NCAA Football Week 4 ACC Showdown: Miami Hurricanes at Georgia Tech Yellow JacketsMiami vs. Georgia Tech
Time: 3 PM EST Sat
Spread: GA TCH -14
M/L: GATC -525, MIA +425
Betting Odds from Bookmaker
The Hurricanes came out covered the spread against in-state non-rival Bethune Cookman last week, winning by 28 in a game in which the Hurricanes Stephen Morris threw for a season high 211 yards on 20 of 35 completions, while still posting his lowest QB rating of the season due to his interception and season-low completion ratio of 57.1 percent. In the first two games, Morris had gone 62.2 percent (at Boston College) and 73.1 percent (at Kansas State), but the K-State game featured a season-low 26 attempts at targets.
Morris had a rusty start to the game but got things going in the second half, and that is when the Hurricanes did the majority of their damage.
In last week’s victory, though, it was the rushing of Duke Johnson that took away those possible TD passes for Morris. Johnson had a 95 yard kick return for a score, a 50 yard TD reception, and scores from 28 and 1 yard to compile four of the five Hurricanes’ TDs. The Hurricanes also scored one field goal to account for their 38 points, as Jake Wieclaw hit a 20 harder with 35 seconds to go in the half to put the Hurricanes up 17-7 at the half.
The Hurricanes rank middle of the road in passing and rushing yards (78th and 70th in the nation, respectively), but will have a chance to make some waves against a Georgia Tech team that received three votes in the AP poll, while the Hurricanes received none. This is a chance for them to gain some respect against an ACC opponent that may eventually find themselves in the top 25, be it this year or next.
The Hurricanes want that same respect, as they were projected to go only 4-4 in the ACC by Athlon magazine. So far, with their victory over Boston College, they are on their way towards hopefully posting a record better than that, though the Eagles are just 1-2 this season themselves and are projected to finish 1-7 in the ACC and 3-9 overall. Georgia Tech is projected to go 8-4 overall by Athlon, compared to Miami’s projected win total of six.
From my season preview about the Yellow Jackets:
The Yellow Jackets have a shot at a ten win season. Is it a stretch? Yes, but not by much. Most major analysts are picking GT to win at least 8 or 9 games, and an ACC title should be within reach for this squad if they get the things that last year’s team was sorely lacking, namely some pass production and better special teams play. They didn’t like losing to Va Tech and Georgia last year and they’ve lost seven straight bowl games, as well. It will likely come down to how good Washington and Sims can be, and if they are at least as good as expected, we should see Georgia Tech finish either first or second in the ACC.
So far, the Yellow Jackets have lived up to the expectations. They hung tough with then No. 16 Virginia Tech, losing in overtime, after Cody Journell of Virginia Tech nailed a field goal to push OT then hit a 17 harder in the extra period to deny Georgia Tech an impressive upset. The premier matchup so far for the Yellow Jackets, they stayed in the game with their defense, allowing only five third down conversions for on 16 attempts, and keeping the ball out of Virginia Tech’s hands, by allowing them just barely 25 minutes of time with the football.
They still had less total yardage, 288 to the Hokies’ 326, but the game showed that the Yellow Jackets must be taken seriously in the ACC this year, as Virginia Tech is expected to go 10-3 overall by Athlon magazine and they are anticipated to be the winners of the Coastal Division…The Florida State Seminoles, now ranked fourth, are expected to take the Atlantic division. Throw in Clemson and improved NC State and UNC teams, and the ACC is going to be a tough conference this year for opponents.
Still, Georgia Tech feels they can match-up with these teams. Senior QB Tevin Washington is the reason why. He’s posted a QB rating of 185.3 so far this season, up from his 155.4 as a junior. He’s only thrown 34 passes, but has 382 yards, averaging over 11 yards per completion, and he has but one interception. He’s been sacked three times, so he’s on pace to eclipse his lower total of only 12 last year, but it’s too early to conclude that the Yellow Jackets OL is to blame. With four returning starters, including Ray Beno, Omoregle Uzzi, Jay Finch and Will Jackson, the quartet along with sophomore off-tackle Morgan Bailey are going to have to step up to provide the pass protection for Washington to get this team to the next level.
THE FINAL WORD:
73.6 percent of bettors are picking Georgia Tech to cover this spread, and 61.1 percent of bettors like the over. 55.6 percent of money line bettors are going with Miami at -1400, so there is an element of a potential upset here. The Yellow Jackets looked pretty darn good against ACC rival Virginia Tech, but Miami certainly has the rushing game to exploit defensive coordinator Al Groh’s 3-4 defense. Groh likes to play his linebackers aggressively, but these guys may not be good enough to do it, and Duke Johnson could potentially make DL coach Andy McCollum’s line pay for trying to get too aggressive on pass rushes. Miami is 5-13 ATS after a win of 20+ points and 73.6 percent of bettors are picking the Yellow Jackets to cover the spread.
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