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Scouting Report: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-3, 1-1 ACC)

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The 17th-ranked Miami Hurricanes (4-0, 0-0 ACC) are gearing up to host the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-3, 1-1 ACC) at 8:00 p.m. at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. With both teams hungry for an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) victory, this Saturday night matchup at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami is generating immense anticipation. Miami is coming off of a bye week, unveiling their Miami Nights 3.0 jerseys tonight, and welcoming back All-American and star safety Kamren Kinchens to the Hurricanes’ defensive lineup.

Miami:

Miami enters this contest riding high on their impressive 4-0 record. Their offensive unit, led by quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, has been nothing short of spectacular. Van Dyke’s ability to blend efficiency with explosive plays has made the Miami passing attack one of the best in the nation. With over 1,000 yards, 11 touchdowns, and an impressive 74.7% completion rate, Van Dyke is the conductor of an offense that includes a trio of standout receivers in the reliable Xavier Restrepo, shifty Jacolby George, and the imposing Colbie Young.

What sets Miami apart is not just their air raid attack but also their ground game. The Hurricanes boast the 10th-best rushing offense in the country, averaging an impressive 222.5 yards per game. Henry Parrish leads the charge, churning out yards and touchdowns behind a formidable offensive line.

It’s not just on offense that the Hurricanes shine. Their defense, led by coordinator Lance Guidry, is equally menacing. Allowing only 12.5 points per game, Miami boasts the 11th-best defense in the nation. Their ability to stifle opposing rushing attacks is particularly noteworthy, giving up a mere 48 yards per game on the ground.

Georgia Tech:

On the opposite side of the field, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets find themselves at a crossroads. With a 2-3 overall record and 1-1 in the ACC, they’re yearning for redemption after a disappointing 38-27 loss to Bowling Green. The Yellow Jackets had a promising start, grabbing a 14-0 lead before crumbling under pressure, allowing 38 unanswered points.

The lackluster run defense of Georgia Tech has been a recurring issue in the 2023 season. Allowing a staggering 224 rushing yards per game, they rank dead last among Power Five teams. Defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker paid the price for this dismal performance and was replaced by Kevin Sherrer.

Despite their defensive woes, Georgia Tech’s offense has undergone a remarkable transformation. Quarterback Haynes King, a transfer from Texas A&M, has invigorated their passing game. King’s primary targets include Eric Singleton, Christian Leary, Dominick Blaylock, and the return of South Florida native Malik Rutherford.

This newfound offensive firepower has allowed Georgia Tech to average 32 points per game, showing their ability to create big plays.

Key Matchups:

Miami’s aerial prowess, led by offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson and quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, is a fusion of precision and explosiveness. Van Dyke’s stellar numbers tell the story: 1,042 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, and only one interception with a remarkable 74.7 percent completion rate. Slot receiver Xavier Restrepo, with 355 receiving yards and two touchdowns, excels in clutch catches and game-changing plays. Jacolby George is another x-factor at wide receiver with four touchdown receptions this season, and he is Miami’s most significant yards-after-catch threat.

On the flip side, Georgia Tech’s pass defense has shown some promise, allowing an average of 203 yards per game, ranking them 38th nationally. Their pass defense efficiency is 65th overall. Safety Jaylon King has secured two interceptions, but the Yellow Jackets struggle to apply consistent pressure, tallying just four sacks as a team. With Miami’s robust pass protection and Van Dyke’s precision, the Hurricanes should thrive through the air on Saturday.

Miami’s ground attack has been a force to reckon with, averaging an impressive 222 rushing yards per game—ranking ninth nationally and leading the ACC. Henry Parrish Jr. is the lead rusher with 331 yards and three touchdowns, boasting an astounding 7.9 yards per carry average. Notably, Miami’s offensive line has excelled, allowing their running backs to only be stuffed at the line of scrimmage on 31.2 percent of their runs, an ACC leading statistic.

Conversely, Georgia Tech’s run defense is a glaring weakness, surrendering a staggering 224 rushing yards per game—positioning them almost dead last (128th out of 129) nationally. The Yellow Jackets grapple with issues in run fits and tackling, granting opponents consistent advances. This stark contrast places Miami in a commanding position in the ground game as well.

Georgia Tech’s offensive revival is evident, averaging 32 points per game—a significant leap from their previous season’s struggles. Quarterback Haynes King has been the catalyst, leading the ACC with 1,480 passing yards, 15 touchdowns, and four interceptions.

Miami’s pass defense, although permitting 225 yards per game (62nd nationally), excels in pass efficiency, ranking 28th overall. Their strength lies in the pass rush, averaging 2.75 sacks per game, with a pressure rate of 43.8 percent, leading all Power Five teams. This underscores the pivotal role that Miami’s ability to get pressure on King in the pocket, who is a very capable runner when he escapes, will play out in this game.

Georgia Tech’s rushing attack, spearheaded by Jamal Haynes and Trevion Cooley, in addition to quarterback Haynes King, averages 167.4 rushing yards per game. However, they face a tall task when it comes to Miami. The Hurricanes boast the nation’s top run defense, conceding a mere 48 yards per game on the ground. Make of that what you will, but it will be a litmus test to see if Miami can continue to sustain that type of success against opposing runners.

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