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Champs Sports Bowl Game of the Week: Georgia Tech at #22 Virginia Tech

The Champs Sports Bowl Game of the Week is a preview of a pivotal matchup featuring teams from the Big East and/or ACC that could impact the bowl picture.

Week Ten: 
Georgia Tech (5-3, 3-2 ACC) at #22 Virginia Tech (6-2, 4-0 ACC)
 
Thursday, Nov. 6 ï¿½- 7:00  p.m.
Lane Stadium – Blacksburg, Va.  
Virginia Tech leads the series, 4-3
Last Meeting: Oct. 17, 2009  (Georgia Tech 28, Virginia Tech 23)
 
Georgia Tech Outlook

The Yellow Jackets are hoping to get back on track after a 27-13 loss to Clemson snapped the teams� five-game win streak. The Tigers stopped Georgia Tech�s spread option offense, containing quarterback Josh Nesbitt to only two yards rushing and 85 yards of total offense. Despite the loss, the Yellow Jackets still average a Football Bowl Subdivision-best 317.4 rushing yards per game. Nesbitt is only 42 yards shy of breaking the ACC record for career rushing yards by a quarterback while running back Anthony Allen ranks third in the conference, averaging 86.5 yards per game. Nesbitt has more rushing touchdowns than any other quarterback in league history (33) and needs just 280 yards to become the eighth player in the ACC to tally both 3,000 yards rushing and passing.  Georgia Tech converts on third downs 38.9% of the time while scoring 90.6% of the time in the red zone. The Georgia Tech offense has, however, given up 16 turnovers this season including 10 fumbles.

Its defense is still adjusting to new defensive coordinator Al Groh�s 3-4 scheme and is ninth in the conference, giving up 5.3 yards per attempt. The Yellow Jackets have also allowed ACC opponents to convert 44% of third downs through their five conference games, which is 10th in the league. In the red zone, the Yellow Jackets allow opponents to score 24 out of 29 times.
 

 
Virginia Tech Outlook
In the Hokies� most recent contest against Duke, they reached the 40-point mark for the fourth-consecutive game. This is the first time Virginia Tech has done this since the 2000 season when it finished 11-1. The Hokies� offense is led by quarterback Tyrod Taylor who paces the ACC and is fourth nationally with a 171.1 passer rating. Taylor has thrown for 1,602 yards and 15 touchdowns with three interceptions and needs just 95 total yards to surpass Bryan Randall as the school�s career leader for total offense. Virginia Tech also utilizes a power run game with backs Darren Evans and Ryan Williams who have combined for 974 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Hokies average 5.3 yards per attempt and convert 42.1% of third downs.

Virginia Tech is fourth in the league in rushing defense, allowing opponents 136.0 yards per game. It has also come up with 13 turnovers, including 10 interceptions, and its 20 sacks are good enough for fourth in the ACC. The Hokies� defense is allowing opponents to convert just 35.2% of third down chances and have held the opposition to only 13 scores out of 22 red-zone opportunities.

Impact on Bowl Picture

Georgia Tech needs to beat Virginia Tech and then hope the Hokies lose an additional game for a chance to repeat as the ACC Coastal Division Champion. A Virginia Tech win would keep it at the top of the division, even if it gives up one more loss against either North Carolina (5-3, 2-2 ACC), Miami (5-3, 3-2 ACC) or Virginia (4-4, 1-3 ACC). Georgia Tech will host Miami and Duke (2-6, 0-4 ACC) before traveling to Georgia (4-5, 3-4 SEC) for its last regular season game.


Extra Point

Virginia Tech is one of four BCS teams to be undefeated in conference play. Virginia Tech was also undefeated entering the game against Georgia Tech in the 2009 season, but lost, 28-23. The winner of the last three meetings between these teams has gone on to capture the ACC Championship � Virginia Tech in 2007 and 2008 and Georgia Tech in 2009.  
 
Expert Predictions

Andrea Adelson
Andrea Adelson
ESPN.com CFB Blogger

PICK:  Virginia Tech
RECORD: 9-9 (4-5 CSB)

Bram Weinstein
Bram Weinstein
ESPN Anchor

PICK:
  Georgia Tech
RECORD: 13-5 (6-3 CSB)
Jay Gruden
Jay Gruden
Florida Tuskers Coach

PICK:
  Georgia Tech
RECORD: 13-5 (6-3 CSB)
Chuck Beverly
Chuck Beverly
FCSports Chairman

PICK:
  Virginia Tech
RECORD: 12-6 (6-3 CSB)

 

 

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