The 4-5 Hurricanes (2-3 in the ACC) are road underdogs against 4-5 Ga. Tech (3-3 in the ACC) and their interim head coach Brent Key. Key has guided the Jackets to three of their four wins this season.
Per Bill Connelly’s SP+, Miami is 74th overall in the country, 72nd on offense, 62nd on defense, and 5th in kicking game. Ga. Tech is 96th overall, 103rd on offense, 87th on defense, and 89th in kicking.
The Jackets are scoring only 17.4 PPG (124th of 131 in FBS) and allowing 28 PPG (83rd in FBS). Miami is scoring 24.7 PPG (93rd in FBS) and allowing 25 PPG (58th in FBS). Miami’s pitiful offense is 118th in points per play, while GT’s is 127th in PPP. Miami is currently 90th in penalties per game, while GT is 79th.
Zach Pyron has taken over QB duties and is averaging 7.5 yards per attempt with two TD’s and one INT. Running backs Hassan Hall and Dontae Smith have 800+ yards and four TD’s in a combined effort.
Miami’s run defense hasn’t been its biggest weakness, until the backs run hard and lower their shoulder. Expect a TON of power and counter from GT after seeing FSU and Duke use it with great success.
GT has big play receivers in EJ Jenkins and Malachi Carter. Jenkins averages 17.9 yards per grab with three TD’s while Carter averages 15.6 with one TD catch.
Above- Oh boy, GY counter with missed tackles gives me agita. Kick out vs. the Miami DE not wrong arming, and then you add in broken tackles and a DB not tracking correctly and it’s a TD.
Above- Where are the big play defenders at for Miami? This has a Kam Kinchens interception written all over it. He would’ve had a pick in the end zone against FSU but instead there was a penalty on the play.
Above- If you want to beat Miami, protect your QB and force their DB’s to communicate against crossing routes. Any type of crossers including routes that carry over from one seam to the next or the numbers.
Above- A QB scrambling for a TD in the red zone? It definitely leaves you wondering if Miami gives up more points to obvious situations.
Do-it-all defender Charlie Thomas will be a huge issue for Miami’s offensive line on Saturday. Thomas has nine TFL’s, two sacks, two INT’s, two PBU’s and two forced fumbles. DL Keion White has eight TFL’s and 4.5 sacks, and LB Ayinde Eley has 9.5 TFL’s and 3.5 sacks.
Tech also has picked off 10 passes, and has done a solid job of forcing fumbles- turnover happy Miami might be the team GT really turns the corner against under Brent Key. Zamari Wilson and Miles Brooks have combined for 11 PBU’s and three picks in ‘22.
Above- GT defenders getting WHOOPED at the LOS. Jacurri Brown needs to be in on more than just a gimmick package and the red zone is a great spot for him to shine. Let him get going in the read game.
Above- Which Miami TE or WR will step up and dominate a block at the point of attack?
Above- GT has forced turnovers against Miami in the past, and they’ll be trying again with how turnover prone Miami is in ‘22. Mario Cristobal promised to clean the fundamentals up but he’s done nothing in that regard so far. More of the same.
Above- FSU doing some real Miami stuff. The Jackets are opportunistic.
Above- Miami QB’s can’t keep missing on deep fades. Jake Garcia hit some early in the year but he’s gone radio silent. Brown has overthrown a few. Frank Ponce has done a horrible job as the QB coach for Miami.
This summer, the Canyonero keys to victory were:
1- Keep the pressure on Sims. Sims is out, but Pyron is a rookie QB with 60 attempts. Kevin Steele’s defense has logged a ton of sacks in ‘22, and needs to keep the pressure on for Saturday’s game.
2- On offense, run the damn ball. Henry Parrish Jr., Thad Franklin, and Jaylan Knighton are all averaging over four yards per carry, with nine combined touchdowns. Miami hasn’t been able to run the ball well, but Ga. Tech isn’t exactly the Clemson front six or seven. Use Jacurri Brown and his 5.1 yards per carry to get some kind of run game going. Please!
3- Be less bad than GT at special teams. Outside of the Texas A&M game, Miami hasn’t been too bad on special teams. The ‘Canes are 15-of-18 on field goals, perfect on PAT’s, and tattoos by Lou Hedley has punted really well for the ‘Canes once again. Tech has a solid return game, fixed their punt protection woes (although not their downfield coverage on punt), and kicker Gavin Stewart is perfect on field goals.
The “Way too early prediction” from the summer was Miami by 14. Now through 10 weeks my prediction is Georgia Tech by 3 in a UVA level snoozer.