Skip to main content

Georgia Tech vs. NC State Football Prediction and Preview

Georgia Tech (GT) vs. NC State Football Prediction and Preview

Georgia Tech (GT) vs. NC State Football Prediction and Preview

The NC State Wolfpack have had a pretty solid season. If there's something the Wolfpack would like to do this weekend, it's end their long losing streak to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

NC State (7-3, 6-3 ACC) hasn't defeated Georgia Tech (3-5, 3-4) since 2010. While the teams don't play every year, the Yellow Jackets have won the last three games in the series.

The good news is the Wolfpack have won their last three games, most recently taking down Syracuse, 36-29 this past Saturday.

After losing three in a row, Georgia Tech soundly defeated Duke 56-33 last week behind three touchdown passes from Jeff Sims.

Georgia Tech leads the all-time series against NC State 20-10. The Yellow Jackets won last year's meeting 28-26.

Georgia Tech at NC State

Kickoff: Saturday, Dec. 5 at 4 p.m. ET

TV: ACC Network

Spread: NC State -6.5

When Georgia Tech Has the Ball

Georgia Tech had three players honored by the ACC after its win over Duke, and two of them were on offense. Sims was named ACC Rookie of the Week while Zach Quinney was tabbed the conference's co-Offensive Linemen of the Week, sharing the honor with Notre Dame's Liam Eichenberg.

It's the third time Sims has received the honor, as last week he ran for a season-best 108 yards while throwing three touchdown passes. In eight games, Sims has accumulated 1,492 passing yards with 11 touchdowns while adding another 385 and four scores on the ground. He has thrown 11 interceptions and is completing just 56 percent of his attempts, so it's important that the Yellow Jackets stay balanced on offense.

Quinney's recognition was for his part in paving the way to the Yellow Jackets' 377 rushing yards in the rout of Duke. That was part of an overall 523-yard outburst that was the most by Georgia Tech since 2018 against North Carolina. Besides Sims, running backs Jordan Mason (108 yards) and Jahmyr Gibbs (91) both finished with more than 90 on the ground. And all four touchdown runs by the Yellow Jackets were longer than 20 yards, highlighted by a 61-yard scamper by Gibbs.

A true freshman, Gibbs leads the team with 460 rushing yards on 89 carries (5.2 ypc). He's also recorded 24 catches for 303 yards and is tied for 13th in the ACC with seven total touchdowns.

NC State hasn't allowed more than 190 rushing yards in more than a month and is holding opponents to less than four yards per carry. If the Wolfpack can contain the Yellow Jackets on the ground that will put more pressure on Sims to make things happen with his arm.

When NC State Has the Ball

The Wolfpack have a shot at doubling their win total from last season because of their improvement on offense. After managing just 22.1 points per game in 2019, NC State is up to 31.9 this season and is averaging 391 yards per game.

The Wolfpack suffered a blow when Devin Leary was lost for the season in the team's fourth game, but Bailey Hockman has done a solid job in keeping the offense productive. In eight games, the Florida State transfer has completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,511 yards, 12 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. He's coming off of a career-best 313-yard, four-touchdown performance in the win over Syracuse.

NC State also has gotten decent production from running backs Zonovan Knight and Ricky Person Jr. Both are in the top 20 in the ACC in rushing yards and the duo has combined for 1,274 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground through 10 games.

The Wolfpack are going up against a Georgia Tech defense that has had its issues on defense. The Yellow Jackets are last in the ACC in points allowed per game at 39 and has surrendered 21 touchdown passes while recording just five interceptions.

Final Analysis

Saturday's game between Georgia Tech and NC State should be one of the more entertaining games on the ACC schedule. Both teams can score a lot of points. How the game will be decided will which defense can slow down the other.

Image placeholder title

The Yellow Jackets rank 13th in the ACC and 108th nationally in total defense at 460.4 yards per game allowed. The Wolfpack are a tad better (7th in the conference, 72nd in FBS) at 418.8 yards per contest. Advantage NC State.

Georgia Tech routed Duke last week thanks to five turnovers, one of which resulted in a defensive touchdown. The Wolfpack haven't been near as generous in the giveaway department (-3 margin) and feature a much more potent offense than what the Blue Devils offer. The Yellow Jackets will put up a fight but eventually succumb to the home team.

Prediction: NC State 37, Georgia Tech 28

Podcast: Coaching Carousel and Week 14 Preview and Predictions

— 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.

(Jordan Mason photo by Danny Karnik/GT Athletics)