Week 10 – Georgia Tech at Maryland

Posted Nov 1, 2012

Week 10 Fearless Predictions - Georgia Tech at Maryland

Georgia Tech (3-5) at Maryland (4-4) Nov. 3, 12:30, ACC Network

Here's The Deal: Now that Maryland has begun to slide, it's up to Randy Edsall and the coaching staff to keep the team from going right off the side of the cliff.

The Terrapins have been one of the ACC's overachievers through the first two months of the season, even leading the Atlantic Division at one point. However, injuries on offense have begun to chip away at a program that already was working with a narrow margin for error. Maryland has lost the last two games in the final minute, which is going to test its mettle and perseverance in the crucial upcoming four-game stretch toward a possible bowl berth.

A week after stabilizing with a win over Boston College, Georgia Tech got back to being one of the league's biggest disappointments of 2012, getting pounded at home by BYU. Last Saturday was a clear low-point in a rough campaign, bumping the Yellow Jackets under .500 after eight games for the first time since 1994. With a trip to Athens to close the regular season, Tech probably needs to capture the next three games to become bowl eligible.

Why Georgia Tech Might Win: There's always the running game in Paul Johnson's triple-option. Oh, and it isn't going to take many points to outscore this depleted Maryland team.

The Terps are down to their fifth quarterback—and third true freshman—Shawn Petty. With virtually no shot of moving the ball through the air with any consistency, the Terps will afford Georgia Tech an opportunity to stack the box to stop the run. The Yellow Jackets have been extremely generous in 2012, but it won't be evident this Saturday. They'll pack everyone close to the line, including S Isaiah Johnson and linebackers Jeremiah Attacochu and Brandon Watts, daring Petty to beat them through the air.

Why Maryland Might Win: Georgia Tech will run the ball a lot, but will it run the ball effectively?

The Yellow Jackets are coming of their worst output of the Johnson era, just 117 yards rushing, prompting chatter about a possible change at quarterback. The attack is in a rare state of disarray, which won't easily be addressed against the stout Terrapins D. Maryland has allowed exactly 20 points to each of its last three opponents, and is No. 4 nationally against the run. Whoever is running the show for the visitors will have to deal with a physical group that will flood running lanes with DE Joe Vellano and LB Demetrius Hartsfield.

What To Watch Out For: Maryland has yet another new starting hurler. Will Georgia Tech as well? Although long-time starter Tevin Washington hasn't been the problem in Atlanta, Johnson has been using redshirt freshman Vad Lee more and more lately. Not only has he provided a little spark with his legs and his arm, but he's also the future at the position. There has to be a part of the staff that wouldn't mind getting a jump start on 2013 by getting some valuable reps for Lee.

What Will Happen: Maryland has reached its tipping point. And even a floundering Georgia Tech squad is capable of knocking it off its base. The Terps have played admirably all year, but how much longer can it endure the attrition at quarterback? The no-dimension offense has become too easy to defend, and too error-prone, even for the Yellow Jackets. Tech will struggle against the Maryland D, as many have this season, but even getting into the 20s will be enough to get out of Byrd Stadium with a hard-fought win.

CFN Prediction: Georgia Tech 26 … Maryland 17
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Georgia -7 O/U: 46.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – The Man With The Iron Fists, 1 – Election coverage until Tuesday morning): 2