Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Odds and Pick to Cover the Spread

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS), Week 3 NCAA Football, 12:00 p.m. EST, Saturday, September 18, 2010, Kenan Memorial Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.
by Ryno of

Betting Odds: GT +2/UNC -2
Over/Under Total: 50.5

Georgia Tech and North Carolina open their ACC schedules both coming off close losses. The Yellow Jackers and Tar Heels will each try to start conference play on the right foot when they battle it out in Chapel Hill on Saturday afternoon.

Georgia Tech started its season with an easy 41-10 win over South Carolina State. In that game, the Yellow Jackets barely passed the ball, only attempting a total of eight passes in the whole game and completed just two of them. But 12 different Georgia Tech players got carries out of the backfield and totaled 56 carries as a team for 372 yards. Leading the way was QB Joshua Nesbitt, who had 16 carries for 130 yards and three touchdowns. But the Yellow Jackets also turned the ball over twice and allowed 178 rushing yards, so the performance wasn’t flawless at all.

Last week, Georgia Tech lost 28-25 to Kansas on the road. Nesbitt only completed five of his 15 pass attempts but those five completions totaled 116 yards and a touchdown. The Yellow Jackets ran for 291 yards on 52 carries. Nesbitt had 15 carries for 33 yards and two touchdowns. Anthony Allen had 11 carries for 89 yards. Georgia Tech allowed Kansas to rush for 141 yards and to pass for 179 yards.

North Carolina didn’t play last week but the Tar Heels lost 30-24 to LSU the week before. Tar Heels QB Tyler Yates was sensational in the loss, going 28-for-46 for 412 yards and three touchdowns. The Tar Heels fought back from down 30-10 with two Yates passing touchdowns in the fourth quarter before falling just short. UNC WR Jheranie Boyd had a terrific game with six receptions for 221 yards and a touchdown, including a 97-yard touchdown reception from Yates in the fourth quarter to make it 30-17. The Tar Heels ran the ball 33 times but only gained 24 yards on the ground. The run game didn’t work well but the passing game was superb. The Tar Heels allowed 151 passing yards and 162 rushing yards. Turnovers were a huge factor in the game, as the Tar Heels turned it over three times and forced five turnovers.

This game is going to come down to two things: Can Georgia Tech stop Yates and Boyd and the UNC passing game, and can UNC stop Georgia Tech’s triple option offense led by Nesbitt?

When these teams met last year, Georgia Tech came out on top, 24-7. In that game, Georgia Tech ran all over the field with 66 carries for 322 yards. Nesbitt was 7-for-11 in the passing department for 89 yards. He also ran the ball 32 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Yates really struggled in last year’s loss, going 11-for-26 for 137 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. So it was clear why the Yellow Jackets won that game. They stopped Yates and the passing game but UNC couldn’t stop Georgia Tech’s running game at all. If that happens again, it will certainly be a lopsided outcome once again.

Georgia Tech is 6-1 ATS in its last seven conference games, 6-1 ATS in its last seven road games and 18-8-1 ATS in its last 27 games following an ATS loss. The Yellow Jackets are 1-4 ATS in their last five September games and 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. UNC is 4-1 ATS in its last five conference games and 4-1 ATS in its last five home games. The under is 4-0 in the last four meetings between these teams at North Carolina. The home team is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings between these teams. Georgia Tech is 1-5 ATS in its last six games against North Carolina.

Ryno’s Pick: There is a lot of uncertainty about this game. If forced to make a pick, I take the UNDER here.