Over/Under 2.5 Justin Thomas Pass Completions
Here's what we know: Paul Johnson was dissatisfied with Vad Lee's performance last week against Virginia Tech, and has been very satisfied with Justin Thomas in practice this week. He's committed to giving Justin Thomas some playing time this week, meaning he'll get his first game action since Elon.
What we don't know is how much time Thomas will get, or how much passing he'll do while in. My guess here is that Thomas plays 2-4 drives, and that a lot of this line will be determined by just how much he plays. It's your call though, folks. My guess?
Under 2.5 Justin Thomas Pass Completions
Over/Under 24.5 Points Allowed by Georgia Tech's Defense
Before we start this one, let me be clear in saying that kick returns and defensive touchdowns will not count, if they occur. In the last four games, Georgia Tech's defense has gone up against a few tough offenses, and has not allowed more than 20 points total. That said, in Miami they'll be facing the most talented unit they've seen yet, one whose low score so far was 21 points against a very highly-rated Florida defense. I would venture that this matchup will determine the outcome of the game. Miami's offense is its strength, where Tech's defense looks to be the stronger unit as of late.
I'm guessing we're going to see at least a couple of long plays that go for scores, one passing and one rushing. From there it's a matter of how much containment can be done. I think Miami beats 24.5, but not by much.
Over 24.5 Points Allowed by Georgia Tech's Defense
Over/Under 125 Rushing Yards for Duke Johnson
So far this season, only Duke as a team has surpassed 125 yards (they finished with 132), and only UNC has joined them with over 100 yards as a team (they managed 101 yards). I think it should be fairly clear by now that the way to beat Georgia Tech is with passing, and that the run defense is pretty stout. That said, Duke Johnson is not a run-of-the-mill back. He's one of the best in the country and went for 5.5 yards per carry in last year's contest as a backup. This year, he's 33rd nationally with 388 yards, but he's also going for 6.26 YPC. Containing him will be key for the Jackets. I think 125 is a good estimate for where he'll end this game with, but I'm going to say that he ends up short of the mark.
Under 125 Rushing Yards for Duke Johnson
Over/Under 17.5 Pass Attempts for Georgia Tech
Currently Georgia Tech is averaging 15.8 pass attempts per game, with the high of 24 coming against Virginia Tech, 16 against Duke, 12 against North Carolina, and 11 against Elon. The pattern there is that the most came against the team who led the Yellow Jackets for the longest, and who bottled up the rushing attack best. Now, Miami ranks 34th nationally against the run...which is impressive, until you consider that 3 of their 4 games have come against Florida Atlantic, Savannah State, and South Florida. (I believe they're known in some circles as the "Little Sisters of the Poor".) Tech will succeed running the ball, but I also have a feeling they'll find themselves trailing with a need to come back. That's where this gets tricky.
I'm going to guess that Tech falls short of 18 pass attempts, though maybe not by much.
Under 17.5 Georgia Tech Pass Attempts
Over/Under 299.5 Rushing Yards for Georgia Tech
Ready to read something you haven't seen in years? Georgia Tech currently ranks 10th nationally in rushing offense at 291.5 yards per game. That's right, under 300 yards per game on the ground, and being out-rushed by 9 teams. The thing is, you're reading this now and not a week ago -- prior to Virginia Tech, they rushed for about 345 yards per game, which would have been a solid first down more than Oregon (currently at 332 yards per game). However, we're at the point in the schedule where we'll see 3 straight defenses that are about as good as we'll see before Thanksgiving. The question here is whether this game will resemble last week more than the previous 3 weeks, or vice versa. As I mentioned previously, it should be noted that Miami's rushing defense is statistically above average, against collectively very sub-par competition. The Yellow Jackets went for 287 on the ground in last year's shoot-out too, for what it's worth. How that translates to this game, we'll see. As for my pick, I have concerns with blocking from the O-Line and A-Backs following the disaster that was last week, and can't see the offense hitting 300 yards.
Under 299.5 Rushing Yards for Georgia Tech
Over/Under 5.5 Point Margin of Victory for Miami
For the first time this year, Georgia Tech is not favored in a game...but are we really surprised? Tech hasn't beaten Miami since 2008, and looked terrible last week at home against a pretty average Virginia Tech squad. It's fair to say that the fan base is getting restless with CPJ, and this game is just one of a number of reasons for that. Winning this game would go a LONG way for his image with the fan base, and could end up in a "forgive and forget" situation with the national media. However, also consider that this game is in Coral Gables, where Georgia Tech hasn't won under Paul Johnson and Randy Shannon was coaching the Hurricanes the last time Tech went in and won. I have a hard time finding reasons for optimism for this game, and hopefully you understand why. I'll be cheering my heart out, there's no question, but I'm not getting the good vibes as I write this.
Over 5.5 Point Margin of Victory for Miami
|Dive Keep and Pitch||18||6||75.0%||MagnaCarterGT||10||8||55.6%|
|Buddy Smiggins||11||7||61.1%||Matt Mills||3||3||50.0%|
|Atlanta's original team||10||8||55.6%||tdot6||0||1||0.0%|
Readers, you're up. Take your picks!