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Week 9 – BYU at Georgia Tech
Posted Oct 25, 2012

Week 9 Fearless Prediction & Game Preview – BYU at Georgia Tech

BYU (4-4) at Georgia Tech (3-4) Oct. 27, 3:00, RSN

Here’s The Deal: The season hasn’t gone as planned for BYU or Georgia Tech. Both are running out of time to change what’s eventually written about their 2012 season.

A week after traveling to South Bend, and suffering a heartbreaking three-point loss to unbeaten Notre Dame, the Cougars will hit the road for another long journey outside of the Mountain West time zone. It’s been an inconsistent campaign for Bronco Mendenhall, with each two-game winning streak being followed by consecutive losses. Three of BYU’s four defeats have been by a field goal or less, testament to just how close it is to fishing for a spot in the back end of the Top 25.

The Yellow Jackets finally got back into the win column. Too bad it took a visit from hapless Boston College to snap a cumbersome three-game losing streak. Beyond the desire to climb back to the .500 mark and remain in postseason contention, Georgia Tech is pining for a quality win, which has eluded it all year.

Why BYU Might Win: The Cougars harbor the right collection of defensive talent to trip up Georgia Tech’s bread-and-butter, its ground game.

Even after struggling to slow down the Irish, BYU still ranks No. 8 nationally against the run, yielding less than three yards a carry. The Cougars are disciplined and quick from sideline to sideline, stringing out plays with help from DE Ezekiel Ansah and linebackers Kyle Van Noy, Spencer Hadley and Brandon Ogletree. They’re especially tough in the red zone, and have given up an average of just 14 points per game.

Why Georgia Tech Might Win: Did the Irish expose cracks in the heralded BYU D last week?

It sure looked like it as Cierre Wood and Theo Reddick both went over the 100-yard mark. The Yellow Jackets will test the Cougars like no one else has this season, peppering them with a steady diet of QB Tevin Washington, A-back Orwin Smith and B-backs Zach Laskey and David Sims. Tech can wear opponents out with their depth and relentless quest to win the line of scrimmage. If it succeeds in moving the chains and controlling the clock, BYU will struggle to keep pace on the scoreboard. With few exceptions, the Cougars have been a lethargic offensive team that isn’t protecting the quarterback or making key conversions.

What To Watch Out For: This is Washington’s offense on the Flats, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be sharing occasional reps with exciting redshirt freshman Vad Lee. The rookie accounted for 151 yards and two scores in the Boston College win, and will continue to be used in spots. Head coach Paul Johnson thinks Lee’s speed can help the 2012 squad, but also recognizes that he’ll be taking all of the snaps beginning in 2013.

What Will Happen: It’ll be a battle of wills at Bobby Dodd Stadium, with Georgia Tech bringing the offense, and BYU showcasing the better D.

In a case of strength vs. strength, the Yellow Jackets will gain an upper hand on a Cougars front seven that finally sprung leaks last week in South Bend. It might take a while, but eventually Smith or Sims is going to snap off a back-breaker that gives the home team an edge. Even against a pliable defense, BYU will be unable to battle back, stalling deep in enemy territory. It could be a banner afternoon for Tech linebackers Brandon Watts and Jeremiah Attaochu, who’ll be too quick for the lumbering Cougars blockers.

CFN Prediction: Georgia Tech 29 … BYU 24
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Georgia Tech -2 O/U: 50.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – The Girl, 1 – Don’t Trust The B In Apt. 23): 2.5