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Tech Hokies vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Pick.
No. 4 Virginia Tech Hokies (5-1, 3-3 ATS) at No. 19 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-1, 3-2 ATS) Bobby Dodd Stadium Saturday October 17th, 6:00PM Eastern
By Jay Horne of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Virginia Tech -3/Georgia Tech +3
There may be no more dangerous one loss team in America at this point in the season than the Virginia Tech Hokies who reached the number 4 ranking in America this past week after an absolute massacre over Boston College 48-14. The Hokies have flat dominated since their opening loss to Alabama capturing wins over the likes of Nebraska, Miami, and Boston College in the process. The Hokies offense has came to life and that means trouble for the rest of the ACC. However, the Hokies square off with no. 19 Georgia Tech who many consider as heavily under rated team.
The Yellow Jackets had one bad performance against Miami this season, but have rattled off 3 straight quality wins and are right back in the ACC Championship picture. In fact this game has huge ACC implications. If the Yellow Jackets can score the home victory, they would have the edge over Virginia Tech in a tie breaker if both teams were to run the table. The Yellow Jackets offense has also vastly improved since the start of the season and has scored 91 points combined in their last two contests. These two ACC powerhouses will collide this Saturday in a big game to determine who could be representing the Coastal Division in this year’s ACC Championship Game.
The Yellow Jackets not only lead the ACC in rushing offense, but also rank 4th in the nation. QB Josh Nesbitt and running back Jonathan Dwyer make a lethal running approach that is difficult for defenses to stop. The Yellow Jackets run many options and mis-direction plays that keep defenses spread out. Dwyer and Nesbitt both have over 500 yards a piece this season which is 2nd and 3rd best in the conference. Dwyer is the former ACC Player of the Year and is carrying a hefty 6.5 yards per carry this season with 5 touchdowns. However, Nesbitt may be the biggest cause of the recent success.
Nesbitt really struggled to give the offense the dual threat earlier this season as he simply could not make the throws with his arm. Opposing defenses starting putting everyone in the box which slowed down their running game. However, Nesbitt rallied back with a 266 yard career performance against Mississippi State proving to defenses that he could indeed beat you with his arm. Nesbitt also made some a few big passes in last week’s win to Florida State even though it was not that necessary considering the Yellow Jackets racked up an amazing 401 yards on the ground in the 49-44 shootout. WR Demaryius Thomas actually leads the ACC in receptions yards with 620 on the year despite Georgia Tech attempting less passes than anyone in the ACC. However, Thomas has a playmaking ability that defenses must respect which adds to the big trio threat on offense.
The Hokies offense is another unit really taking on the explosive role. Virginia Tech leads the ACC averaging 34 points per game and nearly 40 points per game over the past 3 games. QB Tyrod Taylor got off to a slow start throwing the ball, but has battled back. Taylor posted 327 yards against Duke and also completed 70% passing against Boston College last week. Taylor made some brilliant throws in the thrashing over the Eagles including a big 41 yard rocket to WR Jarrett Boykin for a touchdown. It’s actually plays like that where the Hokies quarterback has proven he has the arm that deserves respect from defenses.
Of course the Hokies biggest strength comes from their running game. Freshman tailback Ryan Williams leads the ACC over Nesbitt and Dwyer with 734 yards on the season. Williams is carrying the ball for 5.8 yards per carry along with 9 touchdowns and is having one of the most successful seasons out of any freshman in America. The Georgia Tech rush defense has not been as successful as once advertised this season and that will be big problems for the Yellow Jackets if they can not slow down Williams this weekend. The Hokies defense has played very well especially up front. They should match-up well against the Yellow Jackets tricky rushing approach. If Georgia Tech is to keep this game close, Nesbitt must hook up with Demaryius Thomas on some plays down field to keep the Hokies defense guessing.
Jay’s Pick – Virginia Tech convincingly.