Saturday will give us an ACC showdown between two of the more intriguing teams in the conference when the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets travel south to take on the Miami Hurricanes.
Georgia Tech enters the game atop the ACC Coastal division, with a 3-1 conference record and 6-1 overall. Miami is tied for fifth place in the same division, as they sit at 1-2 in conference play and 3-3 overall.
Despite the fact that they are on different ends of the standings, Miami is the team with the momentum. They defeated North Carolina on Saturday, while Georgia Tech lost to Virginia.
This will also be a revenge game for the Yellow Jackets, who lost 35-10 at home to Miami in 2010.
Where: Sun Life Stadium. Miami Gardens, Florida
When: Saturday, October 22 at 3:30 p.m. EDT
Watch: ESPN. Online on ESPN3
Listen: 790 AM in Atlanta. 97.5 FM, 560 AM in Miami
According to Bodog, Miami enters as a three-point favorite. Keep an eye on that to be sure that it stays that way through the week, but I don't like that spread.
Miami is certainly capable of winning, and if they do, a three-point win isn't too farfetched. But the record would suggest that Georgia Tech deserves a little more respect than this, even on the road.
There are a few to follow here.
1) Is Georgia Tech a real threat to win the ACC?
2) Is Miami really a program on the rise again?
I don't know if Georgia Tech is a real threat in the ACC. They have a brutal stretch of games coming up, and losing to Virginia isn't helping anything.
Miami is headed in the right direction. They play to the level of their competition. That's both frustrating and uplifting for fans.
Who Might Not Play for Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech S Lance Richardson (undisclosed) and S Fred Holton (Achilles) are out for the year.
Georgia Tech P Chandler Anderson (undisclosed), LS Tyler Morgan (undisclosed), LB Jerimiah Attaochu (leg), LB Daniel Drummond (leg) and OL Morgan Bailey (undisclosed) are questionable.
Who Might Not Play for Miami (FL)
Miami TE Blake Ayles (Concussion), DL Marcus Forston (Knee), LB Ramon Buchanan (Knee) and DL Curtis Porter (Hand) are out for the season.
Miami WR Aldarius Johnson (Suspension) is out indefinitely.
Miami DL Luther Robinson (Lower Body), OL Malcolm Bunche (Leg), DL Shayon Green (Knee) and OL Brandon Washington (Arm) are questionable.
Miami DL Olivier Henrdon's suspension is over. His return is probable.
BCS/Top 25 Implications
Georgia Tech comes into the game ranked No. 22 in the BCS standings, while Miami is unranked. A loss from Georgia Tech would likely drop them from the Top 25, but wouldn't likely be enough for Miami to enter the Top 25.
A loss from either side essentially ends their chances in the ACC Coastal division.
What They're Saying
Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal Constitution had this to say about Georgia Tech and their conference title hopes:
Tech’s loss to Virginia showed it can be beaten by just about anybody. But that’s not to say the Jackets will be beaten by everybody from here on...Tech isn’t like a lot of Top 25 teams: It doesn’t win on talent; it wins on precision. When it’s imprecise, it loses.
Georgia Tech Player to Watch
Three players on the Yellow Jackets—Orwin Smith, David Sims, and Tevin Washington—have eclipsed 400 rushing yards this year.
Washington is also the team's quarterback. While he has over 1,000 yards passing and a decent 10:4 TD:INT ratio, his completion percentage of fewer than 50 percent goes along with what Bradley said: He needs to complete his passes.
Miami Player to Watch
Lamar Miller has been an absolute monster for Miami. He has more than 700 yards rushing and an average of better than six yards per carry. A big game from him gives Miami its best chance to win.
The Miami defense against the Georgia Tech attack.
Miami was outgained in a 45-14 win over Bethune Cookman. A repeat performance will not get them anywhere near a win against Georgia Tech.
On the Hotseat
Nobody's job is really in danger here. Still, if Miami loses, especially big, there will be grumblings that this is just the same Miami team that's been unable to return to its once glorious days.
I like the Yellow Jackets' overall attack here. Miami can certainly play with them, but Georgia Tech looks to be the deeper team.
Georgia Tech 27, Miami 21