Virginia Tech Hokies (4-5 SU, 4-5 ATS) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-6 SU, 3-6 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date/Time: Thursday November 12th, 7:30PM EST
Where: Bobby Dodd Stadium Atlanta, G.A.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: VT +4/GT -4
Over/Under Total: 52.5
The ACC returns to action this Thursday night when the Virginia Tech Hokies travel into Bobby Dodd Stadium against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in a Coastal Division matchup. The Yellow Jackets got a brief hold of the national spotlight two weeks ago when they upset no. 9 Florida State 22-16. The win snapped a Georgia Tech 5 game losing streak and derailed the Seminoles hopes for a championship. However, the high from the Yellow Jackets victory over Florida State was short lived as they suffered another loss to Virginia 27-21 last week and are now just 1-5 SU in the ACC.
The Yellow Jackets hope this Thursdays home stand against Virginia Tech, on a nationally televised stage, will be the motivation they need to get them back into the win column. The visiting Hokies have struggled for the most part this year as well losing 4 of their last 6 games SU. Virginia Tech did find their way into the win column last week with a 26-10 victory over Boston College to move to 2-3 SU in ACC games. Interestingly, both the Hokies and the Yellow Jackets are sharing a similar storyline this season. Both teams were expected to contend in the Coastal Division but have failed to meet expectations.
Just a year ago, the Yellow Jackets danced to an 11-3 season that was capped off by an Orange Bowl victory. This season they have been one of the worse teams in the conference with a lack of talent that is apparent by the naked eye. Virginia Tech has fell apart in a much slower manner consistently regressing each of the past few years. The Hokies were once a threat to win the ACC Championship every cultivating in a minimum of 10 wins in each season from 2004 to 2012. Since, the Hokies have only reached at best 8 wins and they are in trouble of becoming bowl eligible if they fail to win 2 of the last 3 games.
Things have been so glum that Coach Frank Beamer announced that he would retire at the end of the year. In sort of the same steps that Steve Spurrier took at South Carolina, Beamer is stepping aside to try and let a new face get the program back to prominence. Coach Paul Johnson may not be stepping aside but he is feeling some heat to perform. Johnson did lead the Yellow Jackets to an 11-3 season last year but the team did not win more than 8 games in a single season in the prior 4 years. With the talent drop-off in Atlanta this season, many are wondering if Johnson could be another coach that is on his way out. Therefore both teams are desperate for wins in different ways this Thursday. The Hokies are trying to send Beamer out like the Hall of Fame coach deserves while Johnson is trying to rile up his program to salvage a disappointing season.
This Thursdays matchup is intriguing if not entertaining. Both offenses focus heavily towards running the football. The Yellow Jackets run the triple option while Virginia Tech uses a more traditional style set. The Hokies freshman running back Travon McMillian will likely be the most exciting player to watch. McMillian is a tough runner that has a lot of upside to go along with his youth. Meanwhile Georgia Tech has about 6-7 guys that will get to run the football on Sunday. The Yellow Jackets almost keep the ball on the ground and they have averaged 267 yards (8th in FBS) per game.
However, I think this game will be decided by the team that can keep the chains moving. Neither defense has been great this season against the run but I am more concerned about both offenses inability to convert on 3rd down and come up with big plays when needed. Georgia Tech has absolutely 0 confidence or ability to throw the football. If this game stays close, I think that will hurt their chances. While on the other side of the field, quarterback Michael Brewer has provided the Hokies offense with a spark since taking over for Brendan Motley. Brewer has thrown 4 scores compared to just 1 picks in the last two games and he looked great against a tough Boston College defense last week. I expect Brewer to continue his solid play and that will be difference this Thursday as the Hokies travel into Bobby Dodd and leave with the win!
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Virginia Tech +4
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