Check out our new college football “Fab Five” in this quick video:
The Miami (FL) Hurricanes will be hoping to halt a three-game losing streak when they visit the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Miami (FL) has fallen in succession to Virginia, Boston College, and Duke. The Yellow Jackets, on the other hand, are 4-1 in their last five contests.
The U isn’t Quarterback U
It is clear that the Hurricanes’ season is in a tailspin. They have lost three in a row and their only win since September has come by one point over Florida State–which looks even worse in retrospect given how the Seminoles have fared since that game. Miami’s woes continued with a 20-12 setback against Duke last weekend.
What is unclear is what the ‘Canes will be doing at the quarterback position when they go up against Georgia Tech this week. Head coach Mark Richt has declined to name a starter for Saturday, instead opting to evaluate all options throughout a week of practice. Senior Malik Rosier started against Duke and went 8-of-12 for 76 yards. Redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry, played six drives–including the final four–to Rosier’s 10 and completed five of 16 attempts for 35 yards. Through nine games, Rosier has completed 53.5 percent of his passes for 1,007 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions, while Perry has completed 52.4 percent of his attempts for 701 yards with 11 TDs and five picks.
“We’ve got to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what’s the best thing to do in every possible situation–every position group,” Richt noted. “Definitely I want to put a premium on how we practice. I want to see how the quarterbacks practice, I want to see how the linemen practice, running backs, tight ends although there’s not a lot of depth there, wide receiver, across the board, special teams, defense. We want to make sure we’re playing the guys that earn the right to play on a weekly basis and that will be a big emphasis this week.”
Georgia Tech is known for its triple-option offense, but the offensive tack has been getting plenty of help from the defense in recent weeks. The Yellow Jackets have enjoyed a dramatic jump in forced turnovers while winning four of their last five games–including two straight. Led by senior defensive end Anree Saint-Amour, the defense has forced 10 turnovers in those four wins–leading directly to 59 points.
Week 10 @ACCFootball Players of the Week:
Game-sealing INT = ACC DL of the Week
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) November 5, 2018
The more aggressive defense is a result of changes made by first-year defensive coordinator Nate Woody and his 3-4 scheme (by comparison, in 2017 Georgia Tech had only 10 takeaways; only four of 128 FBS teams forced fewer turnovers). This year, the Yellow Jackets have forced 20 turnovers–tied for the eighth-highest total in the nation. Saint-Amour has three forced fumbles and two interceptions, including one of the three INTs during last week’s victory over North Carolina, to go along with 10.5 tackles for loss. He set career-highs with nine tackles and three quarterback hurries against the Tar Heels.
“I thought he would be a really good player,” Johnson said of ASA. “I don’t know if you ever know he’s going to have those kinds of sacks and tackles for negative plays. I think he’s a good fit for what we do defensively…. When you’re more aggressive, you probably get more takeaways.”
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are:
- 4-1 ATS in their last five overall
- 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games following a win
- 7-3-1 Under in their last 11 games following an ATS win
The Miami (FL) Hurricanes are:
- 0-4 ATS in their last four overall
- 1-6 ATS in their last seven road games
- 1-7 ATS in their last eight games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Hurricanes have endured massive offensive struggles during their three-game skid. Running back Travis Homer did not practice Tuesday, instead working on the conditioning bike with members of Miami’s athletic training staff. That would be a major blow for reeling Miami, as Homer delivered a season-high 133 yards and scored his second touchdown against the Blue Devils. In recent weeks, both of Miami’s quarterbacks have struggled. Virginia, Boston College, and Duke held the ‘Canes to a combined 39 points. It is worth noting that the favorite is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings between the two teams.
Prediction: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Full-Game Total Pick
“Their defense has done a good job with turnovers,” Richt said. “And in this last game, they picked off three passes and scored 17 points off those turnovers. So they did a great job there.” That is bad news for a Miami offense that is totally out of sorts these days. The under is 10-2 in the Hurricanes’ last 12 on the road, 11-3 in their last 14 against the ACC, 4-1 in their last five against winning opponents, and 12-5 in their last 17 on grass. It is also 7-3-1 in the Yellow Jackets’ last 11 following an ATS win. Look for this one to stay under the total.