Which James Graham is showing up tonight?
Since being named the starter earlier this season, redshirt freshman quarterback James Graham has either been really impressive or made some mistakes that make you just turn your head and say, “Huh?” Specifically looking at the last two games, that has been made completely clear. Graham played his best game of the season against Virginia, only to follow it up with one of his worst games this season the next week against Virginia Tech. On just a short week, it will be interesting to see how he bounces back.
A battle of youth
Georgia Tech has a very small senior class this season, with just 13 seniors listed on the roster. NC State also has a very small senior class with just five players listed as seniors and seven listed as graduate students. With the exception of Clemson, the Wolfpack have also played the most freshmen in the nation. That has contributed to the struggles of both teams, I believe, but playing those younger players just means that it’s more likely we’ll see some mistakes.
A low-scoring affair
Neither Georgia Tech nor NC State have score 30 points against Power 5 competition this season. The Wolfpack scored 34 points on two separate occasions (ECU and Ball State) and 41 against Western Carolina, and Georgia Tech has yet to score 30 points at all this season. Defensively, these teams are giving up an average of 36.6 points per game (NC State 37.6, Georgia Tech 35.7). Given the defenses, I think there’s a chance this could turn into a shootout, a la 2017 Georgia Tech-Tennessee, but I think there’s an equally good chance that it’s a low-scoring game.
This has been one of Georgia Tech’s best chances to win a game all season, and it’s certainly the best chance to win one the rest of this season. I think this game honestly comes down to which James Graham shows up to this game. If Graham shows up to this game, I feel pretty good about Tech winning this game, but if he doesn’t, I think Tech will have a hard time unless the coaching staff opts to play Yates. At that point, who knows what would happen. Because it’s pretty much a shot in the dark at this point, I’ll take Georgia Tech with the victory, 28-24.
What is your score prediction for tonight?