Friday, October 16, 2009
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech Preview and Prediction
Virginia Tech Hokies at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Saturday October 17 ESPN2 6PM
Line: VT -3
Georgia Tech's ACC title hopes could get a big boost or become a big bust on Saturday night when they face off against Va Tech Saturday night in Atlanta. Both teams have 5-1 records, but the Hokies are undefeated in ACC play already with a win over Miami, who GT lost to. These two teams are the only teams to represent the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship Game.
Three Questions For Virginia Tech
1. Can The Hokies Win The Line Of Scrimmage?
Va Tech's front seven will need to close gaps and create pressure to disrupt GT's spread option offense. GT's worst offensive game and only loss was to Miami who got great penetration up front. If GT cannot block VT then they cannot run the ball and if they cannot run the ball they will not win.
2. Will Va Tech Establish The Run?
I know VT usually is a run first team, but OC Bryan Stinespring has to be licking his chops at GT's pass defense. But if the Hokies are smart they do what they do best and make GT stop them as opposed to attacking the other team's weakness first.
3. Will The Hokies Take Advantage of Poor Kick Coverage?
Va Tech was able to stay in the Alabama game with a kick return for a touchdown. GT's kick coverage is some of the worst in the ACC. Neither team punts a whole lot, but GT already has one bad snap for a safety this year. And we all know about Beamer Ball and put blocks.
Three Questions For Georgia Tech
1. Can Ga Tech Get Pressure On The QB?
The Yellow Jackets poor pass defense has less to do with poor coverage and more to do with a lack of a pass rush. Tyrod Taylor is not your classic drop back passer, but if you give him enough time he can beat you with his arm. And if Taylor is threading the needle then GT is in for a long night.
2. What Impact Does WR Thomas Have?
The leading receiver in the ACC this season did not play in this game last year and his absence limited GT's pass options. Demaryius Thomas has had some of his best games lately taking advantage of one on one coverage. I would not expect VT to do anything different than other teams so Thomas should have opportunities in single coverage.
3. Can GT Punch It In The Red Zone?
The Yellow Jackets have struggled getting touchdowns in the red zone (14 of 27) this season and the kicking game has not been very reliable lately. VT does not let teams inside their 20 many times, but if GT wants to pull off the upset they have to punch it in. You don't beat the number four team in the nation kicking field goals and missing opportunities.
Georgia Tech played Virginia Tech tough last year losing just 20-17 in their third game under Paul Johnson. The Yellow Jackets out gained the Hokies by 140 yards last year. I think getting Thomas this year on offense opens up a lot more options for Ga Tech. The Yellow Jackets defense cannot be much worse and they bounced back well the last time after a poor outing against North Carolina. I like the Yellow Jackets as a home underdog.
Georgia Tech 28 Virginia Tech 24
Ga Tech Covers +3