Virginia Tech Hokies (8-1, 4-1) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (7-2, 4-2)
Time: 8 p.m. EST
Date: Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011
Place: Atlanta, Ga.
Stadium: Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field
(Cap: 55,000, Open: 1913, Field: Bermuda/Rye)
Radio: VT IMG, XM 91, Sirius 91
Spread: Pick 'Em
Weather: High of 57, 30% Chance of Rain
GT Blog: From the Rumble Seat
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets are coming off an upset of previously unbeaten Clemson their last time out, which snapped a two-game losing streak. In its first five games, Georgia Tech averaged 6.9 ypc, 378.2 ypg and 51.6 ppg. In the last four games, it has averaged 4.7 ypc, 265.3 ypg and 20.0 ppg. Quarterback Tevin Washington leads the Jackets with 636 yards so far this season, but A-back Orwin Smith has been their most explosive option, averaging 11.3 ypc and is tied with Washington for the team lead with 10 touchdowns. A key to the Jackets' turnaround this year has been their pass defense. Last year, they gave up 7.2 ypa, which was 8th in the ACC. This year, they're giving up 6.2 ypa, 1st in the ACC.
Trends: Georgia Tech has won six consecutive home games. Virginia Tech has won 11 consecutive true road games, including eight against ACC opponents. The Hokies are 1-7 (at Wake Forest) against the spread against FBS teams this year while the Jackets are 4-3-1 ATS against FBS teams. Since joining the ACC in 2004, Virginia Tech is 9-4 overall on Thursday, 4-2 on the road and 3-2 in ACC road games.
History Lesson: Virginia Tech is 5-3 overall against Georgia Tech with all games coming under Frank Beamer and all but a 6-3 loss in Atlanta in 1990 coming since the Hokies joined the ACC in 2004. The Hokies are 2-2 overall at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Last year, Virginia Tech scored 21 fourth-quarter points to beat Georgia Tech 28-21. After Orwin Smith's nine-yard TD tied the game at 21 with 2:34 to go, David Wilson returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to give the Hokies the lead. Rashad Carmichael's interception in the end zone with eight seconds remaining clinched the win for VT.
What to Expect
- Expect this game to decide the Coastal. The winner of the Techmo Bowl has gone on to play in the ACC Championship Game since the conference split into two divisions in 2005.
- Expect Georgia Tech to have at least one big pass play. The Jackets haven't had a lot of success against the Hokies in terms of completion percentage since Paul Johnson installed his spread option offense in 2008, but the Jackets have hit on at least one big play in all three meetings. Last year, the Jackets had just two completions, but they were for 42 and 38 yards. In 2009, GT had one completion for 51 yards. In 2008, Roddy Jones had a 41-yard touchdown catch.
- Expect the Hokies to try and establish the run. One of the big keys to beating Georgia Tech is keeping its offense off the field and your defense rested. The Hokies haven't had an easy time with that since Johnson joined the Jackets. With the exception of 2008, GT's run defense under Johnson has been very pedestrian, but the Hokies have still had trouble running the ball. This year the Jackets are giving up 4.9 ypc in ACC games, something the Hokies have to take advantage of.
- Expect this to come down to turnover margin. The only two games the Jackets have lost the turnover battle this year are the two games they've lost and they've lost their last five games when they've been in the negative in terms of turnovers.
Hokies Win If: They can take an early lead, run the ball effectively and force turnovers.
Yellow Jackets Win If: They get into manageable third downs and pressure the quarterback.
Dot-dot-dots: David Wilson has gone over 100 yards in his last six games and has had at least 120 yards rushing in eight of the team's nine games ... Cris Hill registered his first career interception in the second quarter against Duke ... Virginia Tech has gained 400 total yards of offense in four consecutive games for the first time since 1999 ... Logan Thomas' first interception against Duke ended his streak of 119 attempts without throwing one.