Start Time: 12:30 pm ET
Location: Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, GA
TV: Regional Sports Network/ESPN3
Series: Georgia Tech leads 1-0
Line: Georgia Tech -11, FPI: Georgia Tech, 82.4%
Two years after their first meeting in a hard-fought and controversial game, the Georgia Southern Eagles and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will meet on the field again.
For Georgia Tech, Paul Johnson is still prowling the side lines and running the flexbone triple option attack that is now familiar to both sides. Georgia Southern, on the other hand, is running… I don’t know. I’m not quite sure what it is that Tyson Summers & Company are running.
The Eagles feel like they should have left Atlanta with the victory two years ago and want to steal one from the Jackets. Many of the offensive skill players for Georgia Southern played in that game two years ago.
When The Eagles Have The Ball
Georgia Southern has to develop some form of a push in the interior and open up holes if they want the running game to succeed. The running backs that gashed teams for two years haven’t found the holes they used to have in years past. They’re not getting the blocks on the edge to spring them, either.
If the running game isn’t there, then the Eagles have to be ready to go to the pass and stick with the pass. The quarterbacks have proven that they can throw the ball this season, so if that’s what it takes to win, then they need to go with it. Throw to set up the run. Just do whatever it takes to get yards and get points.
The health of the quarterbacks will be something that comes into play, here, too. Favian Upshaw only played 2-3 snaps against Arkansas State, and those were because Ellison got further banged up on a few plays. I honestly think Upshaw’s speed will be essential to beating the Yellow Jackets. He can make players miss with pure speed and his arm may be the more accurate and powerful of the two.
Georgia Tech’s defense is middle-of-the-road in both rushing and passing. The opportunity is there for the Eagles if they can find consistency and rhythm on offense and not beat themselves with dumb penalties.
When The Yellow Jackets Have The Ball
Georgia Tech’s offense has struggled a bit, this season. Normally in the Top 5 for rushing, the Jackets are all the way down at 26th this season. Justin Thomas is still the quarterback, but Paul Johnson’s offense just isn’t getting the yards that they’re used to. In the Clemson game they looked especially inept. If Georgia Southern’s Front 7 – which until last week had been very effective against the run – can stuff the Yellow Jackets’ ground game, then the Eagles might be able to make something happen.
When it comes to passing, Georgia Tech isn’t exactly lighting up the stat sheets, either. They’re averaging less than 100 yards per game and only have 4 passing touchdowns. That’s good news for Georgia Southern’s still-young secondary. This is definitely one thing that can play into the hands of the Eagles, as the stout run defense could limit the Yellow Jackets from doing much.
Keys To The Game
- Be balanced on offense. The Eagles need to be able to throw and open up the running game.
- Avoid turnovers.
- No dumb penalties.
- Stop the run.
Those are all obvious, but that’s what it’s going to take for Georgia Southern to get out of Atlanta with a win and salvage some momentum from this October stretch before heading out to New Mexico State next Saturday.