2005 Game Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech

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After two 45-0 routs against outmanned opponents in the last two weeks, fourth-ranked Virginia Tech gets a major test
this week against #15 Georgia Tech. This game with the Yellow Jackets looks eerily similar to the Hokies� opener with
N.C. State, with both opponents using aggressive, complex defensive schemes to confuse and dominate the opposition.

Marcus Vick will once again be put to the test in moving the offense against a talented defensive unit. The Hokies�
defense will also be tested by arguably the best wide receiver in the nation, Calvin Johnson, as well as possibly the
best running back in the ACC, P.J. Daniels. Reggie Ball, assuming he will be able to play after his bout with viral
meningitis, is a dangerous threat both running and passing the ball, so the defense will be have a serious test this
week as well.

Before getting to the Georgia Tech game, let�s take a quick look back at the Ohio game to see how the projections
came out last week:

Virginia Tech at Ohio Virginia Tech Ohio
Projected Actual Projected Actual

First Downs


19

24

9

10

Rushing Attempts � Yards


44-163

53-218

28-51

32-87

Passing Completions � Attempts


14-24

14-19

12-26

10-23

Passing Yards


170

257

127

102

Turnovers


1

0

2

3

Sacks By


5

5

3

3

Projected scoring:

Ohio             0   0   0   0 --  0
Virginia Tech    7  14  14   7 -- 42

Actual scoring:

Ohio             0   0   0   0 --  0
Virginia Tech    3  14  14  14 -- 45

As predicted, Tech rolled over the Bobcats wearing the game squad from Ohio down in the second half. The Hokies
exceeded my expectations offensively, mostly by gaining considerable yardage on some long second-half drives.
Defensively, Tech played as well as expected and kept Ohio out of the end zone. This week will be a different story,
however.

Georgia Tech will rely on the talented trio of WR Calvin Johnson, RB P.J. Daniels, and QB Reggie Ball to make big
plays on offense. The Yellow Jackets have a major question mark in an inexperienced offensive line that starts four
underclassmen, so expect the Hokies to play very aggressively and give Georgia Tech�s line some different looks.
Georgia Tech�s offensive line has been surprisingly solid to date, but Virginia Tech will provide their most serious
test thus far in the season.

On defense, the Yellow Jackets have a good, aggressive defensive front backed by some very talented linebackers, led
by Gerris Wilkinson, and an excellent secondary, particularly safeties Chris Reis and Dawan Landry. I doubt either team
will be able to move the ball consistently on Saturday. The winner will likely be the one that can produce the big
plays. I expect a tough, hard-fought battle and the team that can avoid mistakes should be the victor.

Here is my projected box score for the game:

2005 Projection

Virginia Tech Georgia Tech

First Downs


17

14

Rushing Attempts � Yards


37-121

34-110

Passing Completions � Attempts


14-27

12-28

Passing Yards


188

149

Turnovers


2

3

Sacks By


2

3

Virginia Tech looks to have the edge statistically in this game, but the margins are fairly close across the board.
Big plays in the passing game will likely determine the outcome. I see Tech pulling out a competitive game with special
teams playing a major part. The Hokies get their first punt block in some time which helps set up the go ahead score.
Here is my projected scoring for the game:

Georgia Tech    7   0   0   0 --  7
Virginia Tech   3   7   7   3 -- 20

VT � Pace 34 yd FG
GT � Johnson 12 yd pass from Ball (Bell kick)
VT � Imoh 3 yd run (Pace kick)
VT � Morgan 42 yd pass from Vick (Pace kick)
VT � Pace 27 yd FG

In a new feature, I will take a look at key games around the ACC and the country.

Around the ACC

Boston College at Clemson

After a disappointing loss in their ACC debut against Florida State, Boston College will also stumble in their second
game against an improved Clemson squad. I see this game being very close with special teams being a key factor �
Clemson by a field goal.

North Carolina at N.C. State

The Wolfpack are looking for revenge after a controversial loss last year and I see N.C. State�s defense being too
much for the Heels. North Carolina will struggle moving the ball and State will roll to a fairly easy victory � N.C.
State by 16.

Maryland at Wake Forest

In a critical game for each team if they are to keep bowl hopes alive, I see this game as the Demon Deacons�
running game against the Terps’ passing attack. Maryland�s defensive front has struggled stopping the run and Wake
Forest is always strong on the ground, so I see an upset with the Deacons topping the Terps in overtime � Wake Forest
by 3 in OT.

Duke at Virginia

Virginia�s running game will dominate the struggling Blue Devils and the Hoos will get their first conference win
with ease � Virginia by 25.

Colorado at Miami

Miami is too talented for the Buffaloes and will roll to an easy victory. The Hurricanes offense starts to show some
balance with Kyle Wright having a big day in the passing game � Miami by 22.

Other Big Games around the Nation

Iowa at Ohio State

Ohio State has too much talent, especially on defense, eliminating Iowa�s running game completely, and the offense
does enough to win much easier than many believe � Ohio State by 16.

Michigan at Wisconsin

Michigan will be fired up after the disappointing loss to Notre Dame and prove too strong for the Badgers. In a
tough, physical struggle, the Wolverines will prevail by 7.

Southern Cal at Oregon

Many preseason prognosticators called for an upset in this game � sorry, not a chance. The Trojans are too strong
on offense and the Ducks are frankly weak on defense � bad match-up for Oregon who will lose by 28.

Arizona State at Oregon State

In my upset special, the Beavers will upset Arizona State in a very close game that will go back and forth. Corvalis
may be the second toughest place to play in the country (next to Blacksburg, of course) and the home advantage will make
the difference in this one.

Tennessee at LSU

Now this is a Monday night football game to watch. LSU will have too much emotion for the Vols to overcome, plus they
are the better team. In a game with erratic quarterbacks, Jamarcus Russell pulls out the win � LSU by 8.

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