Virginia vs. Georgia Tech fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, November 17
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Network: ACC Network
Virginia (7-3) vs. Georgia Tech (6-4) Game Preview
One Reason Why Virginia Will Win
There’s a whole lot to play for.
It’s hardly a given that Pitt will win out at Wake Forest and at Miami. If the Panthers lose both games, and Virginia beats Georgia Tech, it wins the Coastal and plays Clemson for the ACC championship.
But no matter what Pitt does, it’s been an amazing season. Getting to eight wins would be great but the Cavs are going bowling.
So the question is this – can Virginia stop the option?
Sort of. The run defense had problems against Pitt’s spread-option type of ground attack, and it gave up 205 yards on the ground to Liberty last week. Last year, Bronco Mendenhall’s defense managed to hold the Yellow Jackets to 220 yards and three scores in Cav win. This year, it’s going to be about Virginia doing what Virginia does best.
The Cavaliers are amazing at controlling the clock and owning the time of possession battle. The offense is great on third downs, keeping things rolling, dominating the tempo, and bringing teams dow to its level. It has to avoid the home run-hitting runs.
The run defense overall has been able to do a solid job thanks to a solid-tackling linebacking corps, and it should be able to keep the big plays to a minimum – and avoid the big turnovers.
Virginia was a -2 in turnover margin in the loss to NC State, and a -1 in the loss to Pitt. It’s +6 in all of the wins, but …
One Reason Why Georgia Tech Will Win
Georgia Tech has been crushing the turnover battle.
It was -2 against USF and -1 against Pitt early in the season. Since then, the Yellow Jackets haven’t lost the turnover margin in any of the last seven games going a +10.
The defense is picking up the slack when the offense makes mistakes, but it’s all about the running game.
It was held in check by Miami – at least for Georgia Tech – and it still ran for 231 yards. It was able to get by on a few big passes and timely defense that took the ball away, but overall, the O is humming.
Georgia Tech is being Georgia Tech. It’s leading the ACC in time of possession, it’s got the option working, and it’s leading the nation in rushing.
Virginia does a whole lot of things right, but it’s not an explosive team that can easily fight back if it gets down early. This will be about field position, controlling the clock, and a few big plays. The Yellow Jackets are better at all of that.
What’s Going To Happen
It’ll be tight, but Georgia Tech is too strong and too sharp right now.
The Yellow Jacket run defense will swarm around Virginia QB Bryce Perkins and the backfield just enough to keep this low-scoring and the clock moving.
The Cavaliers won’t have the ball long enough, Georgia Tech QB TaQuon Marshall will connect on the two big pass plays he’ll need to open it up, and the great finishing kick will continue.
And then it’ll be time to get ready for Georgia.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Georgia Tech 27, Virginia 24
Line: Georgia Tech -6.5, o/u: 53.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 3.5
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