coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
On 09/22/2013 02:24 PM in NCAA Football

Virginia Tech Hokies at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: Preview and Pick

Virginia Tech Hokies at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: Preview and Pick

The Thursday night college football game of the week will feature two talented ACC teams as the Virginia Tech Hokies will battle the Georgia Tech yellow Jackets. Both teams were able to get a win last week, but it wasn’t easy as both squads needed to overcome bad weather and an early deficit to get the win.

Virginia Tech Hokies at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Odds

The college football odds for this game opened up with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets listed as (-7) point favorites. That line has yet to move but the early wagering shows that the betting public is on board with the home team as over 77% of the early wagering is dropping the chalk with Georgia Tech. This has caused some line movement and the line can now be found at (-7.5) at several top rated sportsbooks.

The Hokies needed over time to beat the Marshall Thundering Herd. The Herd had multiple chances to win or tie the game in overtime, but came up short to include dropping the potential game tying touchdown. On the final play of the game, with Marshall facing fourth and 10, Thundering Herd wide receiver Davonte Allen couldn’t corral what would have been a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone.

The Yellow Jackets needed to beat the North Carolina Tar Heels in another rain soaked game. The Jackets earned its eighth straight home win in the series as the Heels have not won here since 1997. However, now the Jackets will get a step up in talent when they will have to try and take care of the Hokies.

The college football betting trends for this game reveal some interesting betting angles leading up to kickoff. Virginia Tech is 15-6 straight up in its last 21 games on the road and 6-1 in the last seven games overall, but they are 1-4-2 against the spread (ATS) in its last 7 games. Georgia Tech is 4-2 straight up in its last 6 games at home and Georgia Tech is 1-5 straight up in its last 6 games when playing Virginia Tech. The total has gone under in 5 of Georgia Tech's last 6 games when playing Virginia Tech and the total has gone under in 11 of Virginia Tech's last 16 games on the road.

Virginia Tech Hokies at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Pick

With plenty of time before kickoff we will wait for more information to come in before we select a side on this contest. Make sure to check back on the day of the game to see who we select as our winner for this big game.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/23/2013 01:14 PM

After three weeks of facing fast-paced spread offenses, Virginia Tech has just four days to get ready for the decidedly different triple-option attack of Georgia Tech.

“If there’s one guy that can pull it off and have his defense ready to play well in both games, it’s Bud Foster,” Marshall defensive line coach J.C. Price, a former Hokies All-American, said last week, as his Thundering Herd was getting ready to face Tech.

Foster’s track record in short weeks is impressive. The Hokies are 8-1 with five days or fewer to prepare for an opponent since Foster became coordinator, with their only loss coming in 2010 when they lost to FCS James Madison 21-16. Price was an assistant with JMU that year.

Foster’s defenses have three shutouts on short weeks, blanking Virginia in 1996, JMU in 2003 and Duke in 2005.

Of course, Georgia Tech (3-0) presents a special challenge with its triple-option offense. The polar-opposite of the up-tempo attacks the Hokies (3-1) defended in wins over Western Carolina, East Carolina and Marshall, Georgia Tech runs a slow, methodical and bruising offense built on running the football.

“We had three weeks in a row with these kind of offenses,” Tech senior linebacker Jack Tyler said. “And now we get to, not relax, but Georgia Tech, you know they’re going to run the ball the whole time, so we can get back to the basics.”

The Yellow Jackets are fourth in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 345.3 yards on the ground. Georgia Tech ranks seventh nationally in time of possession, averaging 35 minutes.

“It definitely makes it a little bit tougher, but we’re ready for it,” Hokies senior cornerback Kyle Fuller said. “And we’ll start getting prepared and we’ll be ready to go.”

Virginia Tech is 15th in the country in run defense, giving up 96.5 yards per game on the ground.

After the Hokies beat Marshall 29-21 in three overtimes Saturday, Tech coach Frank Beamer said the coaching staff would grade film Saturday night, then spend Sunday working on the game plan for Georgia Tech. “We’ve got it all planned out,” Beamer said. “We know exactly what time we’re doing what and the whole deal. It runs together, but it is what it is.”

Of course, Virginia Tech got a jumpstart on preparing for the Yellow Jackets, Tyler said. “We’ve already been preparing for them a little bit,” Tyler said after Saturday’s game. “The last couple of Sundays, we’ve been taking our Sunday to go over Georgia Tech stuff so we’d have a couple extra days of practice.”

Virginia Tech has won five of its past six meetings with the Jackets, including the past three. Of those, four were decided by a touchdown or less, including last year’s 20-17 overtime win by the Hokies at Lane Stadium.

In three of the past six meetings, Foster’s defense has held Georgia Tech to 17 points or fewer.

And Tyler said last year’s game plan, which limited the Jackets to 198 yards on 55 rushes, is fresh in his mind. “For me, I remember the entire game plan from last year,” said Tyler, who had a game-high 17 tackles against Georgia Tech. “You don’t really forget things like that. It’s a pretty set game plan we’re going to do. We just got to execute and play well.”

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/24/2013 02:11 PM

After a hard-fought game against Marshall which ended in a thrilling triple-overtime victory over the Thundering Herd, the Virginia Tech Hokies look to start off strong in their conference opener against division rival Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets are undefeated and are coming off of a comeback victory over the UNC Tar Heels, a team who many picked to be number one or two in the coastal division. The Virginia Tech football team has beaten the Yellow Jackets in the past three meetings, and until last year, the winner has gone on to represent their division in the ACC Championship game. With a struggling offense, Virginia Tech will have to rely on their stout defense to stop Paul Johnson’s triple-option. Here’s how the Hokies can pull off the upset.

- Don’t get behind

Virginia Tech has fallen behind by more than a touchdown only once this season; that was against Alabama. Against FBS opponents, they have only been ahead by as much as 7 points, and based on their offensive performance so far, there is no evidence that they are capable of any sort of significant comeback victory, especially against Georgia Tech. If the Yellow Jackets find themselves up by any more than a touchdown or so, they will do what they do best: run the football and eat up the clock on 10-11 minute drives. The Hokies will have to keep the game close all night if they want to walk away with a victory.

- Establish a running game

Time and time again, the experts remind us that in order to have a successful passing attack, teams must run the ball successfully, forcing defenses to send an extra man to stop the run and opening up holes in the passing routes. Logan Thomas has proven in the past couple of games that he has still not quite gotten over his tendency to throw into double and triple coverage. He already has thrown 6 interceptions, one more than his goal for the season. If he wants to keep that number where it is, he’ll have to find open receivers. Georgia Tech is good, but they are not elite. This is not a game where Virginia Tech will have to take risks in order to achieve award.

- Stop the option

Bud Foster and co. have had relative success stopping the triple option. A team like Georgia Tech is going to get first downs, and they are going to have several big gains on the ground just by the nature of their offense. The front seven will have to get past their blockers and have tackles for loss. If it’s fourth-and-one, they can expect Georgia Tech to go for it, and probably get the first down. Fortunately, besides the freshman defensive backs, this defense is loaded with veterans, and has played against Georgia Tech a few times.

- Don’t turn the ball over

When Georgia Tech forces a turnover, they make their opponent pay for it. Even if they do not score on their ensuing drive, they will chew up precious time, making it that much harder to score points.

If the Hokies can get their offense going, and limit their turnovers to only a couple, they have a serious chance to upset the Yellow Jackets.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/25/2013 04:12 PM

Georgia Tech can add to its strong start in the Atlantic Coast Conference when it plays Virginia Tech on Thursday night in the rivalry that often decides the Coastal Division.

Virginia Tech (3-1, 0-0 ACC) or Georgia Tech (3-0, 2-0) has played in every ACC championship game.

In most years, the winner of the rivalry game has won the division. Last year was an exception. Virginia Tech beat the Yellow Jackets 20-17 in overtime, but Georgia Tech still played in last year's ACC championship game.

Still, coach Paul Johnson said Virginia Tech's longer list of five Coastal Division titles makes it the favorite. Georgia Tech has won the other three division titles since the debut of the ACC championship in 2005.

"Clearly in my mind they've been the team to beat in the Coastal Division since I've been here," Johnson said. "Until somebody beats them, that's the way I will look at it."

The Hokies have won straight and five of six in the series.

"We've had some great games," Johnson said. "The last three or four years have been really close. We've got to find a way to get over the top on them. We've been close but we've got to close the deal."

Each team has had a short practice week after playing on Saturday. It could be particularly tough for the Hokies' defense to prepare for the Yellow Jackets' offense with its triple-option plays and quarterback Vad Lee's strong start as a passer. Lee already has seven touchdown passes.

"It just adds a threat to their offense," said Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller. "He's a good athlete, can run the ball. But he's shown that he can throw the ball just as good. So we're ready for that."

Here are five things to watch as Virginia Tech looks for its fourth straight win over Georgia Tech:

BACK TO BASICS: Johnson rarely will acknowledge he is satisfied with his team, especially so early in the season. He sounded especially displeased this week when he talked about his offense being asked to do too much. After early experiments with a new diamond shotgun formation, it sounds like Johnson plans a return to his spread-option basics against the Hokies. "We've got too much stuff going on," he said. "We're doing too much stuff and we're not good at any of it. That's not the way I like to play."

SPOTLIGHT ON THOMAS: Logan Thomas, the Virginia Tech senior, trails only Tyrod Taylor on the school records for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback and passing yards, but he has struggled at times this year. Thomas has completed only 48.5 percent of his passes with only four touchdowns and six interceptions. Thomas threw two interceptions before running for a touchdown and a 2-point conversion in last week's 29-21 triple-overtime win over Marshall.

RUNNING ON EMPTY: Endurance will be a factor as each team will be playing its third game in 12 days and its second game in six days. Johnson has bad memories of a similar stretch that ended with a loss at Miami in 2009. "The last time we played three games in 12 days, the last game down in Miami we looked like we were running in sand," Johnson said. "We were just kind of spent, so you hope that's not the case."

STRENGTH AGAINST STRENGTH: The game matches Johnson, the master of the spread-option offense, against Virginia Tech's longtime defensive coordinator Bud Foster. The Hokies rank 15th in the nation against the run and fifth in total defense. Georgia Tech ranks fourth in rushing yards, topping 300 yards in each of its three games. Virginia Tech's defense played well even in its 35-10 opening loss to No. 1 Alabama, which had two special teams touchdowns and returned an interception for a score.

BEAMER BALL: Lee lost a fumble last week against North Carolina but has thrown only one interception. Virginia Tech's defense ranks second in the nation with nine interceptions. The Hokies also have one fumble recovery. After the struggles against Alabama, the Hokies came up with big plays on special teams last week, which has been typical for coach Frank Beamer's teams. Fuller blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown and Hopkins blocked a field goal attempt in the win over Marshall.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/26/2013 12:39 PM

It's time for the Battle of the Tech's.

Most of you are aware of the implications of this game. This game usually decides on who is going to represent the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship. You are also aware that ever since Virginia Tech joined the ACC in 2004, the Hokies have beaten the Yellow Jackets 7/9 meetings. They lead the all time series 7-3. So what that tells me is that if Georgia Tech is going to Charlotte, they have to go through Virginia Tech. This is no easy task.

Defense is the one aspect of a Frank Beamer ball club that is always consistent. The man leading the charge of this defense is Bud Foster. He is one of the best defensive minds in the nation. His players are always going full throttle and they usually go to the NFL. For the Yellow Jackets to have any success against their stout defense, they have got to block the Hokies' defensive front and not allow them to get pressure on Lee.

In last year's game, Georgia Tech only had 192 yards rushing; that can't happen Thursday night. The Yellow Jackets have got to make holes for David Sims and Zach Laskey. They also have to block well on the perimeter for the A-backs. If Vad Lee can connect on most throws and keep the Hokie defense guessing, the Yellow Jackets should have great success on offense.

On the defensive side of the ball for the Yellow Jackets, they are coming off an impressive second half shut out against North Carolina. We'll see whether that will carry over Thursday night. Containing the 6'6", 250lb Logan Thomas is no easy feat. The senior Quarterback passed for 230 yards against the Ramblin' Wreck last year, not to mention his contributions running the ball. Ted Roof and his crew are going to have to devise a game plan that puts pressure on Thomas and contains their running game. I know the Hokies' offense has had their problems as of late, but that doesn't mean that can't move the football.

This is a big game. No, this is a HUGE game. Georgia Tech needs to come out with guns firing and ready to attack. If they can get pressure on Thomas and run the ball on the Hokies defense, the boys in gold and white will win.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/26/2013 01:49 PM

Virginia Tech has won three in a row and four of the last five against the Yellow Jackets and will look to control the ball in this game tonight. Logan Thomas has looked decent in the read option and will carry the load for tonight in the running game. Look for the Hokies to keep this close and have a chance to win late.

Pick: Virginia Tech +7