This is one of those games that you look at before the season starts and think it’s an easy win for the Georgia Bulldogs, but that is no longer the case as the in-state rival Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are playing great, jumping to No. 16 in the latest AP rankings. This could turn into one of the better games of week 14. Who would have guessed?
Georgia hasn’t has the same type of success through the air as it did when Aaron Murray was under center, but the Bulldogs have developed one of the strongest run games in the nation, even with the unfortunate injury to Heisman-hopeful Todd Gurley. The junior running back tore his ACL, hurting his draft stock and setting him out of play for at least the rest of the year. Freshman running back Nick Chubb has emerged as one of the best young running backs in the country, rushing for 1,152 yards and 11 touchdowns while securing a 7.2 yards per carry average. Hutson Mason is the quarterback for the Bulldogs, passing for 1,825 yards and 18 touchdowns while throwing just three picks — making the most of his limited opportunities through the air. His favorite target has been Chris Conley who has 532 yards and seven touchdowns on 29 catches.
Georgia Tech is another team with a much stronger run game than aerial attack. The Yellow Jackets rank fourth in the nation in rushing yards per game while ranking 121st in passing yards — the run game has led to their impressive 9-2 record. Justin Thomas is a run-first quarterback under center as the sophomore fits the offensive scheme perfectly, adding to his 1,396 yards and 15 touchdowns through the air with a team-high 827 yards and five rushing scores. Senior running back Zach Laskey is second on the team with 608 yards and five TDs while Synjyn Days is third with 592 yards and three scores. Four more players have over 200 yards rushing and an addition three have over 100 yards. The pass game isn’t exactly non-existent as senior DeAndre Smelter leads all wide outs with 671 yards and seven touchdowns.
Defensively, the Yellow Jackets have been quite average this season. Georgia Tech ranks 45th in points allowed and 62nd in total yards allowed per contest. Georgia has been much better on this side of the ball than its in state rival, ranking 18th in points allowed and 13th in total yards allowed per game.
Georgia Tech will travel to Georgia to take on the Bulldogs at 12 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 29. The game will be broadcasted on the SEC Network.
PREDICTION: Georgia Tech 17, Georgia 34
Want to see the Yellow Jackets take on the Bulldogs in week 14? Check out ScoreBig for tickets.
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.