No. 22 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-1, 2-2 ATS) at Florida State Seminoles (2-3, 1-4 ATS) Doak Campbell Stadium Tallahassee, F.L. Saturday October 10th, 8:00PM Eastern
By Jay Horne of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Georgia Tech +2.5/Florida State -2.5
The no. 22 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head down to Tallahassee this Saturday night in a premier ACC match-up with the Florida State Seminoles.
The Yellow Jackets suffered an embarrassing loss earlier this year to Miami which set the team back. However, the Yellow Jackets have rebounded with two straight wins and are still among contenders in the ACC. Florida State is trying to salvage their season after a disappointing 2-3 start. The Seminoles had a big win over BYU, but have lost two straight games as favorites falling to South Florida and Boston College. The improbable start is the worse for the Seminoles in 25 years and they are in a desperate situation to get a much needed victory to get back to .500 on the year.
The Seminoles were expected to have chances at contending in the ACC this season, but their disappointing start has including a 0-2 start to conference play. The Florida State offense has simply not been able to post the points as they did in 2008 to fulfill those expectations. The offense has averaged just 14 points over the last two losses. This coming from a team that led the ACC last year scoring 33 points per game. QB Christian Ponder has been solid with his arm completing 67% passing and leads the ACC with 284 yards per game. However, as successful as Ponder has been he has only found the end zone 4 times this season through the air.
The setback in passing touchdowns could be due to the explosiveness the Seminoles have lacked this season. The Florida State running game ranks towards the bottom of the ACC averaging just 108 yards per game. The running backs have accounted for some short yardage scores, but the entire team has yet to have an offensive play go for over 47 yards all season. However, this could be the game that gets Florida State back on track. The reason is because Georgia Tech has a vulnerable secondary that was exposed by Jacory Harris of Miami a few weeks back. Ponder will be the best quarterback that has faced that same secondary since and perhaps the Seminoles will finally make some big plays through the air.
Georgia Tech is coming off of two solid victories against North Carolina and then a 42-31 shootout last week with Mississippi State. QB Josh Nesbitt who is normally known for making plays with his legs had a career day with his arm. Nesbitt completed 11 of 14 passes for 266 yards and a touchdown. The explosion in the passing game took some needed pressure of the running game. The Yellow Jackets were averaging just 125 passing yards per game before last Saturday and it is safe to say relied tremendously on the rushing attack which has carried the team since Paul Johnson became coach.
The Yellow Jackets own the 6th ranked rushing offense in America averaging a strong 252 yards per game. However when defenses have narrowed down on the run, Nesbitt has been ineffective with his arm. If Nesbitt can start making plays with his arm, the entire offense will be much more deadly. The running game will still remain the strength of the team with Nesbitt and running back Jonathan Dwyer.
Dwyer ranks 3rd in the ACC with 409 rushing yards and is averaging a strong 6.3 yards per carry. Dwyer rushed for nearly 1,400 yards last season and this is around the point in the season last year he really exploded. The opportunity for the Dwyer to pick up the pace and the Yellow Jackets scoring possibility should be pretty good against Florida State who ranks dead last in the ACC allowing 404 yards per game. However, will the Yellow Jackets be able to beat the Seminoles in their desperate must win home stand?
Georgia Tech has played well on the road going 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games. The Yellow Jackets have also reached the under total in 5 of their last 7 games and won last year’s meeting with the Seminoles 31-28. Florida State has won 8 of the last 9 meetings with Georgia Tech, but is just 1-5 ATS against the Yellow Jackets in the last 6 games. The Seminoles have been disappointing against the books this year going 1-4 ATS and are also just 2-4 SU in their last 6 games at home.
Jay’s Pick – Both offenses will have success here. Consider a play on the over.