OK, so perhaps the title is a bit divisive and brash, but this is what the Georgia Tech-Miami game has become.
This year would appear to be no different. With "da U" sitting bowl eligible at 6-3 and the Ramblin' Wreck one game away at 5-4. This game will determine the bowl stature for each of these inter-divisional rivals.
Last season the 'Canes obliterated the Jackets 33-17 in South Beach, stuffing the option attack and opening a can of whoop-ass that put Tech in a hole it could not dig out of. It was not just a game for Miami though...It was payback.
In the prior season's 2008 contest, Georgia Tech was just coming into its own with first year head coach Paul Johnson's unique offense and Tech demolished Miami, 41-23, running for over 470 yards in Atlanta. It was the fourth consecutive victory for the Jackets over the Hurricanes and set a tone that took this emerging rivalry to another level.
So there's your freakin' history lesson for the day, now to the present.
Both these teams have underachieved and not met their expected goals for 2010. Both of these teams have suffered embarrassing losses. Both of these teams are beat up, missing their starting quarterbacks. Both of these teams want to finish out the season strong.
So who will win? Georgia Tech
...and why? Their defense.
I know what you're thinking...Tech's defense sucks.
If you base that assessment on what you've seen from much of the 2010 season you would be right. But here is what will happen:
Defensive coordinator Al Groh will have his 3-4 defense dialed in to confuse, pressure and disrupt Miami's freshman QB Steven Morris. It will get ugly and head coach Randy Shannon might even have to pull him from the game.
I know "U" fans, he's had one-and-a-quarter very good games, but now there's also good game film to breakdown on the young slinger.
Look for Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field to be fired up, loud and abrasive. Morris will have a bad day...mark it down.
As for Tech's new starter, RS Soph. Tevin Washington, the kid knows the offense inside and out. He was recruited for this system (unlike Nesbitt). He ran the first team offense all spring and summer while Nesbitt was recovering from offseason surgery, and frankly he is a much better passer than No. 9.
Miami has had trouble stopping the run as of late and the Jackets defense is actually playing better as the season progresses.
If not for a special teams breakdown, Georgia Tech probably beats VT in Blacksburg last Thursday. Miami beat Maryland in a rousing comeback on a great throw against one of the worst defensive breakdowns of the season. Both are bygones.
With the extra days of prep for Tech and no extra time for Miami look for defensive chaos and breakdowns as the triple option burns "da U" all day.
GT 42, Miami 20