We are just a day away from watching Georgia Tech take on UCF in the 2023 Gasparilla Bowl! Earlier this week, we reviewed how UCF’s season played out. The main takeaway from that article is that UCF likes to score a lot of points. They also like to give up a lot of points. Let’s see how that will play out against Georgia Tech tomorrow.
Jamal Haynes (and Haynes King) vs. UCF’s Rushing Defense
Jamal Haynes and Haynes King have been an absolute boon for Georgia Tech’s rushing offense this season. These two combined for more than 1,700 yards in the regular season and are primed for another big game against UCF’s rushing defense, one of the worst in the whole country. UCF allows 0.16 EPA/rush (which is 125th in the country). They are allowing over 180 yards per game. After Georgia Tech gave UGA all it could handle with the run game, I expect Buster Faulkner to rely heavily on it here as well.
Georgia Tech’s Defensive Front vs. RJ Harvey
And now on the inverse, Georgia Tech’s rush defense has been very poor the entire year. They are allowing 0.12 EPA/rush (115th in the country). It’s slightly better than UCF, but not much. And RJ Harvey has had quite the season, rushing for over 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns. In order to win the game, Georgia Tech is going to have to find a way to contain Harvey.
Eric Singleton vs. UCF’s Secondary
Singleton has been a great find for Georgia Tech, providing a nice bit of explosion for the Yellow Jackets this season. Heading into the bowl game, Georgia Tech will need to find some holes in UCF’s pass defense, which has been pretty solid, in order to stay in the game. Corey Thornton in particular is one that Haynes King will need to watch out for. He leads the Knights defense in interceptions (3) and pass break-ups (9).
What match-ups are you looking for tomorrow?