Georgia Tech 45 … at NC State 35
Posted Oct 1, 2011

Week 5 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Georgia Tech at NC State

2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 5 - Georgia Tech at NC State

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Oct. 1 Georgia Tech 45 … at NC State 35
CFN Analysis: The offense is unstoppable. Tevin Washington is running the option like a master, and the backs are gouging defenses by blowing through wide open holes for big dash after big dash. Washington only completed 4-of-12 passes, but he threw for 117 yards and two scores and helped the running game roll for 296 yards and three scores with ten different players getting carries. Orwin Smith was terrific with 74 yards and three scores on just nine carries, and he even came up with a 30-yard catch. There shouldn't be any problems with Maryland or Virginia coming up, and while the special teams could use some work, everything is humming.

NC State played the wrong team at the wrong time. The defense had been having issues and the offense wasn't putting up enough production on a consistent basis to begin with, and then it had to deal with the high-octane Georgia Tech attack. The defensive line is playing relatively well and keeping the Yellow Jackets to 296 yards isn't too bad, but the offense couldn't keep up the pace. James Washington had a nice day with 131 yards and a score, and Mike Glennon was good connecting 20-of-29 passes for 163 yards and two scores with a pick, but it wasn't nearly enough against a hot team. Central Michigan should ease the pressure a bit before tgoing on the road to face Virginia.

(AP) RALEIGH, N.C. -- Georgia Tech's offense kept on scoring -- and the defense put up an important touchdown, too.

It all added up to the Yellow Jackets' best start since they were national champions.

Orwin Smith rushed for three touchdowns and No. 21 Georgia Tech used a fourth-quarter flurry of points to beat North Carolina State 45-35 on Saturday to extend its best start in more than 20 years.

Smith finished with 74 yards and scored on runs of 13, 9 and 3 yards. The Yellow Jackets (5-0, 2-0 ACC) were held to a season-low 413 total yards -- they entered averaging 630.5 yards per game -- but opened with five wins for the first time since their national championship season in 1990.

"It means a lot, obviously" to be 5-0, Smith said. "We just have to keep going, because in my mind, we haven't played real competition to really test our skills. We've played great teams this year, but I'm looking forward to the tough games -- Virginia Tech and Clemson. Those really are going to make a statement on what this team is about."

Georgia Tech led 21-0, briefly allowed N.C. State to make a game of it in the third quarter and pulled away with three touchdowns in a 2-minute, 22-second span of the fourth.

Mike Glennon was 20 of 29 for 163 yards with touchdown passes covering 9 yards to Jay Smith and 1 yard to Tyler Purvis for the Wolfpack (2-3, 0-2), who remained winless against Bowl Subdivision teams.

Tevin Washington completed just four passes for Georgia Tech -- but two were touchdowns, covering 9 yards to David Sims and 38 yards to Roddy Jones. He rushed for 43 yards but finished 4 of 12 for 117 yards through the air.

"I've got to do a better job of putting the ball in an area where receivers can make a play," Washington said. "I think I was rushing myself. I was in a hurry a lot, when I had more time than I thought I did."

Isaiah Johnson returned an interception 34 yards for a score to help the Yellow Jackets pull away.

James Washington, starting for the injured Curtis Underwood, rushed for a career-high 131 yards for the Wolfpack. His 46-yard touchdown run got N.C. State within a score, down 21-14.

That's when Georgia Tech used a scoring flurry befitting the nation's most productive offense to take a huge lead.

Smith closed a 13-play drive that demoralized N.C. State by taking a pitch from Tevin Washington around right end and diving across the goal line with 12:29 left.

On N.C. State's next offensive play, Johnson picked off Glennon's pass and returned it for a score, and Tevin Washington found Jones deep for a TD that made it 42-14 with 10:07 remaining.

N.C. State made things interesting with two touchdowns in the final 34 seconds, including Brandan Bishop's 33-yard return of Synjyn Days' fumble with 20 seconds left to finish the scoring.

The interception return "hurt us. Penalties hurt us," N.C. State linebacker Audie Cole said. "It's hard to come back from those things, especially when they decided who wins and loses. We didn't do the things today to stop (mistakes)."

Glennon made it 21-7 with 1:15 left in the half on his scoring pass to Smith, and N.C. State got within a score on Washington's long touchdown run on its first play of the second half.

That came after it looked as though the Yellow Jackets would have their way against an N.C. State team that entered with one of the worst -- and most injury-riddled -- defenses in the ACC.

The Wolfpack, who started their third different combination of defensive linemen in five games, entered ranked 10th or worse in the ACC in three major defensive stat categories.

Smith capped each of Georgia Tech's first two drives with touchdown runs. Four plays after Jemea Thomas took a snap on a fake punt and rumbled 27 yards for a first down, Smith took a pitch through the right side and ran 13 yards for a score.

Then, he made it 14-0 with 3:34 left in the first quarter when he took a handoff 9 yards for his second touchdown. At that point, he had touched the ball 27 times on offense this season -- and had scored seven touchdowns.

"We don't come in just kind of focusing on me or the B-back," Smith said. "I just happened to be the right A-back at the time the A-back was going to get the ball."

Washington then made it 21-0 with his short flip to Sims on the first play of the second quarter, giving Georgia Tech a 173-30 advantage in total yards.

"We gave up some big plays," N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien said. "We made some plays of our own, though. We do a little better there offensively, and other things like (stopping) the fake punt, who knows where the game is in the fourth quarter."

Georgia Tech (4-0) at NC State (2-2) Oct. 1, 3:30, ABC

Here's The Deal … College football, by its very nature, is designed to make preseason forecasts look ridiculous. Georgia Tech, for instance. Coming off a disappointing 6-7 campaign, the Yellow Jackets appeared to be entering 2011 with more holes than Augusta National. Yet, just a month into the campaign, they're the toast of the ACC, winning four straight to rise to No. 21 in this week's AP poll. Last Saturday, they passed their toughest exam to date, withstanding an early and late challenge from North Carolina to hold on for a 35-28 prove-it victory at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

NC State resides on the other side of the tracks these days. The Pack has performed miserably in its two games against FBS teams, getting embarrassed by Cincinnati, 44-14, on national TV last Thursday night. Making the life of head coach Tom O'Brien even more hectic is the fact that the quarterback he failed to invite back this year, Russell Wilson, has led Wisconsin to a perfect start and a No. 7 ranking in the AP.

Why Georgia Tech Might Win: Head coach Paul Johnson's offense has been sensational through four games, leading the country in scoring and total yards. Yeah, Tech's output slipped a bit last week, but that was against a Carolina defense loaded with next-level talent. Injury-riddled NC State is nowhere in the same league as the Heels, as was obvious in Thursday's collapse at the feet of Cincinnati. For the Yellow Jackets, there's no singular star, but a ton of options, so to speak.

QB Tevin Washington has done a great job of running the show, even throwing eight touchdown passes to a single interception. He'll work with Orwin Smith, David Sims, Roddy Jones and Embry Peeples on well-times pitches. And when the Pack starts cheating up to stop the run, he'll go up top to find Stephen Hill, his resident acrobatic and homerun hitter of the receiving corps.

Why NC State Might Win: If the Wolfpack has any chance of stopping the Ramblin' Wreck, it'll have to be fueled by the offense. Tech has been just okay on defense, allowing at least 21 points in all four games. The Yellow Jackets have been a little leaky against the run, which should create some space for NC State running backs Curtis Underwood and James Washington. The rest will be up to QB Mike Glennon, who has been a disappointment so far. Wilson's successor has all of the necessary tools for success, including WR T.J. Graham, yet hasn't quite turned the corner. He'll need to use all of his weapons, including underutilized TE George Bryan.

What To Watch Out For: The Yellow Jackets D was spotty in September, but, boy, did it ratchet up the pressure against Carolina last Saturday. Tech got to Bryn Renner seven times, whipping a credible collection of offensive linemen. The catalyst was LB Jeremiah Attaaochu, who used his speed off the edge to get to the quarterback three times. Even surly defensive coordinator Al Groh had to be pretty pleased with his unit's effort against the Tar Heels. If the Jackets can maintain that level of defensive intensity, their chances for an ACC crown will rise markedly.

What Will Happen: This is simply a terrible matchup for NC State, which has been decimated by injuries along the front seven. As if stopping the Georgia Tech locomotive isn't daunting enough already, the Pack will attempt to do so with spare parts and out of position linemen. The Yellow Jackets will keep the train on the tracks, using their diversity and speed to run away from State without a lot of resistance. Once the deficit starts to balloon, the Wolfpack won't have the offensive pop or the fight to make things interesting in the second half.

CFN Prediction: Georgia Tech 41 … NC State 20
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