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Game Preview: 3-0 Canes take on one loss Ga. Tech team

The Canes will be headed to Atlanta to take on a Georgia Tech team that shouldn’t be overlooked.

NCAA Football: Clemson at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

For Miami fans, this has been a pretty promising season. Three major blowout victories, a stellar defense and new head coach has given this program something to hang their hat on.

Georgia Tech started their season playing in Ireland against a stingy Boston College defense. They squeaked out a 17-14 victory. From there they handled Mercer and Vanderbilt, before losing to Clemson 26-7.

It may be easy for the Canes to overlook Ga. Tech and have their eyes set on their next game against FSU, but Mark Richt knows that his team needs to focus on the task at hand.

You should check out this podcast on the game preview.

Let’s break it down.

Vitals

No. 14 Miami (3-0, 0-0) @ Ga. Tech (3-1, 1-1) Noon ET, Bobby-Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, Ga., ESPN 2

*Important Note: This is an ACC Coastal game.

When Ga. Tech has the ball

The offense at GT is potent on the ground. They put up 289 yards on the ground against Vanderbilt. Against Clemson, the Yellow Jackets’ offense was almost non-existent. Justin Thomas, Ga. Tech’s QB, completed 4 out of his 13 passing attempts for 29 yards. Dedrick Mills carried the ball 16 times against Clemson, for 75 yards and a score. Miami’s defense has a new identity under Manny Diaz, and that is controlled violence. The team looks a bit more disciplined, and the offense is confident that if they slip up, the defense can get Brad Kaaya the ball back.

Good luck running against Miami. The Canes rank second in the ACC in rushing yards allowed per game (65). QB Justin Thomas is only 45 yards short of reaching 2,000 career rushing yards. Let’s keep him under 45 yards ... even if it means letting him rush for 44.

When Miami has the ball

Brad Kaaya is coming off a 368 yard, three touchdown passing performance against App State. Mark Walton rushed for 130 yards and two scores. The offense looked potent against an App State team that was supposed to be a formidable foe. Last season, Mark Walton had a great game against the Yellow Jackets. He rushed for two touchdowns, and also had a touchdown reception. Right now, Walton is averaging 133.7 rushing yards per game, while the Canes as a whole are averaging 272 yards on the ground (ninth best in the country). The Miami offense needs to establish the run, and maybe look at guys like Joe Yearby to make a few plays.

If the Canes want to throw the ball a little, they should. Clemson’s DeShaun Watson diced up the Yellowjackets’ defense. He threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns. He did have one interception. I think this could be Brad Kaaya’s chance to have back-to-back 300 yard games.

Final Prediction

Miami 28, Ga. Tech 10

I think at first, the Canes will need to shake off a little rust. There sights may be set on the showdown at Hard Rock with the Noles, but they’ll wake up and dominate the second, third and fourth quarters. The Ga. Tech offense looked stagnant against Clemson, and their confidence took a hit in that loss.

Bonus: Read Matt Porter’s, “Why Miami Hurricanes are wearing green jerseys against Georgia Tech” ... It’s a good read! Here’s a hint: If you like green jerseys, hold onto this game for awhile.