If the season has been a disaster for the Miami Hurricanes, it's been a total dumpster fire for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
Both teams had high hopes to contend for an ACC Coastal Division, with the Jackets being the preseason favorites, and both have seen them go up in smoke.
GT sits dead last in the division at 1-6 (albeit the one win was a thing of beauty over FSU).
UM of course is 3-3, but have failed miserably in non competitive contests against the league's two best teams.
So what's at stake this weekend?
For the Hurricanes it is Senior Day:
And that should be enough.
If that's not enough, the non seniors who plan on returning next year, surely know they need some good game film.
So what will it take to come away victorious?
Let's take a closer look at the keys.
When Miami has the ball: The Tech D allows right about 170 a game on the ground, so you would think Joe Yearby and Mark Walton could find some openings. But the Hurricanes offensive line has been anything but dominant or consistent this season. Junior LB P.J. Davis (65 tackles, 6 TFL) is probably their best player up front. Nick Linder and crew will have to be aware of his presence. When UM throws the ball you would think Brad Kaaya would be able to find the likes of Rashawn Scott and Herb Waters for some big gains. But GT's defensive back field, featuring CB D.J. White and normally S Jamal Golden (injured likely limited), is the strength of their D. So it won't necessarily be easy pickings. Watch out for more targets for freshman WR Lawrence Cager though. The 6'5 wide out is finally healthy and could be a big factor with additional reps. Overall their are plenty of plays to be had for the 'Canes on offense, they just need to execute. Unfortunately, that has been an issue all season long.
When Georgia Tech has the ball: It's sort of a misnomer that all the Jackets do is run triple option. Justin Thomas (12 TD passes) has improved throwing the ball, and they run so many variations off the option look, it's certainly a tough assignment to prepare for. Of course the horrendous UM D has had trouble all year stopping anyone, especially on the perimeter. They need huge games from LBs Juwon Young and Jermaine Grace to have a shot. If would help if Anthony Moten, Courtel Jenkins, or Calvin Heurtelou played big up front as well. In all honesty, I would be shocked if the Jackets didn't have a huge game in upwards of 400 + on the ground this weekend. This is an awful match-up right now for the 'Canes. B back Patrick Skov has been quiet of late for GT. If he's fully healthy he could be in for a lot of action this weekend. If not look for Marcus Allen to get the bulk of carries.
Prediction: I'd love to see seniors like Waters, Deon Bush, and Tracy Howard to win their last home game. But the realist in me knows they'd have to score 45 and/or force 3-4 turnovers for that to happen. Bad as Tech has been this season, I don't see it going that way. Georgia Tech 34 Miami 27.