NCAA Football – Week 13
Rivalry week in college football is here, and the big rivalry in the state of Georgia is between the Bulldogs and the Yellow Jackets. No one could have expected it a couple weeks ago, but the Georgia Bulldogs are right in the thick of the BCS title chase now, and they can’t afford a slip up here. The Yellow Jackets would love nothing more than to ruin their chance at the title.
Paul Johnson’s Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets very rarely struggle to move the football. The triple option offense that Johnson has installed at the program has been difficult for anyone to even slow down. Georgia Tech averages 325 yards per game on the ground. In the last two weeks, Georgia Tech has scored 68 points against North Carolina and 42 against Duke. This team can’t throw the football well at all, so they can’t get way behind and play catch up in this game. Orwin Smith averages 9 yards per carry out of the backfield. Tevin Washington has 18 rushing touchdowns and 7 passing touchdowns this year.
The Yellow Jackets defense has been a problem the last couple years, and this year has been no different. This unit is giving up 29.6 points per game. They have improved a bit against the run, but the secondary is still very weak against top quarterbacks. Jemea Thomas leads the team with three interceptions, but this group has been beaten deep far too often this year. They’ll be tested in a big way by the Georgia offense.
Georgia was blown out by South Carolina early in the year, but they have regrouped to win the rest of their games this year. Aaron Murray has taken some hit during his career at Georgia, but he deserves lots of praise for his success this year. Murray is completing 66 percent of his passes, and he is averaging 9.9 yards per pass attempt. Both of those numbers are easily the best of his career. He has thrown 28 touchdowns compared to just 7 touchdowns so far this season. It certainly helps to have two terrific tailbacks in Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall in the backfield with him. These two freshmen have been sensational for the Bulldogs this season. Both are averaging more than 6 yards per carry. The Bulldogs are averaging 37.6 points per game this year.
Georgia’s defense was much-maligned early in the year, but they have really improved as the season has moved along. Bacarri Rambo has a minor shin injury, but he is expected to play in this weekend’s game. Rambo is the leader of a secondary that has been shutting opponents down over the last few weeks. Georgia is now giving up only 179 yards per game through the air. Opponents are scoring just 18.4 points per game against the Bulldogs this season.
The Yellow Jackets offense is so one-dimensional that I think it will be hard for them to win this game, but I do believe they’ll keep it close. Both teams should be able to move the ball, but 64.5 is an awfully high total. I like the under.
Georgia 31 Georgia Tech 21