The opening weekend of the 2012 college football season comes to a close with a Monday night (8:00pm EST) ACC matchup featuring the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech traveling to Blacksburg, VA to take on the 20th ranked Hokies of VIrginia Tech in primetime. Georgia Tech, led by head coach Paul Johnson and his triple-option offense, is coming off of an 8-5 season in which they went 5-7-1 ATS and finished second (behind the Hokies) in the ACC Coastal division. Virginia Tech led by longtime head man Frank Beamer, finished 11-3 last season, 4-9-1 ATS and won the ACC Coastal division as mentioned. The two teams are expected to be the top two contenders for the crown this season as well, as one of them has won the division every year since its inception.
The Yellow Jackets are heavily run-oriented on offense, ranking 2nd in the nation a season ago in rushing offense with an average of 316.6 yards per game, while ranking 21st in scoring offense with 34.3 points per game. GT returns All-ACC lineman Omoregie Uzzi on offense, but they do not have a single wide receiver on the roster who has caught a pass in college. Defensively the Yellow Jackets were a middle-of-the-pack team a year ago, ranking 60th in scoring defense with 26.1 PPG allowed and 43rd in total defense with 359.2 YPG surrendered.
Virginia Tech returns dual-threat quarterback Logan Thomas (3,013 yards passing, 19 TDs and 459 yards rushing and 11 TDs) to lead an offensive unit that ranked 35th in total offense with 413.4 YPG while putting up 27.9 PPG (57th in the nation). The Hokie defense has always been a strength under Beamer, and last season VT boasted the 7th best scoring defense in the country with 17.6 PPG allowed, and ranked 10th in total defense with 304.6 YPG allowed.
Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech Spread and Betting Odds:
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets +7
@ Virginia Tech Hokies -7
Over 48.5 (-110)
Under 48.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv <- $250 Free Bet
Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech Pick:
The last meeting between the two teams was a 37-26 Hokie win as a 2 point favorite on November 11, 2011 at Georgia Tech. Both teams had success running the ball, with the Hokies posting 267 yards on the ground (5.1 YPC) and the Yellow Jackets running for 243 yards(5.0 YPC). Virginia Tech leads the series 6-3. The under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings between the two teams; 15-5-1 in the Hokies’ last 21 games overall and 4-1-1 in their last 6 ACC games. The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings between the two teams, and the road team is 5-1 ATS in those last 6 games. Virginia Tech is 43-21 ATS in their last 64 ACC games, but only 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 games overall.
Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech both feature explosive running games and mobile quarterbacks, with Virginia Tech’s Thomas running for 175 yards against the Yellow Jackets last season and accounted for 5 TDs. Georgia Tech will have to rely on their ability to run the football and cannot afford to fall behind with an offense that does not have the ability to throw consistently and lacks a proven wide receiver. The thinking here is that GT quarterback Tevin Washington is experienced, and playing behind a veteran offensive line, he should have a big day as will his counterpart Thomas. The point spread is too close for my liking with this likely to be anyone’s ballgame until the very end. This game should be a worthy finish to an outstanding opening weekend for the 2012 season, and there should be some scoring in this one to push the total upover 48.5 even with two run-oriented teams involved. Take the over in this game with the game too close to call o the point spread.
PICK = Over 48.5