Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Point Spread – Pick Against the Spread – 26502

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Tech Hokies vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Pick

No. 10 Virginia Tech Hokies (8-1 SU, 2-7 ATS) at No. 20 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (7-2 SU, 5-3-1 ATS), Thursday November 10th, 2011. 8:00PM EST, College Football Week 11, Bobby Dodd Stadium Atlanta, Ga.
by Jay Horne, College Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: Va Tech -1/Ga Tech +1
Over/Under Total: 48.5

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The stakes will be high this Thursday night when the no. 20 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets host the no. 10 Virginia Tech Hokies inside Bobby Dodd Stadium. The pairing will feature two off the best teams in the ACC in a game that will have ACC Coastal Division implications on the line. The visiting Hokies are the defending ACC Champions and currently have a 1 game lead over the Yellow Jackets in the division race. However, a loss to the Yellow Jacks would put Georgia Tech in the driver seat to reach the ACC Championship as they would hold the head to head tie breaker over the Hokies. Therefore, there will be a big reward for the team that can come out of this Thursday night’s battle with a victory.

Virginia Tech’s only loss this season was a 23-3 disappointing performance against Clemson earlier this year. Since that time the Hokies have rallied to score 4 straight victories and battled their way back to a top 10 ranking. The Virginia Tech offense is poised with a potent power rushing attack led by star running back David Wilson. Wilson has simply been remarkable this season rushing for over 100 yards in 8 of 9 games for the Hokies this season. In fact, Wilson’s 1,185 yards ranks 2nd in the nation this season in rushing. The Hokies junior tailback has bruised his way to 6.3 yards per carry with 7 touchdowns on the ground this year.

So far this season Georgia Tech has relinquished 162 yards per game on the ground. Therefore if the Georgia Tech rush defense continues to struggle, Wilson could be in store for another big performance. On the other side of the football, the Yellow Jackets have one of strongest rushing attacks in all of college football. Georgia Tech owns the 2nd best rushing offense in America averaging a stout 328 yards per game on the ground. The Yellow Jackets run a quirky triple option attack that is difficult to defend even for strong defensive teams. Leading that Yellow Jacket rushing attack is QB Tevin Washington who has 636 yards on the ground with 10 touchdowns on the year. Tailback Orwin Smith also has 10 touchdowns on the ground this year while totaling 553 rushing yards.

Both Orwin and Washington will get plenty of opportunities to thwart that Hokies defense this Thursday. After all the Yellow Jackets keep the ball on the ground about 90% of the time and then will occasionally attempt the long ball down the field. The ultimate factor in this game will be how Bud Foster’s defense fairs against that Georgia Tech rushing attack. The Hokies have often been very strong defensively, but few teams have had answers for Georgia Tech’s offense in recent years. To make matters worse, Virginia Tech has only played one rushing offense all season that ranks in the top 50 in rushing and that was a Clemson team that they loss to convincingly. Therefore, there will be concerns as to whether this Hokies defense will be prepared for that dynamic Georgia Tech rushing offense.

Ultimately, this game will come down to the team that can make the big plays. Both offenses should have success running the football, but the big plays will be the difference. Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas may be the best pure passer on the field. Thomas has completed 60% passing for 1,934 yards with 11 scores and 7 picks. WR Danny Coale is a guy that can make big plays in the receiving game to test the Georgia Tech secondary. Coale currently leads the team in receiving with 42 catches for 627 yards and 2 scores. Therefore if Thomas can keep from turning the ball over and hook up with Coale down the field, it will greatly increase the Hokies chances of pulling out the win.

However if this game does come down to the big plays and I think it will, no other team has come up with more big plays this season than Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets lead the nation in plays over 50 yards and they can score in a hurry despite the fact they are a rushing offense. Just when defenses get too focused on stopping the run, Tevin Washington will throw the ball down field to make a big play in the passing game. WR Stephen Hill has averaged a crazy 30 yards per catch this season and leads the team with 608 receiving yards. Hill is usually the targeted wide out when the Yellow Jackets do attempt to throw the ball and he has been the recipient of some big plays this year. If Georgia Tech makes those big plays, the home team will be very tough to beat this Thursday night.

Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Georgia Tech plays extremely well at home and I do not think Virginia Tech’s defense will be able to stop the Yellow Jackets offense in this one. This will likely be a close game, but I do not see anyway the Hokies escape Bobby Dodd Stadium with a victory. Take Georgia Tech +1.

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