Game Preview: Georgia Tech, Part 2

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There are few, if any, people out there who envy the Virginia football team this week. The Cavaliers are coming off a disappointing home loss to Western Michigan and they have a short week to prepare for the always aggressive Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech. Still, Thursday night is the ACC opener for both teams and the Hoos will try to get a leg up in the Coastal Division race with a road win – that will likely take a stellar performance from the UVa defense, though.

Georgia Tech Offense vs. Virginia Defense

Mike London’s defense faces a diverse set of challenges against Georgia Tech.

The Hoos are a surprising 44th in overall defense in the nation and will need to be even better Thursday night against Georgia Tech. Even though Virginia is 71st in the nation in run defense and 62nd in scoring defense at 22.3, those numbers are misleading. 21 of the 67 points scored against the Hoos came on offensive (literally and figuratively) turnovers. The defense has only allowed 46 points this season, an average a 15.3 per game. I’ll take that all year long. Against the run, excluding 60 yards rushing on two fake punts from the Wyoming game, Virginia has held its first three opponents to 370 yards on 107 attempts or 3.5 yards per carry.

The Cavalier defense will need its best performance of the season this week as they face a Georgia Tech offense that has always been a tough running team. This season may be the best GT rushing attack the Hoos have faced the last three seasons – the Jackets lead the conference in rushing. Add to that an excellent vertical passing game and the premier receiver in college football and according to Coach Al Groh you have a very problematic opponent to defend.

“This is a very diverse offense, one that has diverse talent,” said Groh. “They are certainly the most wide open, most diverse, most multiple [strength] team that we have played thus far this year.”

Georgia Tech runs a multi-formation, multi-personnel grouping offense consisting of counter plays and slants where they will lead with the