Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Miami Hurricanes preview


The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets return to Atlanta after going on the road and upsetting Virginia Tech last week. Now, they’ll face the Miami Hurricanes in what is definitely their biggest challenge of the season. Justin Thomas will look to keep the Jackets undefeated against an extremely talented defensive unit, while the Jacket defense will have to contend with a balanced Miami offense that features weapons across the board.

Opponent: Miami Hurricanes

Time/TV: 7:30 pm, ESPN2/WatchESPN

Tech Offense vs. Miami Defense

This matchup should be pretty interesting.

The Hurricanes come into this game with the 14th best defense in the nation by total yards allowed per game. The Miami team has allowed just 299.8 yards per game in their five matchups this season. However, most of that success comes from having a great passing defense–which only helps so much against the Yellow Jackets.

The Canes allow just 164.6 passing yards per game, which is also good for 14th in the nation. Still, the Jackets attempt just over 16 passes per game, and average 152.5 yards through the air. If the Hurricanes can completely take away the passing threat, that would make life easier for the front seven defending the triple-option, but this is where things get more interesting.

Where the Hurricanes rank 52nd in in rushing defense (allowing 3.35 yards per rush and 135.2 yards per game) the Yellow Jackets are No. 10 in the country in the rushing attack. They average 5.93 yards per rush and 292 yards per game. These stats might be a bit inflated because of the three teams they played to start the season, but last week against a solid Virgini Tech defense, the Jackets still managed 250 yards on the ground.

Miami is probably a better unit, but they still haven’t shown they can lock up the running game.

Tech Defense vs. Miami Offense

Statistically, this matchup looks extremely even.

Miami brings an extremely balanced attack (161 passing attempts to 159 rushing attempts) but has been much more succesful in the passing game. The Hurricanes rank 46th in the nation in total passing offense (263.2 yards per game) and 87th in the nation in rushing offense (138.6 per game). Comparitively, the Jackets rank 31st in passing defense and�92nd in rushing defense.

Miami benefits from having an extremely deep receiving corps and freshman quarterback Brad Kayaa does a nice job of distributing the ball evenly to each of them. Six different receivers come into this game with double-digit receptions and four of the six have at least 14. Phillip Dorsett has been particularly explosive from the outside, with four touchdowns to his name and a ridiculous 33.2 yard average on his receptions.

While the rushing attack seems a bit lackluster, the Canes still have the luxury of handing the ball off to Duke Johnson on a regular basis. Johnson easily has the talent to be one of the top backs in the league, and has had a fine season so far. He’s got 525 yards on 86 carries (6.1 yards per carry) and four touchdowns.

While the overall numbers show a pretty close matchup, I feel like the Canes have a higher talent level across the board.


The Hurricanes should come into this one as the favorite even on the road in my opinion. They’ve played at a higher level and have bigger wins than the Yellow Jackets, and also have a clear recruiting and talent advantage. Still, the Jackets could exploit the Canes with their triple-option offense and pick up their second upset in two weeks. If that’s going to happen though, the defense will need to keep Kayaa and Johnson in check–and there are certainly no guarantees of that.

Stay tuned for post-game coverage, and a live game thread that will open on Saturday morning. Check it out!