Hurricanes look to continue momentum at home against the rebuilding Yellow Jackets
For the second consecutive week, N'Kosi Perry will be the Miami Hurricanes starting quarterback this weekend when they face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
Perry took over for the injured Jarren Williams at quarterback in Miami's game against Virginia Tech two weeks ago and almost led the Hurricanes to a come-from-behind victory. Then last week, Perry led the Hurricanes to a 17-9 win over the Virginia Cavaliers. But head coach Manny Diaz has continued to say that Williams will be the Hurricanes' starting quarterback once he has recovered from his shoulder injury.
Georgia Tech will be traveling to Hard Rock Stadium hoping to get only its second victory of this season. Last weekend, the Yellow Jackets fell to the Duke Blue Devils 41-23.
The all-time series between Georgia Tech and Miami is tied at 12 wins apiece. In their meeting a year ago, the Yellow Jackets were able to come away with a 27-21 win over the Hurricanes.
Georgia Tech at Miami
Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 19 at 12 p.m. ET
TV: ACC Network
Spread: Miami -18
When Georgia Tech Has the Ball
Transitioning from an option to a pro-style offense has been difficult for the Yellow Jackets this year. They're still searching for a consistent player at the quarterback position, as well as receivers in the passing game.
The one thing Georgia Tech does have, of course, is a talented group at running back. Against Duke last week, Jordan Mason recorded his second 100-yard game of the season. On the year, Mason has rushed for 423 yards and five touchdowns while averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Tobias Oliver has also been a contributor in the running game with 279 yards and two touchdowns on the season.
The problem with the Yellow Jackets' dependence on the run is the fact that the Hurricanes have one of the best run defenses in the country. Miami's defense is giving up only 77.7 yards on the ground, which is seventh-best in the FBS.
When Miami Has the Ball
Despite the win last week, the Hurricanes offense continued to struggle. Miami was outgained by Virginia 318 to 265, but it must be noted that the Cavaliers have one of the best defenses in the nation, and the same cannot be said for the Yellow Jackets.
Georgia Tech ranks 93rd in total defense, giving up an average of 420.8 yards per game. The Yellow Jackets are ranked 127th in run defense, giving up 237.7 yards per game on the ground.
Whoever is at quarterback, expect Miami to use a ground-and-pound approach with DeeJay Dallas and Cam'Ron Harris. The duo of Dallas and Harris has a combined 618 yards and eight touchdowns this season.
Then, when Georgia Tech is least expecting it, Miami will likely go to the air, and the Canes should have success against a Yellow Jackets defense that doesn't have a lot of depth. This isn't the type of game in which offensive coordinator Dan Enos will need to rely on the passing game, considering Georgia Tech's lack of success stopping the run.
After a disappointing loss to Virginia Tech, Miami recovered in a major way against Virginia last week. Expect a similar type of effort against the Yellow Jackets, as the Hurricanes' schedule gets a lot tougher after Saturday contest.
Georgia Tech is still a one-dimensional team while it transitions to a new offense. The Yellow Jackets will try to run at the Hurricanes, but that is the strength of the Miami defense. It could be a long afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium for the Yellow Jackets, as the Hurricanes should cruise to a comfortable victory.
Prediction: Miami 37, Georgia Tech 13
— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.