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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 26, 12:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Scott Stadium (61,500) -- Charlottesville, Virginia. Television: ACC Network. Home Record: GT 3-1, UVA 2-3. Away Record: GT 1-2, UVA 0-2. Neutral Record: GT 0-0, UVA 0-0. Conference Record: GT 3-2, UVA 0-3. Series Record: Series is tied, 17-17-1.
GAME NOTES: The Virginia Cavaliers will try to win their first game in more than a month on Saturday afternoon, as they play host to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Atlantic Coast Conference action at Scott Stadium.
Georgia Tech has been one of the nation's streakiest teams during the first half of the season. The Yellow Jackets opened with three straight wins only to follow with three losses in a row. They were able to get back on track in a big way last week with a 56-0 home rout of Syracuse to improve to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in league play.
Virginia's season started off promising enough, as it opened with wins in two of its first three games, but since then it has fallen flat with four consecutive losses to drop to 2-5 overall. The Cavaliers remained winless in the ACC in three tries last Saturday, as they dropped a 35-22 decision to visiting Duke.
These programs have played to a standstill over the years, with each winning 17 times with one tie. However, the Cavaliers are 10-3 at Scott Stadium versus the Yellow Jackets.
Georgia Tech has found great success on offense this season, scoring 36.0 ppg (fourth in ACC), thanks to the nation's fifth-ranked rushing attack (304.4 ypg).
Orchestrating the triple-option is quarterback Vad Lee, who has rushed for 354 yards and six touchdowns. His passing efficiency has not been great -- he is completing less than 45 percent of his throws -- but his 44 completions have resulted in plenty of big plays (846 yards, eight TDs).
David Sims is the club's top tailback, racking up 409 rushing yards and six touchdowns, although he is far from the only one to get results. Robert Godhigh (273 yards) and Zach Laskey (261 yards, four TDs) have also been effective in limited action, and a total of 15 rushers have gained positive yardage this season.
Not surprisingly, no receiver averages more than 30.1 yards per game. DeAndre Smelter is the top performer out wide with 14 receptions, 211 yards and two scores.
With a ball-control offense, the Georgia Tech defense spends less than 25 minutes per game on the field and ranks fourth in the ACC in allowing just 19.1 ppg.
Jemea Thomas (37 tackles) and Brandon Watts (35 tackles, 2.0 sacks, FF) are the team's top tacklers. Adam Gotsis has done plenty of damage behind the line of scrimmage with 9.0 TFL and 3.0 sacks, while Quayshawn Nealy, Louis Young and Chris Milton all have two interceptions apiece.
Virginia has floundered on offense all season long, scoring just 22.3 ppg, which ranks only higher than Wake Forest in the ACC. The only time the Cavs have tallied more than 27 points in a game is when they beat up on FCS foe VMI on Sept. 21 (49-0).
While UVA's rushing attack is no where near as potent as Georgia Tech's, the strength of the offense still comes in the backfield. Kevin Parks has taken to the featured back role nicely, as he ranks in the top-three in the ACC in carries (131), yards (560) and touchdowns (eight).
David Watford runs the show under center, but his performance has left a lot to be desired this season. He has thrown for 1,339 yards, rushed for 138 yards and scored seven total touchdowns, but he is completing less than 59 percent of his passes and has tossed eight interceptions.
Jake McGee is Watford's most trusted target with 31 receptions for 265 yards and two touchdowns. Parks is often utilized out of the backfield as well with 25 catches, 270 yards and a score.
The Cavaliers poor offense has done their defense no favors, as they are situated in the bottom half of the league in both scoring defense (28.4 ppg) and total defense (377.6 ypg). The silver lining for the unit has been its stellar play on third down, allowing opponents just a 27 percent success rate.
Henry Coley is one of the league's best linebackers, tallying 60 tackles and 7.5 TFL. Anthony Harris is also in the midst of an All-ACC-type season at safety with 52 stops, three interceptions, a forced fumble and a blocked kick, and Eli Harold anchors the defensive line with 8.0 TFL, 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Georgia Tech has not performed very well away from home this season, but likewise Virginia has been lackluster in Charlottesville, winning just two of five games. The Cavaliers have shown little promise in being able to take down an ACC foe, meaning the Yellow Jackets and their relentless ground attack should be able to capture this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia Tech 28, Virginia 23
10/23 10:37:03 ET
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