Football Bye-Week Theater: Miami vs. Georgia Tech Preview


As Boston College football’s bye week comes to a close, we have one more Atlantic Coast Conference game to preview: Miami vs. Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

Most people would have said Georgia Tech should open their season at 3-0, but getting to 4-0 with a win over Virginia Tech suddenly added some legitimacy to their case for the ACC Coastal.

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As for Miami, the preseason favorites to win the division, they added quite a bit of it by beating Duke, though their other games against top opponents have not gone their way.

These two teams meet in an ACC Coastal swing game that could get the Hurricanes back to the top of the division, or show that the Yellow Jackets truly are a team to beat.

Miami vs. Georgia Tech: Mixed Bag

The Hurricanes have played some good teams and bad teams so far, and the net result has given us an average team. In so many categories, they seem to sit somewhere near the middle. The most important of them is their record, which shows them at 1-1 in the ACC.

Freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya has done well enough, throwing 12 touchdown passes for the Hurricanes already, but also seven interceptions (though some have been on his receivers). He has given them more than they could have reasonably expected already.

On the other hand, Duke Johnson has been consistent though not remarkable, but a lingering ankle injury has had plenty to do with that. He should be on his way back to health, but being without him at top speed has hampered the 90th-ranked run game.

Miami vs. Georgia Tech: Predictability

Everyone knows what Georgia Tech’s offensive schtick is, which is more or less the same thing Boston College does, except Paul Johnson’s team was doing it a lot sooner. The Jackets run the ball at the near-total exclusion of the pass.

Also like the Eagles, and not surprisingly, this option offense has a quarterback who can run. Justin Thomas leads Georgia Tech in rushing yards with 443, and he was great against the Hokies on the ground with 165 yards and a rushing touchdown.

However, Georgia Tech has not beaten Miami in years, losing high-scoring games in each of the last two. The Yellow Jackets can probably count on scoring a decent number of points. The Hurricane run defense has been okay this year, though it is going to be difficult to completely stop a team that does nothing but run.

Miami vs. Georgia Tech: The BC Connection

This is the only ACC game this week in which Boston College has faced or will face neither team in 2014.

Miami vs. Georgia Tech: Advantages

Both offenses seem like they will have the edge when they are on the field, but perhaps to varying degrees. Based upon what we have seen so far, the Yellow Jackets should be able to move the ball effectively against Miami, but not to the point of being overwhelming. Meanwhile, a lot of what Miami does on offense will depend on how well Duke Johnson looks if he is truly back to full strength on his ankle. A great game for him could mean a road upset.