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Tech Hokies vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Pick.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. No. 16 Virginia Tech Hokies (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
College Football Week 1
Date/Time: Monday September 3rd, 2012. 8:00PM Eastern
Where: Lane Stadium Blacksburg, V.A.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: GT +7/VT -7
Over/Under Total: OFF
The first Monday Night Football game in 2012 will not be held on a NFL
venue, but rather from one of the most exciting college football spectacles
in the nation. Lane Stadium will entertain a nationally televised audience
when the no. 16 Virginia Tech Hokies welcome the Georgia
Tech Yellow Jackets in to Blacksburg on the night of September
3rd. Not only is Lane Stadium one of the most hostile environments in college
football on any given weekend, but throw in the anticipation of a season
opening kickoff under the lights and you can expect plenty of enthusiasm
from Hokies’ fans when the Yellow Jackets roll into town.
This intriguing ACC match-up will feature two teams that have won the past 7 ACC Coastal Division Championships. Therefore, both Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech desperately need an opening win to get their season started in the right direction while giving their selves an opportunity to go after another ACC crown. Currently, Virginia Tech is listed as 7 point favorites over the Yellow Jackets. However, this annual meeting has been decided by 7 points or less for 3 of the past 4 years. Therefore, we can likely expect another hard fought battle when both teams tangle in the season opener.
In 2011, Coach Paul Johnson’s Yellow Jackets jumped out to a strong 6-0 start before losing 5 of their last 7 games. QB Tevin Washington threw 7 picks without a single touchdown pass in the final 7 games of the season. Not to mention, the defense completely fell apart by allowing nearly 30 points per game through the 2nd half of the season. Coach Johnson hopes to find more stability in 2012. QB Tevin Washington returns as the leader of Johnson’s spread option offense. Washington led the team in rushing with 987 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns in 2011. Additionally both tailbacks in Orwin Smith and David Sims return to add more threats for the Georgia Tech rushing attack. The Yellow Jackets sported the 2nd ranked rushing offense in America last season averaging a whopping 316 yards per game on the ground. With the help of veteran rushers returning along with the entire offensive line, it would be hard to imagine any relapse in 2012 for the ground attack.
The Yellow Jackets do have legitimate concerns in the passing game. Georgia Tech has been blessed with extremely talented wide outs over the past several years that have been able to make big plays when the offense took shots down the field. Over the last 6-7 years, the likes of Stephen Hill, DeMaryius Thomas, and Calvin Johnson type talents have loomed as big play threats on the outside. This year the Yellow Jackets have major concerns at the receiver position where they do not return a single starter with a catch to their resume. Still even without a proven talent in the passing game, the Yellow Jackets’ spread option has proven to win ball games all by itself.
Luckily for Virginia Tech, defensive mastermind Bud Foster has 10 returning starters coming back that should be ready to stop the Georgia Tech rushing offense. The Hokies produced the 10th best overall defense in 2011 by giving up just 304 yards per game. With even more experience returning this year, the Hokies should have one of the best defenses in the ACC or even possibly the entire nation.
Offensively, Virginia Tech has holes to fill and questions to answer. Star running back David Wilson and receiver Danny Coale have moved on to the NFL. Additionally, nearly the entire offensive line will be composed of new faces. The only bright side for the offense is the big frame of QB Logan Thomas returns as the Hokies’ signal caller. Thomas threw for more than 3,000 yards with 19 scores and 10 picks in 2011. Things may be more difficult with the lack of talent returning at the skill positions but having a proven quarterback under center could still pay dividends. Still, there are a lot of unknown question marks surrounding the offense as the 2012 season approaches.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I really like Georgia Tech’s chances to win this football game. I believe Virginia Tech’s offense will take some time to get going this year and the Yellow Jackets rushing attack will control tempo in a low scoring game. Take Georgia Tech and the points.
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