On Monday night it's Labor Day college football action in the ACC. Georgia Tech takes on Virginia Tech in the season opener for both schools. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN with an 8:00 pm EST start time. Currently the odds for the game have the Hokies favored by 7.5 points with a total sitting at 47.5 points.
Many are considering Virginia Tech as one of the better teams in the ACC with Florida State, returning nine starters on the defensive side of the ball. Georgia Tech will provide a nice test early in tonight's game by running Paul Johnson's patented triple-option attack. The Hokies lost to a tough Michigan team in the Sugar Bowl back in January, but were able to play a pretty solid defensive game. They'll look to continue playing solid defense, which Virginia Tech is known for, in today's conference clash. Last year's Hokie defense ranked in the Top 10 overall in points per game (17.6) and yards per game (304.6). Two of the best defensive ends in college football will play for the Hokies this season in James Gayle and J.R. Collins, who totaled 13 sacks last season.
Quarterback Tevin Washington leads the Georgia Tech team that won its first six games last season but stumbled to an 8-5 finish. Washington rolled up nearly 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns last year. He leads the triple option attack that can cause nightmares for college football defenses. Tailbacks Orwin Smith and David Sims return to school as well. Like any school that runs a triple option attack, needing depth and quite a few guys that can run the ball are critical. The Yellow Jackets seem to think they have enough depth on the squad and are reportedly going to use a lot of tailbacks in tonight's game.
Georgia Tech has dropped two in a row to Virginia Tech, who will see returning starting QB Logan Thomas lead the team. He had a huge game against the Yellow Jackets last year, completing seven passes for three touchdowns and over 200 yards in addition to two rushing TDs. There still will be some turnover, however, as Michael Holmes has to replace David Wilson, the ACC player of the year and all the team's wide receivers. Even worse? Virginia Tech has to replace four starting offensive linemen.
Virginia Tech has the better defense here, and Georgia Tech comes into the game having given up 30 points in each of their final four games in 2011. They also lost their seventh straight bowl game. Virginia Tech has also won five straight games in this series.
Free Pick: Call us crazy, but we like Georgia Tech in this game. Virginia Tech is probably going to struggle offensively with so many new moving parts. This is a big game for both team and with the Yellow Jackets' triple option attack that chews up clock, we think they can keep the game close.
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