Georgia Tech (6-2) at NC State (3-5) 7:00 PM EST ESPNU Saturday November 4
Why to Watch: Despite getting
hammered at Clemson two weeks ago,
Georgia Tech was still sitting atop the
ACC Coastal Division but needed the win
over Miami to cement its status. One
30-23 hard fought victory later, and
Tech has all but punched its ticket to
Jacksonville as the Coastal champs. It
would take losing two of its final three
games against the Tobacco Road schools –
NC State, UNC and Duke – to get knocked
out of the championship game. Knowing
that they can possibly ruin Georgia
Tech’s season and stay in the hunt for a
bowl game, the Wolfpack will show up a
bit more inspired than they were last
week at Virginia in a 14-7 loss. After
a stellar ACC conference start,
including wins over Boston College and
FSU, the Wolfpack have lost three key
games in a row and are now fighting for
its post-season life with a trip to
Clemson next week.
Why Georgia Tech Might Win:
Reggie. Ball. Up and down only begins
to describe how Ball has played in his
four years as the starter, but he proved
through much of this season that he’s
still the ultimate key for this entire
team even when he’s not playing his
best. At Clemson, he was injured early,
couldn’t find Calvin Johnson, and the
offense went nowhere in the 31-7 loss.
Last week against Miami, he started
three of 16 before completing eight of
his last eleven passes including a
touchdown. Georgia Tech’s offense will
ride Ball’s arm and leadership to
Jacksonville for the ACC championship
game, but will need his legs this week
in Raleigh to beat the Wolfpack.
Why NC State Might Win: Clemson
blitzed Georgia Tech’s defense for 342
rushing yards. Last week, Miami RB
Javarris James ran for 113 yards,
averaging nearly six yards per carry.
Sensing a theme here? State’s running
back twosome - Andre Brown and Toney
Baker – is as talented as any duo in the
league, but the Wolfpack have been
forced to abandon the run in comebacks.
These two should pound away at the
Yellow Jacket defensive front early in
the game to get them involved right away
creating a myriad of problems for
defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta’s fast,
but lithe, defense.
Who to Watch: As State will
focus on establishing the running game
early, Georgia Tech linebackers
KaMichael Hall and Philip Wheeler will
be in the spotlight as they’re still
smarting from the problems against the
Clemson backs. The two star linebackers
have combined for 111 tackles this
season, and they’ll both need a monster
game to quell any run game effectiveness
for State while forcing State QB Daniel
Evans to win the game.
What Will Happen: Georgia Tech
RB Tashard Choice will have another 100
yard rushing game and Ball will be a 150
yards passing/50 yards rushing dual
threat. The combination of Choice and
Ball will force State to again abandon
the running game and rely on Evans to
carry the offense. That’s when Tenuta’s
zone dog scheme will cause all kind of
havoc for the sophomore signal caller,
who hasn’t seen pressure like what he’s
going to see from this week.
Georgia Tech 24 … NC State 14 ...
Line: Georgia Tech -6.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the
birth of your first born - 1 Running
CFN's Take: NC State vs. Georgia Tech
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