Game Previews: Yellow Jackets vs Virginia Tech Hokies, September 26

Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

Our Countdown to Kickoff rambles on today as we look at our first of two Thursday night games against our biggest rivals.

Countdown to Kickoff: 15 Days...

Know Your Opponent:

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Hokies -- Blacksburg, VA

2012 Record:

7-6 (4-4 ACC), Overtime Win Over Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl 13-10

Points Scored/Allowed Per Game:

25.1/22.8

Passing/Rushing Offensive Yards & Ratio:

230.9/145.9 -- 1.583

Passing/Rushing Defensive Yards & Ratio:

199.1/134.1 -- 1.485

Outlook:

In two weeks, on the day that Georgia Tech plays Elon, Virginia Tech will be playing Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game here in Atlanta. They're going to get smashed in that game. It's not going to be pretty. Lucky for them though, they get three softball games afterwards against Western Carolina, @ East Carolina, and against Marshall. What this implies is that when they roll into Atlanta, they won't have been truly challenged for almost a month. That said, Georgia Tech will be playing in its third straight conference game after dates with Duke and North Carolina.

While the schedule bodes better for VPI, playing in Bobby Dodd Stadium on a Thursday night will be very difficult. When put on the big stage, Bobby Dodd can become an extremely hostile environment where VPI could have issues operating on both sides of the ball. (Because I'm sure they're uncomfortable with noise coming from Lane Stadium. /s) We've also discussed this offseason how something's just not right about Virginia Tech, and how their offense last year struggled with a lack of identity -- it ranked in the 60s in Passing Offense, and the 80s in Rushing Offense, Total Offense, and Scoring Offense. All of that is weird considering the amount of talent present on that side of the ball. Virginia Tech will have to force Georgia Tech to focus on stopping the run so that the passing game is opened for Logan Thomas. If VPI can't establish their ground game, this contest should end up in the "W" column for the Jackets.

Virginia Tech Wins If:

They can establish the run and Logan Thomas can display accuracy in the passing game. They must jump to a lead early and force the Yellow Jackets to play from behind.

Georgia Tech Wins If:

Playmakers come to play under the brightest of lights. The opposing team is talented enough that players will need to step up and have good individual games. An average-to-below-average game from the Yellow Jackets means a win for the Hokies.

Prediction:

Georgia Tech 27, Virginia Tech 23

Georgia Tech finishes out their slate of September games undefeated and on a roll as they head to Coral Gables the following week, where a treacherous situation awaits.

Am I crazy to think that, loaded as the schedule might be, we legitimately might make it out of September undefeated? What flavor Kool-Aid are you drinking this morning?

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