The Virginia Cavaliers (5-2, 3-2) will host the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-3, 2-2) on Saturday, October 23 at 7:30 PM at Scott Stadium. The Hoos are coming off of a blowout 48-0 win in their last game at home against the Duke Blue Devils and are currently sitting in second place in the ACC Coastal Division. The Yellow Jackets are coming off of a bye week and are currently sitting in fourth place in the Coastal Division.
The Hoos are seeking their fourth win in a row against a Georgia Tech team that seeks to get above .500 for the first time this season and stay competitive in the Coastal Division. UVA needs this win to keep up with first place Pittsburgh (5-1, 2-0), while Georgia Tech is looking to snap their losing streak at Scott Stadium, where they have lost three games in a row and 12 out of their past 14.
UVA’s offense is currently the 6th best in the country, averaging 526.1 yards per game. They have the second best passing attack in the nation, averaging 405.9 passing yards per game. This unit is led by quarterback Brennan Armstrong, who is coming off of his fourth ACC Quarterback of the Week honor this season after completing 25 of 45 passes for 364 yards and 2 touchdowns along with rushing for 34 yards and a touchdown in only three quarters of play against Duke. Armstrong has passed for at least 300 yards in every game this season and currently is ranked first in the nation for total passing yards this season. Armstrong has plenty of threats to throw to, as UVA is the only school to have five players with 400 or more receiving yards this season. UVA’s strong receiving core includes wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks who is coming off of a co-ACC Receiver of the Week performance against Duke where he had 7 receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown and who is averaging 21.2 yards per reception this season. Armstrong’s other targets include wide receiver Billy Kemp IV (474 yards, 4 touchdowns), tight end Jelani Woods (315 yards, 5 touchdowns), “football player” Keytaon Thompson (483 yards), and wide receiver Ra’Shaun Henry (437 yards, 1 touchdown). UVA also has a strong offensive line, led by left tackle Bobby Haskins, who is coming off of an ACC Offensive Lineman of the week performance against Duke.
UVA’s offense is very explosive, with 155 plays of 10 yards or more and 57 plays of 20 yards or more, earning them the number 1 ranking in both categories. Wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks leads the country with 18 catches for 20 or more yards. 3rd down plays will be crucial in this matchup, as UVA has converted on 46.5% of their 3rd down plays this season, while Georgia Tech’s defense has allowed their opponents to convert on 42.2% of 3rd down attempts.
Georgia Tech’s offense is led by quarterback Jeff Sims, who seems to have won out the starting role over fellow quarterback Jordan Yates, who he split snaps with for the first few games of the season. Sims is a dual-threat quarterback, passing for 791 yards and 6 touchdowns during the games he has played this season while also racking up an additional 255 rush yards with 4 touchdowns.. Adding to the run game are running back Dontae Smith (234 yards, 3 touchdowns) and dual-threat running back Jahmyr Gibbs, who has 279 rushing yards and 1 touchdown, along with 301 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. Georgia Tech’s oher highly-productive receivers include Malachi Carter (378 yards, 1 touchdown), and Kyric McGowan (283 yards, 4 touchdowns).
Defensively, UVA is coming into this game with the 95th ranked defense, while Georgia Tech’s defense is ranked 71st. Defensive standouts for UVA include defensive lineman Mandy Alonso, who is coming off an ACC defensive lineman of the week performance last week against Duke and who has 3 sacks so far on the season. Linebackers Noah Taylor (51 tackles, 3 sacks) and Hunter Stewart (26 tackles, 2 sacks) also play huge roles for the Cavalier defense. Safety Joey Blount is a force to be reckoned with in the secondary, with 49 tackles and an interception on the season. Georgia Tech’s defense boasts an extremely strong linebacker corps, with three linebackers ranked top 10 in the ACC for tackles per game: Quez Johnson (10.2), Ayinde Eley (9.2), and Charlie Thomas (7.8).
The key to the game for UVA will be to continue doing what they do best: passing the ball. Expect explosive plays and another stellar performance from Armstrong and crew who look to continue their historic season. The key for Georgia Tech is to use their strong group of linebackers to shut down the Cavaliers offense early on and limit them on 3rd down, while trying to match the production of the Hoos’ dangerous offense. This game is very important for determining the remainder of both schools’ seasons, and expect both to put everything on the line for what should be an exciting Saturday night matchup.