets meet in a game that could go a long way to deciding the Coastal Division champion. UNC has had an off week to prepare for Georgia Tech's spread based option. The Jackets saved their victory over FSU last Saturday with a fumble recovery on their own goal line.

Keys to the Game:

1. Turnovers
In Georgia Tech's two losses they have had turnovers at key times. The option offense lends itself to fumbles with many hands the ball touches on a typical play. North Carolina has been great at creating turnovers, but in one of their losses they had key turnovers late that allowed Virginia Tech to get cheap touchdowns. UNC has a +10 margin in 6 wins and -5 in 2 losses.

2. 3rd Down Defense
This has been the achilles heel of the Georgia Tech defense this season. The Yellow Jackets have allowed most of those conversions on passes over the middle that takes advantage of a young linebacking corps. It may not matter as much to North Carolina stopping GT because Johnson goes for it on 4th down so much.

3. Offensive Line
Tech has some serious injury issues on their line having lost T David Brown two weeks ago and now their best lineman in T Andrew Gardner. The line play was very good last week, but not very good against Virginia two weeks ago. Gardner and Brown's replacements both played well last week, but the inexperience may come into play.


North Carolina is the first team to have more than 1 week to prepare for Paul Johnson's offense since the opening opponent Jacksonville State. I go back to key #1 for the biggest reason why the winning team will come out on top. The inexperience on Tech's offensive line has to be a big worry as does the way their last two opponents have moved the ball on their defense. I will take North Carolina at home, but it is very close.

North Carolina 23 Georgia Tech 21
Georgia Tech Covers +4

Last Week: 0-4 ATS, 1-3 SU
Season: 23-13-2 ATS, 24-14 SU

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