Georgia still has plenty of motivation coming into this Game, especially since Georgia Tech won this meeting 28-27 last season. In addition to that, the Bulldogs can’t afford another loss in their quest to the College Football Playoff. They were -11 point favorites as of Monday at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Georgia Tech was looking at a solid season, but after letting a Game slip away against Miami, things started to slip on its season. The Yellow Jackets lost that Game and have lost Four of their last six, although all of those losses have come on the road. At home, they’ve beaten Wake Forest and Virginia Tech, both solid teams, and that’s a reason to look at them for this Game.
But the only defense Georgia Tech has seen that is anywhere close to Georgia’s is that of Clemson. The Tigers held GT to just 10 points and that’s what they don’t want in this one. The Bulldogs showed some flaws in their loss to Auburn, but with a defense that’s allowing just 105 rushing yards and 14.4 points per Game, the triple-option isn’t going to be easy. The Yellow Jackets had success with 226 rushing yards in last year’s meeting, but Georgia is a step above that 2016 team.
There’s no doubt GT quarterback TaQuon Marshall has been electric on the ground with 1,074 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns, but he’s been terrible through the air, even for triple-option standards. He’s completing just 38.3% of his passes and has Four interceptions in the last three Games and that’s going to be a problem in this one. If Georgia’s defensive front can win this battle, that could be all the Bulldogs need to keep Georgia Tech in check. The Yellow Jackets are averaging 5.4 yards per carry behind Marshall and KirVonte Benson (1,009 yards), but Marshall got nowhere against Clemson and that could happen again.
On the other side, Tech is decent according to the numbers, allowing 25 points per Game, but recent performances say otherwise. against the mediocre offenses of Duke and Virginia, the Yellow Jackets gave up a combined 83 points. On the positive end of that, they allowed just 46 points to Wake and Va. Tech in home Games.
But Georgia Tech hasn’t seen a running attack like Georgia’s all season and that could be a problem after the Bulldogs ran for 263 yards in last year’s matchup. OUtside of the Auburn loss, Nick Chubb (1,045 yards, 12 TDs) and Sony Michel (818 yards, 12 TDs) have run through every opponent. Tech’s defense that is allowing 4.4 yards per carry probably won’t be able to stop them unless something changes in the next week for them. If all goes to plan, Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm won’t be asked to do much, as he hasn’t thrown for more than 200 yards in the last Four Games.
Either way, if Georgia Tech’s triple option doesn’t work, this Game will be over before it started. Playing at home will have to be everything for the Yellow Jackets, otherwise it could get ugly.
The Bulldogs are 7-1 ATS in their last eight road Games, while the Yellow Jackets have covered in their last seven home Games and are 11-2-1 ATS in their last 14 overall. Georgia has covered in the last eight Games between these teams played at Georgia Tech, while the road team is 16-4-1 ATS in the last 21 meetings.
Our Pick – Georgia -10.5