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Matchup of the Week: Georgia Tech Edition

This week, SOTU will look at the most important and blatantly obvious matchup for the Canes heading into their game versus Georgia Tech.

Evan Pike-USA TODAY Sports

With the Coastal crown no longer attainable, the Canes will look to do what they DIDN'T do last year...FINISH!

Honestly, assuming I am not along, I am just disappointed. Sick and tired of being sick and tired. Miami has been just awful for the better part of the decade, and it's completely embarrassing. Alright, I'm done being in my feelings; there is still football to be played and Miami can still salvage what seems to be a lost season.

Miami (6-4, 3-3 ACC) now turn their attention to Coastal foe Georgia Tech (3-7, 1-6). The Yellow Jackets are clearly down from last season after shocking the college football world. And as the world knows, GT runs that annoying offense (from an opponents perspective) that is actually beautiful when it is run perfectly. Ladies and gentleman, I bring you the flexbone/triple option offense.

Simple concepts, somewhat simple reads, three options on one play...simple, right? For the offense, yes, for the defense that is the Miami Hurricanes, NOT AT ALL! GT's offense is designed to get a defense on their heels and attack, attack, and attack some more. They will run the same play nine times in a row if they have to if that is what the defense is giving them. Now that you're all experts on Tech's offense, let's take a look at the last time these two teams squared off.


I know Georgia Tech was good last season, but Miami could've won that football game...along with the other seven that they lost. Their defense stymied the offense after Miami put up an early 14 points, further alluding to James Coley's lack of ability to make in-game adjustments.

GT Rush Offense vs. Miami Rush Defense

This one is just NOT a good matchup. Every season, I dread playing Georgia Tech. If it's in Miami or in Atlanta, I want no part of this football game. Georgia Tech's offense is meant to be a matchup problem for every opponent, and it is certainly a huge matchup nightmare given Miami's porous rushing defense for the past four seasons.

The Miami defense is giving up 202.7 yards on the ground per game at a clip of 5.3 yards per carry and 20 touchdowns, all of which is good for 106th NATIONALLY. Georgia Tech, on the other hand, is top-10 nationally in terms of their rushing offense (naturally). GT is averaging 256.6 rushing yards per game, has scored 27 touchdowns and, ironically, is averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Hm...interesting. GT has too many options running the ball to even name, but the one calling the shots is "QB" Justin Thomas. Thomas isn't big, nor will he 'wow' you with his arm talent, but he is quick and is the one that makes that offense go. He's only averaging 3.6 ypc this season, but he has a stable of running backs to rely on.

The other wrinkle to GT's offense is their minuscule passing offense. Thomas is only completing 42.6 percent of his passes, but also has thrown for 12 touchdowns in an offense that runs the football 90 percent of the time. GT won't call a first down pass just for fun, they will lull a defense to sleep until everyone's eyes are in the backfield, that is when they will burn you over the top and connect on deep passes. The Canes will have to play BIG, play FAST, and play PHYSICAL football up front against this GT offense. Disruption from the defensive line and linebackers will be imperative. Chad Thomas, Kendrick Norton, Jermaine Grace and inexperienced Juwon Young will need to play one of the best games of their careers for this defense to shine and keep GT at bay.


This edition of Matchup of the Week is fairly short...because it is fairly simple. Georgia Tech is going to run the ball no matter what. It isn't smash mouth football, but they are going to line up and run it down a defense's throat until they stop it. What Miami must do, in my opinion, is worry about damage control. GT will get theirs, it will all depend on how Miami fights for 60 minutes and stays true to their defense and assignments. The Canes' defense has often been deceived and has been poor at tackling, so Miami will be in for another LONG afternoon if they continue to play like they have been. Don't call me cynical, just call me skeptical heading into the game. That being said, Canes - 34, GT - 31