This year's ACC title game features a 10 win Florida State team and a 6-6 Georgia Tech team that technically finished third in the Coastal, but thanks to the top two teams declaring themselves ineligible for this game, the Yellow Jackets fell in to this game. Both of these teams are coming off of crushing losses to in state rivals. Florida State was outscored 24-6 in the fourth quarter and ultimately lost to Florida, and Georgia Tech gave up 42 points in three quarters in a blowout loss to Georgia. The winner will play in the Orange Bowl.
What will be the big key in this game is how effectively Florida State can stop Georgia Tech's rushing attack. The Seminoles give up on average about 85 yards per game, but they're going up against the Georgia Tech triple option offense that runs for 323 yards per game. And how effective will Florida State's defense be without Tank Carradine? He was Florida State's leading tackler, and he was second on the team with 11 sacks. The sack stat won't be a big factor in this game, given Georgia Tech runs the ball about 80% of the time. But Florida State is replacing him with a much younger and inexperienced player in Mario Edwards, who only has seven tackles on the season. How will he play in a big game situation?
Another key to this game is the lack of history between these two schools recently. These teams haven't met since 2009, which was a 49-44 Georgia Tech win. That was also the year Georgia Tech won the ACC and went to the Orange Bowl. These two teams are a lot different since then. But the lack of experience in facing Georgia Tech's offense will be a very interesting thing to follow in this game.
With only a week to prepare, I don't think Florida State will be very effective in stopping the Georgia Tech running game. But I also don't think the Yellow Jackets will get to their 323 yard average either. I could see them getting in the high 200 yard range on the ground. But the big thing to me is I do not like Georgia Tech's defense. They give up 31 points per game, and have given up 40 points in a game six times, and are 1-5 in those games. Expect a shootout, with the Noles coming out on top. Florida State 45, Georgia Tech 31