VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES (3-1) at GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS (3-0)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Georgia Tech -7.5 & 44
Opening Line & Total: Yellow Jackets -8 & 44
Unbeaten Georgia Tech attempts to stay hot and continue its march back to the ACC championship on Thursday night when it hosts a Virginia Tech squad trying to regain its footing as a top team in both the conference and
in the nation.
Coming into the 2013 season the two ACC “
tech” teams were moving in different directions. Last year, VT was a preseason favorite to win the Coastal division and disappointed with a 4-4 record in the conference and fourth-place finish in their division. On the other hand, Georgia Tech tied with North Carolina and Miami for the division’s best record and represented the Coastal in the ACC Championship, losing 21-15 against Florida State. Overall, these two teams have played each other 10 times, with Hokies winning seven of those games including their past three matchups. Even though Virginia Tech has dominated SU, it is only 1-4 ATS in its past five games against Georgia Tech. Hokies QB Logan Thomas will look to gain some consistency back for the offense as they have struggled all year long with turnovers and dropped passes. This first ACC matchup will be an important one for the growth of the young quarterback and a chance for VT to put itself back on the map. Georgia Tech will bring in its No. 4 nationally-ranked rushing offense lead by senior RB David Sims and dual-threat QB Vad Lee. This early divisional battle could very well set the tone for the rest of the season.
Virginia Tech may be 3-1 on the season, but it has not been very consistent. Senior QB Logan Thomas has high expectations as a possible mid-round NFL quarterback with a build similar to Cam Newton, but has already thrown at least one interception in each of their four games. A mixture of dropped passes and poorly thrown balls have resulted in a subpar 48.5% completion percentage and six interceptions. Thomas was clutch in the Hokies’ 29-21, triple-overtime win over Marshall though, as he ran in the game-winning TD and two-point conversion. Freshman RB Trey Edmunds will be very important in this game and will need to continue his excellent play so far. Edmunds has 352 rushing yards on 4.5 YPC. Virginia Tech’s rush defense, led by senior DE James Gayle, has held up well this year and currently ranks 15th overall in the nation. This run stop-unit will be extremely important against the explosive option offense of Georgia Tech. Virginia Tech is only 2-5 SU in its past seven road games, and will have to keep the ball on offense and slow down the rushing attack of the Yellow Jackets to have any chance of a win in this contest.
Georgia Tech has proven that its berth in the ACC Championship was not a mistake last year, as the team is looking to win a seventh straight regular season conference game. When you play the Yellow Jackets, you know what you are going to get — running, running and then more running. Senior RB David Sims has seen the bulk of the carries for the option offense whose 345.3 yards per game on the ground ranks fourth in the nation. Sims has averaged 5.6 YPC this season and has also scored three touchdowns. The other key player in the Yellow Jackets offense is sophomore QB Vad Lee. He has done exactly what is expected of him in the option offense, running the ball 52 times for 180 yards and not turning the ball over when he throws. Lee has averaged only 13 passing attempts per game this season, but has made the most of them with seven touchdowns and only one interception. Georgia Tech has been strong on the defensive side as well, allowing only an average of 17 PPG in its first two ACC games. Senior DE Jeremiah Attaochu will attempt lead the Yellow Jackets defense and throw Hokies QB Logan Thomas off his game. The combination of both their explosive offense and solid defense may be too difficult a task for the Hokies to handle.