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Syracuse football: What to watch for vs. Georgia Tech

Who will be an Absolute Magician in Atlanta?

Troy Nunes #11

One final road trip awaits the Syracuse Orange (5-5, 1-5) as they head to the Peach state to take on ripening coach Brent Key and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-5, 4-3). SU’s old-school approach worked in the Bronx last week but also produced a lot of film for their two remaining opponents to analyze.

They’re also facing a team with an offense that has done a complete 180 from last season, moving from ineptitude to producing 32 points per game. Considering all those factors, here’s what we have our eyes on:

Mike: Don’t get stung by trickery

Despite their 5-5 record, this is a MUST WIN game for Georgia Tech. They close out the season against #1 Georgia so if the Yellow Jackets want any realistic chance at going bowling, they’ll put it all on the line here. Rocky Long’s unit has played admirably but they cannot get fooled by one of the best offenses in the ACC. Anticipate a healthy mix of run/pass option plays with at least one special concept mixed in.

Kevin: Control the game

No one expects Syracuse to be able to put out a strong passing attack this week. Will the Orange need to complete a few more passes to win? Definitely think so. However. those will be most likely coming from passing on run downs and catching Georgia Tech committing extra defenders to the run. The Orange need to start strong and be in a position to run the ball and keep from having to rally to catch up. The Yellow Jackets are giving up 224 yards per game on the ground and if Syracuse wants to get bowl-eligible this week, they need to be able to dominate the line of scrimmage like last week.

Max: Be weary of GT’s rushing attack

Georgia Tech has two of the ACC’s top-15 rushers in Haynes King and Jamal Haynes. A lot of their yards come from read options, where King, the quarterback either keeps the ball himself of hands off to Haynes, his running back. The Orange defense struggled to stop Virginia Tech who ran a similar system, so I hope The Mob reviewed that tape before this one. Stopping the run will limit GT’s offense in its play-action passing game and give SU a better shot at an upset.

Dom: Capitalize on the mistakes

In the Orange’s past two games, the defense stepped up and forced turnovers to give the offense great field position. Unlike what happened in the Boston College game, the offense took advantage of Pittsburgh’s mistakes and converted them into points. I expect the defense to do its part in limiting GT’s offense, but Syracuse will need to score the ball when those opportunities are present.


What will you be looking for on Saturday night?