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THE COLUMN: Virginia vs. Georgia Tech Complete Preview should sponsor a bowl game

TIME: 12:30 PM (EST)

DATE: November 9th, 2019

LOCATION: Scott Stadium | Charlottesville, VA


The Lowdown

After last week’s win, Virginia is now bowl eligible for a third straight season. Now fans can finally relax knowing that the Cavaliers can play in one of the many ridiculously named bowl games such as: the Walk-On’s Bistreaux and Bar Independence Bowl, the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, and the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl. Personally, I’m bummed that Virginia can’t play in the Cheez-It Bowl, which undoubtedly is a solid addition to in the corporate-sponsored bowl game canon.

All jokes aside, consistent bowl game eligibility is not to be taken for granted. Despite away game struggles throughout the year, Virginia went toe-to-toe offensively North Carolina last year and walked away with a crucial win to keep the Cavaliers in the Coastal Division driver’s seat. The Hoos now enter a three game home stand, where they’ve been undefeated so far, to finish out the season.

This week, the 2-6 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets come to town. After long time head coach Paul Johnson retired last year, the Yellow Jackets find themselves in somewhat of a rebuilding season. They lost against The Citadel, an FCS team, in week 2 and have only one ACC win which came against Miami. On paper, Virginia has the upper hand in nearly every category and should be expected to win the game. Although, the unexpected is always possible and Virginia still needs to show offensive consistency and plug defensive gaps as it heads into the last three games of the season.

The Statistics

from Danny Neckel

The Yellow Jackets don’t have much sting

Category UVA Category GT
Category UVA Category GT
Yards Defense 17th (310.1) Yards Offense 121st (299.5)
Passing Defense 22nd (189.6) Passing Offense 124th (141)
Passing Offense 43rd (255.7) Passing Defense 20th (187.9)
Team Sacks 5th (3.78) Sacks Allowed 110th (2.88)
3rd Down Defense 29th (33.3%) 3rd Down Offense 120th (32.1%)

Hoo’s Hoo?

Virginia Cavaliers

De’Vante Cross, S

While Virginia’s secondary has been a staple for the team’s defense, it has also been the unit most ravaged by injuries. Six defensive backs have been put on the IR this year: Antonio Clary, Bryce Hall, Darrius Bratton, Shawn Smith, Brenton Nelson and Germane Crowell. De’Vante Cross remains one of the starters on the team and despite his position switching over the years, he has solidified himself in the Hoos’ secondary.

Virginia Cavaliers

Zane Zandier, LB

ZZ Stop has been stellar for the Cavaliers all season. As anticipated, the third-year has stepped into a larger role this season. Zandier leads the team in tackles, with 66, and also has 4.5 sacks. He already has eclipsed his numbers in those categories from last year. While much of the attention goes to Jordan Mack, Zandier has established himself as just as much of an important defensive piece for the Hoos.

Virginia Cavaliers

Jowon Briggs, LB

Virginia’s four-star recruit is just getting going in his career. Last week, Briggs recorded his first sack of the season. The good news for Briggs is that Georgia Tech ranks 110th in sacks allowed, giving up 2.88 sacks a game. Hopefully the freshman can continue his positive trend and cause some havoc in the trenches. Regardless, Briggs’ development will be an interesting one to watch the rest of the year and on.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

James Graham, QB

Gone are the days of triple option offense for Georgia Tech, although, mobile quarterbacks still remain an integral part of the Yellow Jackets’ core. After competing with the other quarterbacks, redshirt freshman James Graham has emerged as the team’s main starter. So far, he’s thrown for 722 yards and six touchdowns (with four interceptions). He’s also rushed for 122 yards on 52 attempts.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Jordan Mason, RB

The Yellow Jackets’ main running back is sophomore Jordan Mason. He has rushed for 622 yards and six touchdowns so far this season. Mason has also picked up the load in the last three games, notably rushing for 141 yards against Miami and 106 yards against Duke. The Yellow Jackets are still a run-reliant team so look for Mason to get plenty of touches against Virginia on Saturday.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Tariq Carpenter, CB

The Yellow Jackets’ secondary is bright spot for the team this season. They rank 20th in the country, allowing only 187.9 passing yards per game. Junior defensive back Tariq Carpenter is one the leaders for Georgia Tech, who ranks third in the team in tackles. Alongside Juanyeh Thomas and Kaleb Oliver, the Yellow Jackets secondary could cause some trouble for Bryce Perkins.


Worst bowl game name?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Cheez-It Bowl
    (34 votes)
  • 71%
    Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl
    (84 votes)
118 votes total Vote Now