Georgia at Georgia Tech
Saturday, 9 am PT - ESPN2
CRIS Opener: Georgia -5 O/U 48.5
CRIS Current: Georgia -4 O/U 48
Like a lot of teams, Georgia started the year with the hopes of marching up and down the field at a fast pace. But following an injury to running back Nick Chubb and the realization that quarterback Greyson Lambert was at-best a game manager, the Bulldogs have morphed into a grind-it-out, under-type squad the back half of the season. Their last five games have produced an average of only 29.6 ppg and considering the Dawgs went 4-1 in those contests, there's no reason to think they'll change their stripes. Head coach Mark Richt had this to say about his team's current philosophy: ""We've decided to slow the game down a little bit," Richt said. "Decided to try to control the ball a little bit more. You know, do things that aren't really sexy when it comes to football, offensive football, but things that we thought were going to help us win."
Georgia Tech has also been forced to go the pedestrian route due to instability along the offensive line and a sharp decline in skill position talent. The Yellow Jackets are averaging only 5.36 yards per play and 350 ypg in ACC play. A great example of GT's shortcomings is the production of quarterback Justin Thomas. Last season, Thomas put up over 1,000 yards on the ground at 5.7 ypc. This season, he's yet to top 500 yards at 3.6 ypc.
While Georgia's stellar defensive numbers are skewed somewhat due to playing in the offensive inept SEC East, the Dawgs are still one of the better stop units the Yellow Jackets will have faced this season. Against Notre Dame, Clemson, and Florida State, Tech really struggled to move the football with less than 5.0 yards per play.
With both teams focused on the run and controlling the clock, there's still enough value to look at this game under the total.