The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have certainly had quite a time transitioning from the triple option to more of a pro-style offense under head coach Geoff Collins. But they have not necessarily been unproductive. On Saturday they will take on the Syracuse Orange in a game that begins at Noon ET at the Carrier Dome (indoors) in Syracuse. Remember that at BetAnySports, you can get reduced juice on this game, in addition to the ability to place wagers in real time with Sports Betting Prime.

As you may know, when Paul Johnson was the coach, G-Tech was operating the option, which very few teams in the nation employ. Therefore, they hadn’t been recruiting players for a pro-style attack. Collins, who came over from Temple, where he had been head coach (and before that, Florida, where he was defensive coordinator) went through a rough time last season, but that was expected by many.

This year things are taking hold a little better. He has a talented freshman quarterback in Jeff Sims, who will make a few mistakes, but has a certain dynamism about him. And there is plenty of depth in the backfield, which has allowed them to deal with injuries.

In their opener, Georgia Tech took advantage of another program that had been “transitioning” and beat Florida State. Last week, they were overwhelmed by Central Florida 49-21. But there was a silver lining around that dark cloud.

In the NCAA football betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Yellow Jackets are the favorites on the road:

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets -7.5
Syracuse Orange +7.5

Over 52.5 points -110
Under 52.5 points -110

Running back Jordan Mason was not able to play last week, but that gave Georgia Tech an opportunity to use prize freshman recruit Jahmyr Gibbs, who was one of the best prep backs in the country last season. Gibbs is the type who can be a dominant figure in the backfield, whether it is running with the ball or catching it, and on the opening kickoff against UCF he had a monster return that put G-Tech in position to score a TD and take a lead on Central Florida. On the game, Gibbs had 66 yards on the ground and 60 on receptions. As of this writing, Mason’s status was not definite. But the Jackets can be okay, because with Gibbs and Jamious Griffin, they have a couple of potential game-breakers they can point to.

The Georgia Tech defense gave up 660 yards and 31 first downs to UCF, but we don’t want to indict the stop unit strictly because of that. A lot of teams are going to give up a lot of yards to that team. Syracuse should not be confused with UCF.

The Orange, under Dino Babers, has been one of those up-tempo offenses. But you really need the right kind of trigger man to make that happen. Eric Dungey was a guy like that, and Babers was able to bring the ‘Cuse to a national ranking with him at the controls.

But there have been questions as to whether Tommy DeVito, a high school star in New Jersey, can be that guy. And he does not have the offensive line to front for him either. They gave up eight sacks last week against Pittsburgh, and Syracuse had just 171 total yards. This doesn’t work.

It is possible that Babers will turn to Rex Culpepper for playing time. Culpepper is an inspirational story; he survived testicular cancer a couple of years ago, although along the way he demonstrated an allergy to one of the forms of chemotherapy, which made things touch-and-go. In his fifth year at Syracuse, Culpepper knows the offense, and he made the only big play last Saturday in the 21-10 loss, throwing a 69-yard TD pass.

Defensively, Syracuse is still adjusting to a new 3-3-5 scheme, which has worked for some schools, but we’re not convinced that they have fixed problems in the secondary. We don’t think they can keep pace with Sims and Georgia Tech, so we’ll lay the points.

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