Time: 12:30 PM EST
Spread: PIT -6.5
Betting odds c/o 5dimes
Georgia Tech began the season 3-0 after steamrolling some mediocre opponents, but it has gotten a bit more real for the Yellow Jackets the last two weeks, after losses to two nationally ranked teams in Clemson and Miami (FL).
The Yellow Jackets will try to get back on track in ACC play as it takes on rival Pittsburgh at 11:30 AM on the ACC network. College football oddsmakers have set the line 6.5 points in favor of hosting Pitt, while the over/under is at 50.5.
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Tech was there last week against Miami, but the Hurricanes ultimately proved to be too much, prevailing 35-21 on the strength of Brad Kaaya’s 241 yards and Joseph Yearby’s rush game. The Yellow Jackets got good production from Dedrick Mills, who rushed for 99 yards on 19 carries with two of Tech’s three TDs.
Justin Thomas struggled at QB, throwing 11 of 19 for just 94 yards while also launching an interception—that ended up equating to a passer rating of 9.6. That is not a typo.
While Georgia Tech had its fair share of problems, most it was exacerbated by Miami getting hot in the second quarter and hanging 21 points on the scoreboard. The Yellow Jackets thus trailed 28-14 at the half, and the second half featured just one TD apiece from both teams, respectively.
It is hard to not place a lot of the blame for GT’s last two losses on Thomas, though. He is throwing just 48.6 percent for completion with a paltry 6.54 yard per attempt average, while also having thrown just two TD passes on the season. His 151 rushing yards are not poor, but it has taken him all of 53 attempts to get them, which equates to just 2.8 yards per rush.
Mills leads the team in carries (67) and yardage (300), and he also has scored seven of the team’s 16 total TDs this season. He will be needed heavily if the Yellow Jackets are to prevail as underdogs here in Week 6.
Pittsburgh managed to get by Marshall last week 43-27, but that came after a pair of losses to Oklahoma State and North Carolina. The Panthers are 3-2 on the season, but really need a win this week to establish itself somewhat in ACC play.
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Nathan Peterman has been good at QB for Pitt, already having thrown for 923 yards on 75 of 117 passing (64 percent). He has eight TDs to just two INTs, and Jester Weah has benefitted immensely with 313 yards on 14 receptions, good for an impressive 22.4 yards per catch. He has also caught a 60-yard TD pass, one of his three receiving TDs on the year.
James Conner has also been outstanding as a dual-threat back. He has 381 rushing yards on 90 carries (4.2 yards per) and another 169 receiving yards. Conner has scored eight TDs total, with two of those coming via the pass. Between Peterman, Weah, and Conner, the Panthers have offensive weapons.
Getting stops has just been much more problematic. Pitt is giving up 31.0 points per game this season, which ranks it a lowly No. 89 in the nation. Fortunately the Panthers can score and are still +6.4 points in point differential, but the team has to find a way to diversify its offense a bit still, too. Pitt ranks No. 16 in the NCAA in rushing yardage, but is getting just 184.6 yards per game in the air.
With how good Peterman has been, his accuracy should make it easy to up that some. The Panthers are not exactly loaded with receivers, but if they can mange to get more than just Weah and Conner in on the act, it could prove immensely beneficial. Either way, expect this game to be a fairly high scoring affair, though Pitt should prevail given Thomas’ inconsistency and overall poor play thus far.
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