Florida State comes into this game riding a 28 game winning streak that started in the same venue and against the same team the Seminoles will be playing on Saturday. Florida State has lived on the edge so far this season, but hasn’t fallen off the cliff yet. Is this the week it finally happens?
There are two reasons why I think Georgia Tech can pull off the upset: Third downs and turnovers.
Against former Florida State defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and the Georgia Bulldogs, the Yellow Jackets were able to run for 399 yards on 70 carries. The Georgia defense was able to hold the Georgia Tech offense to just 4 yards per carry, but was unable to get off the field on third down. So far this season the Seminoles are one of the worst teams in the country, 89th, at doing this allowing a conversion 42.6-percent of the time. The Yellow Jackets are the No. 1 team in the country in third down offense converting an incredible 57.4-percent of the time.
Georgia Tech is also 12th in the country in turnovers gained. Florida State ranks 115th in turnovers lost, including 14 in the last 5 games. This is not the type of offense that Florida State can afford to turn the ball over against. Georgia Tech will try to limit the possessions in the game. When Georgia Tech played against Miami the Hurricanes had just three possessions in the second half. If Florida State is careless with the ball the Seminoles won’t have many chances to fix their mistakes.
However, Florida State does have a few things going for them.
Georgia Tech is 52nd in the defensive F/+ rankings. They are vulnerable against the run and that could mean a big day for last weekend’s hero Dalvin Cook. Cook is averaging 5.9 yards per carry and is looking to be the first freshman running back in Florida State history to go over 1,000 yards.
Jameis Winston can’t be as bad as he was against Florida. Winston threw 4 interceptions, three in the first quarter, and Florida State was still able to win. Considering how much better in the secondary Florida is than Georgia Tech this could be a perfect chance for him to rebound.
The Florida State run defense. I wrote an article earlier today detailing just how much better the Florida State run defense has been. You can find that article Here.
The weather may play a big factor in this game as there is a 50-percent chance of rain on Saturday night. Normally that would be a boost to the running team, see Florida State’s game against Boston College, but Georgia Tech runs the option, which also has it’s problems with the rain. If Florida State could build a lead and force Georgia Tech to throw without it’s top receiver, DeAndre Smelter, the Seminoles could run away with the game. Unfortunately for Florida State fans, that hasn’t been the case all season and won’t be the case on Saturday. Florida State will start slow, again, but pull the game close before halftime. After halftime Florida State will take the lead, and have to fight off a Georgia Tech rally winning the game 34-30.