Who will seize the moment for the Yellow Jackets? Two and possibly three defensive starters may be out for Georgia Tech (outside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy and safeties Jamal Golden and Chris Milton) after injuries suffered Saturday. If they play, subs such as linebacker Paul Davis and safety Domonique Noble undoubtedly will be tested.
Can the crowd raise the home team? On Saturday, despite heavy rains that chased some of the crowd away, poncho-clad Jackets fans gave their team a discernible lift. In a letter to fans Wednesday, coach Paul Johnson thanked fans and called for their support again, which could be difference-making with both teams playing on heavy legs.
How will the first quarter play out? In the past two games, the first quarter has been the weakest for the Jackets, who fell behind 13-0 to North Carolina on Saturday before rallying. Such a deficit against Virginia Tech and its forceful defense likely would be much more difficult to erase.
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Georgia Tech WR DeAndre Smelter vs. Virginia Tech CB Brandon Facyson. If the Jackets struggle to produce on the ground, the onus will be on their receivers to make plays downfield. Facyson, from Newnan, is one of the Hokies’ two freshman corners. He has three interceptions already. Smelter has six catches in the past two games for 100 yards, four for first downs and two for touchdowns.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Hey @davidpollack47 glad to see you switched over from the dark side. #THWG — @WillJackson52 (Tech guard Will Jackson, whose tweet included a link to a photo of Bulldogs great David Pollack posing with a Tech throwback jersey with his name and number. Pollack will be part of ESPN’s broadcast crew Thursday.)