Georgia Tech has a chance to make a statement this weekend. A statement that tells the rest of the ACC that they are here to repeat as conference champions.
At noon this Saturday, Georgia Tech faces the undefeated NC State Wolfpack in front of what is sure to be a fired-up Tech crowd. In what is scheduled to be their third annual "whiteout" game, the Jackets look to stay on the winning track.
In a somewhat unusual move, the Wolfpack denied the home team's request to dawn their traditional white home jerseys despite the team's announced whiteout game, perhaps to try and stall the momentum the Jackets found last week in their home state.
NC State is led by All-ACC QB contender Russell Wilson, who has shown flashes of brilliance from the signal caller's position the past few seasons.
Look for Wilson and his offense to find some room against what has been a fairly porous Georgia Tech base 3-4 defense.
Similarly, the Yellow Jackets are led by their reigning All-ACC QB, Joshua Nesbitt, who has his offense rolling very close to midseason form. NC State has not faced the Ramblin' Wreck since head coach Paul Johnson was hired, and has not witnessed the spread option attack from BCS-level athletes.
NC State does have one noticeable advantage on defense: time. After playing last Thursday they had two extra days to prepare for the Jacket option attack. That extra time could prove to be very valuable this week. But last week North Carolina had a full week to prepare for the Jackets and all they could do is hold the visiting bees to 448 yards of offense.
Look for Tech to dominate on the ground, leaning heavily on B-Back Anthony Allen, establishing the inside dive play early. If Joshua can get NC State's defensive ends peeking inside, it will very quickly become a very long game for the Wolfpack defense.
Should Georgia Tech win, they will have a nice head start in the Coastal Division, leading with a 2-0 record. An NC State victory would put them at 4-0 and likely in the Top 25 for the first time in several years.
This game could very likely play out in similar fashion to last week's contest between Georgia Tech and UNC.
Each team will go back and forth on the scoreboard throughout the first half before Tech's punishing ground game wears out State's defense late, establishing and maintaining back-breaking extended drives, milking the clock, and getting an unbeatable two-score lead.
Game Prediction: GT 34, NC State 24