2011 Prediction & Game Story
Week 12, Georgia Tech at Duke
ACC Fearless Predictions &
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Nov. 19 Georgia Tech 38 … at Duke 31
CFN Analysis: It took a fight to put the Blue Devils away, but Georgia Tech got the huge day from the ground game needed to control the clock for over 32 minutes and come up with the tough win. Tevin Washington was fantastic, running for 138 yards and a score and with six of his completions going for 185 yards. … The secondary held up, even though Duke was able to move the ball a bit too easily late with two long scoring drives to pull within a score in the final minutes, but when it had to, it came up with the stop. … An eight-win season is a nice bounceback campaign after last year’s clunker. A nine-win season with a win over Georgia, though, would be special. To come up with the win, Washington has to connect on a few pass plays early to keep the Dawg linebackers back.
Duke pushed hard in the comeback attempt, but the defense couldn’t come up with enough stops to get off the field. It it’s possible to give up 364 rushing yards and have a decent defensive game, Duke did it with Walt Canty leading the way with 12 tackles and a forced fumble. … Conner Vernon did caught nine passes for 92 yards and a score, but Sean Renfree did a good job of spreading the ball around. … Being competitive isn’t enough anymore, but Duke is playing well enough to sneak out a win. Time has run out, though, and North Carolina is the last chance. The O has to get hot early to have a shot.
(AP) DURHAM, N.C. -- David Sims rushed for two touchdowns, quarterback Tevin Washington added 136 yards rushing and a long, late scoring run, and Georgia Tech held on to beat Duke 38-31 Saturday.
Washington finished 6 of 13 for 185 yards passing and ran 39 yards for a late touchdown for the Yellow Jackets (8-3, 5-3 ACC).
They rolled up 549 total yards, scored on four straight possessions and held off Duke's late charge to win for just the second time in 1 1/2 months.
Sean Renfree matched a career high with four touchdown passes for the Blue Devils (3-8, 1-6). His 10-yard TD to Cooper Helfet -- his second of the day to the tight end -- pulled Duke within seven points with 6:37 left.
Duke forced a fumble from Charles Perkins and took over at its 34 with 3:44 left. Renfree's deep pass for Helfet was intercepted by Jamea Thomas with 2:20 left.
Washington and Georgia Tech then ran out the clock to seal their eighth straight win in the series.
Renfree finished 26 of 42 for 250 yards with touchdown passes covering 15 yards to Conner Vernon, 12 yards to Donovan Varner and 3 yards to Helfet for Duke, which lost its sixth straight.
Washington showed once again just how capable he is of coming up with big plays both with his feet and his arm. He broke a pair of tackles during his long scoring run, which came 3 minutes after Duke had pulled within 31-24. Four of his completions covered at least 29 yards.
Sims had scoring runs of 4 yards and 1 yard, while Roddy Jones and Embry Peeples had 1-yard touchdown runs for the Yellow Jackets, who entered having lost three of four -- including an 11-point loss to Virginia Tech that took them out of the Coastal Division race.
Georgia Tech looked to have taken control of this one by scoring on its final four possessions of the first half. None of those drives took longer than 5 1/2 minutes.
Sims powered in from 4 yards out to tie it at 7. One series later, Washington hit Tyler Melton for 31 yards and raced 21 yards to set up Jones' short scoring run that put the Yellow Jackets ahead to stay.
Washington's 46-yard pass to Embry Peeples then set up Sims' second TD run to make it 21-7 barely 3 minutes into the second quarter. After Duke pulled within a touchdown, Washington lofted a 56-yard pass to Stephen Hill that set up Peeples' TD on the final play of the half to make it 28-14.
Duke wasted no time jumping out to a 7-0 lead, with receiver Donovan Varner taking a sweep 39 yards through the Georgia Tech defense to the 20. Three plays later, Renfree found Vernon over the middle for the receiver's sixth TD this season. His touchdown pass to Varner on fourth-and-3 pulled the Blue Devils to 21-14 with 5:24 left before halftime.
Will Snyderwine kicked a 35-yard field goal 5 1/2 minutes into the third quarter to make it 28-17. Justin Moore countered with a 25-yard field goal with just under 2 minutes left in the third to put the Yellow Jackets back up by 14.
Georgia Tech (7-3) at Duke (3-7) Nov. 19, 12:30, ACC Network
Here’s The Deal … At this time last week, Georgia Tech and Duke were clinging to hopes of winning the Coastal Division and earning bowl eligibility, respectively. Neither pursuit is a possibility at this time. The Yellow Jackets fell at home to Virginia Tech on national TV last Thursday night, ending any hopes of playing for a second ACC championship in the last three years. Losers of three of its last four games, the Ramblin’ Wreck will spend the next two Saturdays looking to recapture some momentum, and improve their bowl appeal.
The Blue Devils will not be a part of the postseason for the 16th consecutive year, suffering the ineligible-clinching loss to Virginia a week ago. A loser of five straight games since edging above the .500 mark on Oct. 1, Duke has been unable to make the necessary strides under fourth-year head coach David Cutcliffe. And if a quality leader, such as Cutcliffe, can’t get this thing turned around, there are justifiable concerns in Durham that no one will.
Why Georgia Tech Might Win: A subpar Blue Devils has yielded at least 40 points in three games this season. The Yellow Jackets are liable to be No. 4. They run a fine-tuned option system that takes time to prepare for, spreading the field with hard-to-contain playmakers. Six different players have rushed for more than 200 yards on the nation’s third-ranked ground game, headed by QB Tevin Washington, A-back Orwin Smith and B-back David Sims.
Georgia Tech has shown a penchant under head coach Paul Johnson for scoring quickly, and wearing out opposing defenses with its methodical and unyielding ground attack. And if Duke overcommits, Washington will exploit the secondary with help from big-play WR Stephen Hill.
Why Duke Might Win: For good reason, Al Groh’s Georgia Tech defense is under scrutiny. The unit has been a letdown during the lean last month, bottoming out in the 37-26 loss to Virginia Tech. It’s sporadic and inconsistent, especially against the run. Now, the Blue Devils are not exactly built to exploit opposing front walls, but the passing game will be dangerous if the Yellow Jackets are unable to mount a pass rush. While QB Sean Renfree has struggled in his junior year, he has an intimate knowledge of the system, and a talented receiving corps led by TE Cooper Helfet and wideouts Conner Vernon and Donovan Varner.
What To Watch Out For: Little went right for the Georgia Tech defense a week ago, but the unit is not without talented players. The Isaiah Johnson-led secondary has been consistent for most of the year, and sets up an intriguing matchup with all of those sure-handed Duke receivers. The Yellow Jackets’ most combustible defender—for both good and bad—has been sophomore LB Jeremiah Attaochu. He has a great future as an edge rusher on the Flats, but needs to do a better job of controlling his emotions, and avoiding unnecessary penalties. One such eruption last week will cost him the first half of Saturday’s game.
What Will Happen: A week after the emotional loss to Virginia Tech, just how motivated will Georgia Tech be for this trip to Wallace Wade Stadium? It’s a justifiable concern for Johnson and his assistants. While it might get out of the chute slowly, it’s not as if Duke has shown an aptitude for capitalizing on the other guy’s malaise. Once the Yellow Jackets snap out of their funk, they’ll start to roll downhill, building some distance on the Blue Devils with a spate of long bursts, accentuated by a couple of well-timed heaves from Washington to Hill.
CFN Prediction: Georgia Tech 31 … Duke 17
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Georgia Tech -10.5 O/U: 55
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