Thursday, October 6, 2011

Is Georgia Tech Looking Past Maryland (And Virginia and Miami)?

Ranked 13th in the country and a two touchdown favorite against Maryland this weekend has the Yellow Jackets feeling good about their chances of going to 6-0 after Saturday. Maybe too good...

Orwin Smith told CBSSports.com after the win over NC State the following...
"RB Orwin Smith said the Jackets haven't accomplished enough yet. “(5-0) means a lot, obviously,” he said. “We just have to keep going. In my mind, we haven't played real competition yet to really test our skills... I'm looking forward to the tough games -- Virginia Tech and Clemson. Those really are going to make a statement.”.

If Georgia Tech takes cares of Maryland they have two more games where they will likely be favored before setting up a matchup of undefeated and top 10 teams when Clemson comes to Atlanta on October 29. ESPN GameDay is already in discussions to bring their show and a prime time slot for that game expecting the Tigers to be unbeaten as well.

Before they get to 8-0, the Jackets will have to overcome some history especially with their next two opponents after the Terps. On October 15, Tech travels to Charlottesville where they will face an underwhelming Virginia team. However, many a promising season has ended at Scott Stadium where GT has won just once since 1990. The 1999, 2001, and 2005 losses were an especially bitter pill to swallow for Jackets' fans as they were defeated by inferior Cavalier teams. See a pattern here?

Following UVA on Oct 22 is a trip to Miami. The Hurricanes have defeated Georgia Tech the last two seasons outscoring the Yellow Jackets 68-27, a dominance far outweighing any other ACC team. Al Golden's team should be at full strength by then with all suspended players back. If there is a team that has "figured out" Paul Johnson's system then it would be Miami (I don't actually believe that but the stats against UM are damning).

Georgia Tech probably wins their next three to enter the Clemson game at 8-0, but not if they are looking ahead like it appears they were after last week's win.

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