Week 4 - Miami at Georgia Tech

Posted Sep 19, 2012

Week 4 CFN Fearless Prediction – Miami at Georgia Tech

Miami (2-1) at Georgia Tech (2-1) Sept. 22, 3:00, RSN

Here's The Deal: Georgia Tech is surging. And folks around the ACC are beginning to pay attention. The Yellow Jackets have rung up 50 points in consecutive games for the first time since 1936, the latest last Saturday against Virginia. Yeah, they lost a close game to Coastal Division rival Virginia Tech on opening weekend, but which program is playing better right now? The Jackets are starting to peak, while the Hokies just got done being exposed by winless Pitt. Miami rebounded from its pounding at the hands of Kansas State, but beating Bethune-Cookman in front of a sparse home crowd didn't exactly right the ship for the program. Al Golden's to-do list remains very long, while his two-deep is short on sure-fire playmakers. Of course, an upset on the Flats would do wonders for the confidence and psyche of this young and unproven Hurricanes team.

Why Miami Might Win: Hey, there's no denying that coordinator Al Groh is doing a solid job with the Georgia Tech D in 2012. Still, it remains a unit with vulnerabilities, especially in the front seven. The Hurricanes are home to a big and physical O-line that'll be directed to go out and shove the Yellow Jackets off the ball. Miami is grooming true freshman RB Duke Johnson to be the future of the offense, a game-breaker with the speed to open up the attack. He's been a great complement to the more methodical Mike James, rushing for 248 yards and four scores on only 27 carries. Johnson is also a key weapon in the passing game for QB Stephen Morris.

Why Georgia Tech Might Win: The Yellow Jackets are a tough team to unseat when Paul Johnson's triple-option is cranking out the yards on the ground. They exploded for 461 yards rushing and seven touchdowns versus the Cavaliers, getting contributions from QB Tevin Washington and backs Orwin Smith and Zach Laskey. Even the passing game is showing hints of life after sputtering in 2011. The Hurricanes are a bad fit for this week's opponent, ranking 102nd nationally against the run. Heck, Bethune-Cookman hung 233 yards on them a week ago, an ominous statistic heading into this weekend's contest in Atlanta.

What To Watch Out For: The way the Georgia Tech D has performed through the first three games, it'll take a lot more than Johnson to keep the chains moving. Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, Morris has been underwhelming, ranking last in the ACC in yards per attempt and completion. His inability to stretch the defense will allow an underrated Jackets secondary, led by Rod Sweeting, Isaiah Johnson and Jemea Thomas, to creep closer to the line in order to defend the run. Just two of Miami's 69 completions have been for more than 25 yards, condensing the field for opposing defenses.

What Will Happen: Blowing out Bethune-Cookman doesn't qualify as a rebound. Miami is still a second-rate ACC program. Georgia Tech, to the contrary, has started to roll downhill. The Yellow Jackets will continue to prosper on the strength of their ground game, relentlessly hammering the undermanned ‘Canes with a wave of different runners. Forced to throw early, Morris will be subjected to the pressure of LB Jeremiah Attaochu, who's looking to kickstart his junior year.

CFN Prediction: Georgia Tech 39 … Miami 20
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Georgia Tech -14 O/U: 62
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ray Lewis: A Football Life, 1 – Frankenweenie): 3