Ranking The Toughest Games on Georgia Tech's Schedule

Jeffrey Fann@TalkinACCSportsAnalyst IAugust 22, 2009

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 1:  Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets cheerleaders ride onto the field on the Ramblin Wreck car before the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field on November 1, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Georgia Tech beat Florida State 31-28.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

After last season's 9-4 season the Jacket's are looking to take the next step. In my ACC Team Preview, I had the Jackets going as good as 11-1, and at worst 7-5.

Let's see how the schedule shapes up.

1) @Florida State Seminoles, Oct. 10, 2009

The Yellow Jackets had a lot of trouble slowing down the 'Noles offense last year, and that was with three NFL Draft choices on the defensive line. The Jackets gave up nearly 400 yards of offense to Florida State last year.

The Seminoles have the best offensive line in the ACC, and the game is in Tallahassee. The Jackets will be able to move the ball on the FSU, but will they be able to stop the 'Noles?

Chance of Georgia Tech winning? 25%

2) Virginia Tech Hokies, Oct. 17, 2009

With Darren Evans out, and the game in Atlanta, the Yellow Jackets look pretty good in this game, right? I don't think the loss of really Evans injury will really loom that large for the Hokies.

They have a stable of running backs ready to fill in, Frank Beamer is still the head coach, and Bud Foster still coaches the defense. It's rare the Hokies beat themselves—and oh yea, they've dominated the ACC in recent years.

The road to the ACC Coastal division always runs through Blacksburg. The key to this game will be if the Jackets can avoid the turnover problems they had last year in a 20-17 loss.

Chance of Georgia Tech winning? 50%

3) Georgia Bulldogs, Nov. 28, 2009

If there were any remaining question about Paul Johnson and his offense, they were answered in a 45-42 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs. The Jackets had 409 rushing in a game that might have meant more to Jacket fans than an ACC Title. Before last season, the Dawgs had beat the Jackets seven times in row.

The Jackets will be coming off a BYE week before this game, which should help them, but WR A.J. Green of UGA will be a matchup nightmare. No matter what the preseason predictions are, the Dawgs usually seem to find themselves ranked somewhere in the top 20. They will be there again.

Chance of Georgia Tech winning? 55%

4) @Virginia Cavaliers, Oct. 24, 2009

Why are the Cavaliers ranked so high this list? Georgia Tech has not won in Charlottesville since 1990, when they went on to win National Title. Lost in Georgia Tech's strong season was a listless 24-17 home loss to the Cavs.

The Cavs physical offensive line, has given the Jackets trouble for years. Virginia has beaten the Jackets five out of the last six years. The Jacket will be coming off a huge game the previous week with the Hokies. This is a perfect trap game.

Chance of Georgia Tech winning? 60%

5) North Carolina Tar Heels Sept. 26, 2009

The Tar Heels gave up 326 rushing last year to the Jackets, but in general kept Georgia Tech offense under wraps. They held the Yellow Jackets scoreless through three quarters and forced three turnovers.

UNC has the kind of defensive front that can give the Jackets the most trouble. North Carolina is strong at DT with Marvin Austin and Cam Thomas, and Quan Sturdivant is an All-ACC linebacker.

This game is in Atlanta, and I think one thing you'll see about a Paul Johnson coached team is that it's going to be very difficult to beat him two times in a row.

Chance of Georgia Tech winning? 60%

6) @Miami Hurricanes Sept. 17, 2009

This game is much trickier than it looks. The Hurricanes have lost four times in a row to the Yellow Jackets, and last year was a humiliating 41-23 Thursday night loss where they gave up an astonishing 472 yards rushing.

You don't think the Canes have this one circled on their schedule? Miami will be in the middle of brutal four game stretch that has them playing FSU, GT, Virginia Tech, then Oklahoma. This is a dangerous game for the Yellow Jackets.

Chance of Georgia Tech winning? 60%

7) Clemson Tigers September 10, 2009

I don't think you can gauge much from last year's 21-17 Georgia Tech over Clemson. It was Dabo Swinney's first game, and Georgia Tech was still finding it's way around the triple option offense.

The Tigers have tremendous talent at the DE position in Rickey Sapp and Da'Quan Bowers, but it will be Kyle Parker's first big game as a starting quarterback for Clemson.

Thursday night games in Atlanta usually favor the Jackets, just ask Miami. I like the Jackets in this one by seven to 10 points.

Chance of Georgia Tech winning? 70%

8) Wake Forest Demon Deacons Nov. 7, 2009

This is no disrespect to the Deacon program, which I think has been outstanding under Jim Grobe. Wake Forest may still win 8 or 9 games, and contend in the Atlantic Division.

Look at it this way, if Virginia is a lower rated team that should concern the Jackets, then Wake Forest is a good team, that I think the Jackets will beat.

First off, nobody overlooks Wake anymore, so the Jackets should be prepared. Then after two straight weeks on the road the Jackets will be happy to get home.

The Deacs played Navy twice last year, going 1-1, so they will be familiar with the option. The Jackets have much better talent than Navy.

Chance of Georgia Tech winning: 80%

9) Vanderbilt Commodores Oct. 31, 2009

For the first time in over two decades, Vanderbilt won more games than it lost, and they even won a bowl game. This included wins over Boston College and Ole Miss, and they weren't but six points from a nine win season.

Still, the offense ranked 117th in the nation last year, and will start a new QB. I just don't think the Commodores have enough offense to stay with Georgia Tech. The game is at Nashville, but as long as every one is healthy, the Jackets should come out of there with a win.

Chance of Georgia Tech winning: 85%

10) @Mississippi State Bulldogs October 3, 2009

This is a very similar to the prediction with Vanderbilt. The Jackets aren't good enough to sleep walk through this game, but the Mississippi was barely better than Vanderbilt on offense ranking 113th in the country.

Anthony Dixon is a pretty decent running back for the Bulldogs, but he wouldn't crack the starting lineup for the Jackets. Their defense is usually given credit as being underrated and pretty good, but is on the field too much due to an inept offense.

New head coach Dan Mullen from Florida will implement a new spread attack, so we'll see if that helps the offense. The Jackets should still win comfortably.

Chance of Georgia Tech winning: 90%

11) @Duke Blue Devils November 14, 2009

David Cutcliffe is moving the Blue Devils in the right direction, and Thaddeus Lewis is a very good quarterback. Vince Oghobaase may be the best DT in the ACC, but it won't matter in this one.

The triple option is a great equalizer when playing teams that have more talent than you. Here the Jackets have more talent than Duke, and unless Lewis has the game of his life, Jackets win.

Chance of Georgia Tech winning: 95%

12) Jacksonville State September 5, 2009

LSU transfer Ryan Perrilloux has been suspended for this game, and won't be playing quarterback. Jacksonville State has virtually no chance to win this organized scrimmage.

Chance of Georgia Tech winning: 99.9%

Copyright All About Sports 2009 at allsportsdiscussion.blogspot.com

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