Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at #16 Virginia Tech Hokies
Monday, September 3, 2012, 8:00 om Eastern, TV: ESPN
Lane Stadium – Blacksburg, Virginia
Opening Line: Virginia Tech -7
Current Line: Virginia Tech -7 1/2
Opening Total: 49
Current Total: 48 1/2
Opening Money Line: Virginia Tech -290 / Georgia Tech +240
Current Money Line: Virginia Tech -295 / Georgia Tech +245
Since the first ACC Championship game in 2005, either Virginia Tech or Georgia Tech has represented the Coastal Division in the game. Virginia Tech has won 5 division titles in that span and Georgia Tech won the other two.
These conference rivals meet to open the season Monday night in Blacksburg. This is only the tenth meeting between the schools as they were in different conferences for many years. Virginia Tech leads the series 6-3 including a 37-26 win last year in Atlanta. The Hokies have won 4 of the last 5 in the series.
Georgia Tech is coached by Paul Johnson. The Yellow Jackets started off 6-0 last season, with wins over Kansas, North Carolina, North Carolina St, and Maryland. The Yellow Jackets went 2-5 though to finish the season with the only wins over Clemson and Duke. Besides the Virginia Tech loss the Yellow Jackets also had losses to Virginia, Miami, and Georgia. The 8-4 Yellow Jackets went to the Sun Bowl and lost to Utah 30-27 in overtime. It was the seventh straight bowl loss for Georgia Tech, dating back to 2004. Georgia Tech has been to 15 straight bowl games. The Yellow Jackets were 5-7-1 ATS and the total was 8-5.
Virginia Tech is coached by the legendary Frank Beamer. The Hokies were 11-2 last season in the regular season with both losses coming to Clemson by a combined score of 61-13. The Tigers beat the Hokies 23-3 in the regular season and 38-10 in the ACC Championship game. The Hokies had wins over bowl teams Arkansas St, Marshall, Miami, Wake Forest, North Carolina, and Virginia in addition to the Georgia Tech win. Virginia Tech lost to Michigan 23-20 in overtime in the Sugar Bowl. The Hokies have had at least 10 wins for 8 consecutive years and have gone to 19 straight bowl games. Virginia Tech was 4-9-1 ATS and the total was also 4-9-1.
Georgia Tech was second nationally in rushing with 316.5 yards a game. The Yellow Jackets employ a triple option offense under Johnson. Quarterback Tevin Washington had almost 2,700 combined rushing and passing yards (987 rushing to lead the team), 25 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He only completed 49.3% of his passes, but Georgia Tech only throws on occasion anyway. The run pass ratio was around 7/1. Running backs David Sims and Orwin Smith combined for over 1,300 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns. Smith also caught 13 passes and a touchdown. He averaged over 23 yards per catch. the Yellow Jackets must replace receiver Stephen Hill who had 28 catches, 820 yards, and 5 touchdowns. He averaged just under 30 yards per catch.
The Yellow Jacket defense wasn’t terrible last year. Linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu had 6 sacks last year and safety Isaiah Johnson had 78 tackles.
Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas threw for over 3,000 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He was also the second leading rusher for the Hokies with 469 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Hokies must replace ACC player of the year David Wilson now with the New York Giants. He rushed for over 1,700 yards and 9 touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Michael Holmes will replace Wilson in the backfield. The Hokies also have to replace their top receivers Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin. Marcus Davis should get more targets after making 30 catches last year with 5 touchdowns.
Virginia Tech had a top ten defense last year and returns most of the starters from that unit. Junior defensive ends James Gayle (seven sacks) and J.R. Collins (six sacks), and junior cornerbacks Kyle Fuller (14.5 tackles for losses) and Antone Exum (team-high 89 tackles) anchor the defense.
The Yellow Jackets are 4-0 ATS in September, 1-5-1 in ACC games, 1-6-1 on grass, 0-3-1 in road games, and 0-4 overall. The Hokies are 43-21 ATS in ACC games, 3-9-1 overall, 2-8 on grass, and 0-5-1 at home. Four of the last five games in the series have gone under the total. The underdog and road team are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 games in the series.
I think Virginia Tech will win Monday night but Georgia Tech can keep it close with their power running game. Hokies win 27-23.
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