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Georgia Tech vs. North Carolina

Betting Line - Tar Heels -1

9/18/10

All the hype going the way of North Carolina before the season started meant they will compete for the ACC. They started off slow in week one by losing to LSU, but that loss can be forgiven due to the absence of several key defenders. They will now take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets who won the ACC in 2009. Both teams need this win to get off on the right foot. Georgia Tech comes into this game after losing to a bad Kansas team. The Tar Heels are in still ailing from suspensions. They played admirably without some of their stars, but its clear they are a much better team with players like WR Greg Little on the field.

Georgia Tech was a stout 5-1 on the road last year and 4-1 ATS on the road. They were 2-0 ATS after losing the previous week. The Tar Heels were 5-2 at home last year SU, and 3-2 ATS. The Yellow Jackets own the series lead 8 wins to 2. They dominated the clock last year and kept the Tar Heels defense on the field while winning 24-7.

The North Carolina Tar Heels are going to need improved production from QB TJ Yates. They got just that as he played out of his mind against LSU putting up 412 yards and 3 TDs without any INTs. He showed poise late in the game as his team trailed and nearly got the comeback win. The offensive line protected him well. While the passing game was flying high under Yates, the run game was near non existant. North Carolina needs to get a 100 yard rusher in this game to improve their chances of winning. It shouldn't be out of question for them to do just that.

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets boast a powerful triple option offense led by QB Josh Nesbitt. The senior was 1st Team All ACC last year with 1,205 rushing yards and 18 TDs. He passed for 1,701 yards and 10 TDs. Nesbitt is tough to tackle and he can make things happen for his team. RB Anthony Allen will be pivotal for Georgia Tech as they travel to face the Tar Heels. He did well to have 88 yards on 11 carries against Kansas. Georgia Tech would be wise to let him see the ball more. Overall the running game was strong, but the passing game had just 5 completions. No matter how good the ground game is, teams can't win by completing only 5 passes in a game.

Senior LB Brad Jefferson was the top tackler for the Yellow Jackets in 2009 with 95 tackles. GT's defense returns 8 starters from 2009. Losing Derrick Morgan has hurt the defensive line. He had 12.5 sacks last year. They still have the potential to keep the pass rush on TJ Yates even without him. The LBs and DBs will be much stronger this year. If they can start intercepting TJ Yates then this game could be over quickly.

The North Carolina Tar Heels have a nasty defense dotted with future NFL stars. The only problem is that a slew of them are suspended for allegedly talking to agents. They gave up 30 points to a poor offense in LSU. How are they going to stop the triple option? They weren't able to do it last year and without their stars it will be even harder in 2010.

This game could define the Tar Heels season. Will the controversy with agents consume them, or will they make a stand and get a big win at home? TJ Yates will have to play huge to help their chances. It's just about impossible to make a call on a game like this with so many question marks surrounding the Tar Heels. Oddsmakers think so as well, as this game is off the board just about everywhere. We see North Carolina -1 at one or two Sportsbooks. We'll pass this game, but monitor the Odds, we'd get interested in either side here getting +3 or more.

 

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