It’s that time of the year again. You know, the time when the Virginia Tech Hokies are set to play the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and their triple-option offense. At 4-2 and 3-0 in the ACC, the Hokies are in prime position to win the Coastal. However, they’ll first have to take down their nemesis and recent history hasn’t been too kind to the Hokies.
Georgia Tech has won the previous two meetings and three of the last four. Defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s unit has struggled with the option and the Yellow Jackets are once again the nation’s top rushing team, averaging over 352 yards per game and over six yards per attempt. A young Virginia Tech that has already struggled this season will have its hands full on Thursday night.
The Jackets are led by quarterback TaQuon Marshall. Marshall leads the Jackets with 598 yards rushing this season and nine touchdowns. As a passer, he’s completed just 47 percent of his passes for 645 yards. He has three touchdown passes and has been picked off four times.
Against the Hokies last year, Marshall ran for just 64 yards on 22 attempts, but it was his arm that made the difference. Marshall completed only two of eight passes, however, both of those completions were for touchdowns and that proved to be the difference in the game. VT’s young secondary could be in trouble on Thursday night.
At 3-4 this season, Georgia Tech doesn’t look impressive. It has wins over Alcorn State, Bowling Green and Louisville. While the Yellow Jackets have lost to South Florida, Pitt, Clemson and Duke. Before they were off last week, the Yellow Jackets scored 63 in a win over Bowling Green and 66 in a win over Louisville before losing to Duke.
You can pretty much throw out all conventional wisdom when it comes to this football team. Their style of play is so unique and different they can cause problems on any given week. They’ve certainly been a thorn in the side of Foster and the Hokies.
Can Virginia Tech end its two-year slide against Paul Johnson and Georgia Tech? Despite a young defense that has struggled at times, there’s reason for optimism Thursday night. Quarterback Ryan Willis has shown over the last few weeks he can move the offense up and down the field. Georgia Tech ranks No. 72 in pass efficiency defense, meaning there could be some big opportunities down the field for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech leads the all-time series 9-6 and have are 9-5 against Georgia Tech in ACC play since entering the league back in 2004.