Week 5 – Middle Tennessee at Georgia Tech

Posted Sep 26, 2012

Week 5 CFN Fearless Prediction – Middle Tennessee at Georgia Tech

Middle Tennessee (2-1) at Georgia Tech (2-2) Sept. 29, 12:00, RSN

Here's The Deal: Everything seemed so positive for Georgia Tech in Week 4. The Yellow Jackets were rolling along, fresh off a blowout of Virginia and seemingly en route to a comfortable win over Miami. Hey, maybe Virginia Tech will be caught in the Coastal Division after all. And then the bottom fell out. In one of the quarters of the Paul Johnson era, Tech allowed the final 23 points in a crushing home loss to the ‘Canes in overtime. With the bar lowered another notch on the Flats, the Jackets have one more non-conference game before making a trip to Clemson that could further sully this season. Middle Tennessee will prep for the first of its two games with AQ conference opponents in 2012. The Blue Raiders have battled back from their loss to FCS McNeese State on the opening weekend, beating Florida Atlantic and Memphis in consecutive games.

Why Middle Tennessee Might Win: The Blue Raiders offense has gotten progressively more efficient each game. The Yellow Jackets D, on the other hand, must regroup after collapsing in the loss to Miami. Logan Kilgore is a low-risk, highly efficient who has formed a bond with top receiver Anthony Amos. On the ground, Middle Tennessee won't be confused with Georgia Tech, but it does boast a deep stable that includes LSU transfer Drayton Calhoun, true freshman Jordan Parker and redshirt freshman Jeremiah Bryson.

Why Georgia Tech Might Win: When Middle Tennessee faced run-happy McNeese State in Week 1, it was gutted on the ground for 298 yards. The Yellow Jackets are capable of inflicting similar damage to the Blue Raiders D. Johnson's triple-option ranks third nationally on the ground, cranking out 352 yards a game. Spearheaded by a wave of runners that includes QB Tevin Washington and backs Zach Laskey and Orwin Smith, Georgia Tech will break its visitor's back before very long. Washington to WR Jeff Greene might be unusually potent as well this week against the nation's 117th-ranked pass efficiency defense.

What To Watch Out For: This is a huge game for everyone associated with the Georgia Tech defense, but especially coordinator Al Groh. The long-time coach in the ACC has had an up-and-down experience in Atlanta, and is taking a lot of heat following last Saturday's implosion. With the Miami game in the rear view mirror, and Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and Andre Ellington waiting in the on-deck circle, Groh might be run out of town on Sunday morning if the Yellow Jackets are again unable to make key stops.

What Will Happen: In a classic sandwich game against a weak non-conference opponent, Georgia Tech better watch its back this week. Middle Tennessee may not normally be dangerous, but that dynamic changes if the Yellow Jackets sleepwalk through the first half. Tech will get back to basics in order to avoid a nasty losing streak. It'll hammer the Blue Raiders relentlessly on the ground, slipping in a couple of long balls over the top to Greene. The D will play with something to prove and an assistant coach barking in its ear all afternoon.

CFN Prediction: Georgia Tech 47 … Middle Tennessee 17
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Georgia Tech -27.5 O/U: 62.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 1.5