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Maryland vs. Georgia Tech ACC Football Pick

10/8/11

Georgia Tech hosts Maryland as 14 point home favorites Saturday and at 5-0, with the #2 offense in the Nation, Georgia Tech looks like a monster. Former Navy coach Paul Johnson continues to prove he's one of the best out there and continues to prove wrong all those who said the Option Offense wouldn't work in the ACC.

Johnson isn't the only "good" coach in this match up. We've been on the Randy Edsall bandwagon for years here, as a result of watching him at UCONN for a decade. Our faith in Edsall is going to be put to the test this week though. Last week, Maryland beat Towson but the week before that, Edsall and the Terrapins laid a big time egg, losing to Temple in a blowout, at home.

Now Maryland goes on the road for the first time this year and we'll see what Edsall and company are made off. We know there's some talent here. We know this from recent history, going 9-4 last season and we know this from this season, as the Terrapins knocked of Miami Florida in week one and mounted a fierce comeback in week 2 against West Virginia.

Obviously, the potential problem here for Maryland is their defense. Toss the Towson game. In their first 3 games, they gave up 24, 37 and 38 points. Now they face the #2 offense in the country, averaging 52 points per game. How in the world are they going to stop them?

If you're looking to knock Georgia Tech, it would have to be their schedule. Western Carolina, Kansas and Mid Tenn to start the year. When they stepped up in class, the margin shrunk. They beat North Carolina by just a TD. North Carolina, at 4-1, has a nice team. But not great. They beat Rutgers by 2. You'd have to place Maryland at least in the same class as North Carolina and Rutgers at this point.

Using yards per point, Georgia Tech has the much better offensive numbers, naturally, with an 11 compared to almost 16 for Maryland. But Maryland gets the nod defensively with a 16 to Georgia Tech's 13. Using those numbers to come up with a line would make Georgia Tech roughly a touchdown favorite depending on how much you want to give Tech for home field. But, in this scenario, if you then adjust for schedule strength, it would bring that number down, as Maryland, based on our calculations, has played a schedule 5 or 6 points more difficult than Tech's.

We'll take our chances with Maryland. A good coaching match up here and we have to figure Edsall will find a way to give his team a shot come the 4th quarter. Which means the Terrapins have a good chance of being within striking distance, making +14 too much to pass up. Maryland +14

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