TV Schedule: Thursday, September 3, 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3
Location: Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field, Atlanta, Georgia
Line: No Current Line
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will host the Alcorn State Braves on Thursday night for their season-opener of the 2015 College Football Season. This is will be a game of two unevenly matched teams, as the Braves are from the Football Championship Subdivision, and the Yellow Jackets are one of the best teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Alcorn State is considered to be the favorites in the East Division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Last season, the team compiled a 10-3 record, including a 7-2 conference record on their way to winning the school’s first ever SWAC Championship, defeating Southern 38-24 in the title game.
The Braves averaged a whopping 44 points per game last season, while only giving up 19.5. The team’s starting quarterback from last season, John Gibbs Jr., returns for his senior year after a tremendous 2014 season in which he completed 189 of 324 passes for 2,482 yards and 21 touchdowns, while leading the team in rushing with 1,006 yards on 135 carries and 11 touchdowns. Also returning are the Braves’ top three running backs from 2014, Anthony Williams Jr., Arron Baker and Darryan Ragsdale, and its top two receivers, Jordan Payne and Charles Hughes.
Georgia Tech is coming off of its best season since 2009 when the team won the ACC Championship Game. Paul Johnson‘s Yellow Jackets compiled an 11-3 record last season, and almost upset Florida State in the 2014 ACC Title Game. The Yellow Jackets lost all three of their games by a combined 13 points last season and beat No. 7 Mississippi State 49-34 in the 2014 Orange Bowl.
The Yellow Jackets’ Heisman hopeful, do-everything quarterback Justin Thomas returns to lead the offense after completing 96 of 187 passes for 1,719 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2014. He also added 190 carries for 1,086 yards and eight touchdowns rushing as the trigger-man in the Yellow Jackets’ triple-option offense. Thomas will be breaking in a brand new trio of backs behind him as Zach Laskey, Synjyn Days and Charles Perkins have all graduated. Stanford transfer Patrick Skov looks to be the new starter as the Yellow Jackets’ “B” back.
Expect this game to be high-scoring with the Yellow Jackets winning comfortably. Thomas will begin his Heisman trophy campaign with a big statistical night against a lesser opponent.
Prediction: Georgia Tech 51, Alcorn State 31