No. 12 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-1, 4-2 ATS) at Virginia Cavaliers (3-3, 4-1 ATS) Scott Stadium Charlottesville, V.A. Saturday October 24th, 12:00PM Eastern
By Jay Horne of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Georgia Tech -4/Virginia +4
The Virginia Cavaliers are the most unlikely of teams to be a top the ACC standings, but that is the case as the Cavaliers own a 2-0 mark in the conference. Of course Virginia is a huge long shot to win the conference and they are just 3-3 for the season, but they will attempt to stay unbeaten in the ACC when they host the no. 12 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets this weekend at home. Georgia Tech really helped their chances of playing for the ACC Championship last week by getting a huge victory over Virginia Tech who was ranked no. 4 in the country by a score of 28-23.
The Yellow Jackets may be one of the most under rated teams in the country. Georgia Tech was embarrassed by Miami in front of the nation that set them back, but they have as many quality wins as anyone this early in the year. Also, the Yellow Jackets may have the easiest schedule of any team fighting to represent the ACC Coastal division and they may get their chance to play for the ACC Title by season’s end if they can continue playing well.
The Yellow Jackets if you perhaps have not seen them this season keep the ball on the ground. QB Josh Nesbitt and tailback Jonathan Dwyer make the perfect combination for Paul Johnson’s option style offense. In fact, Nesbitt actually leads the team in rushing with 625 yards as he tends to keep the ball in most option plays. However, Dwyer is equally dangerous when touching the rock as he has produced 593 yards on just 99 carries this season sporting a strong 6 yards per carry average. These two powerful runners help the Yellow Jackets maintain the nation’s number 2 rushing attack averaging 281 yards per game.
It is not hard to predict what to expect what the Yellow Jackets will do on offense, but it is very hard to defend. Virginia has not exactly stacked up well against the run this season allowing 132 yards per game against some rather weak rushing teams. Actually the last time the Cavaliers faced a talented rushing team they gave up over 200 yards on the ground to TCU. However, the entire Cavaliers defense has played well allowing only 18 points per contest this season and just 293 total yards. The Virginia defense hopes to keep them in this game and that is the reason they are only slight underdogs despite the 3-3 record.
Virginia has not had a lot to brag about this season on the other side of the ball. The offense has produced only 304 total yards on average this season which ranks next to last in the conference. Senior QB Jameel Sewel got off to a rocky start throwing 5 picks in the first 3 games, but has not thrown a single interception in the last 3 games. However, the passing offense is still only averaging 193 yards per game. Things are not much better on the ground behind a terrible offensive line. Not only are the running backs able to find any holes, but the offensive line can not give Sewel any time to throw the ball.
The Cavaliers have allowed 4 sacks per game which is the worse in the ACC and towards the very bottom of the nation. Senior back Mikell Simpson can make plays in the open field, but needs some help to get there. Simpson has just 247 yards on the season, but does have 5 scores that lead the team. However, the best way to beat the Yellow Jackets is to expose their average secondary. If Sewel can have time to pass, then he should be able to find some open receivers. The Cavaliers will need some big plays from WR Kris Burd and company to help keep pace when the high scoring offense of Georgia Tech if they are to contend.
Jay’s Pick - Georgia Tech offense runs up, around, and through Virginia’s defense for a convincing victory.