Georgia Tech-Louisville: First-Ever Meeting Friday of ACC Foes (How!?)

Monday, October 1, 2018 1:15 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 1, 2018 1:15 PM UTC

ACC action kicks off a three-game college football slate this Friday night, although it’s not exactly a great matchup between disappointing Georgia Tech and Louisville.

<p style="text-align:right"><em><strong>Matthew's 2018 NCAAF ATS Record: 6-5</strong></em></p><h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="" rel="nofollow">Georgia Tech (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS) at Louisville (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS)</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Friday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Free NCAAF Pick: Cardinals (at +3.5)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=Pinnacle" rel="nofollow">Pinnacle</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3448967, "sportsbooksIds":[238,19,1275,1096,93], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>Three games on the NCAA schedule this Friday – my compatriot Mark Lathrop will have a double play of picks on the two later games, Middle Tennessee-Marshall and Utah State-BYU. Here, we look at a pair of disappointing ACC teams in <a href="" rel="nofollow">Georgia Tech and Louisville</a> from the former Papa John’s Stadium.</p><p>I’m sure you know what it’s no longer called Papa John’s Stadium but now Cardinal Stadium. It’s been a really rough year or so for the city of Louisville sports-wise. There was the whole Rick Pitino embarrassment with the men’s basketball team, then the horrible PR and house cleaning at mega-sponsor Papa John’s (a local company), to the football team losing the best player in school history, former Heisman-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson, to the NFL Draft.</p><p>Louisville has made a bowl game each of the past eight years, but I could see that streak ending in 2018. I don’t see the Cardinals winning at Boston College, Clemson or Syracuse and it likely will be an underdog vs. NC State and now-ranked Kentucky. Good luck getting to six wins.</p><p>While I think Cards coach Bobby Petrino is safe in his job (although not if he keeps making dumb calls – see below), that’s definitely not the case for Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson. His option offense is antiquated and the program going the wrong direction. If the Jackets miss a bowl for the third time in four years, Johnson’s a goner. I don’t see six wins in Georgia Tech’s future, either, as its schedule is much tougher than Louisville’s the rest of the way.</p><p>Believe it or not, this is the first-ever football meeting between these schools even though Louisville has been in the ACC since 2014. How does that happen? The rotating crossover game against Atlantic Division teams has been a boon to Georgia Tech (it plays Clemson every year then one other Atlantic foe) under Johnson as the Jackets are 14-1 in crossover games, not counting the ACC title game.</p><p style="text-align:center">[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]</p><h2>Boneheaded Decision by Petrino</h2><p>If Louisville misses out on a bowl by one victory, it can look back to Saturday’s 28-24 home loss to Florida State as why. Petrino made a huge mistake by letting his quarterback, Jawon Pass, throw the ball with the Cardinals at the FSU 21 on first down up four points, with the clock running and under two minutes remaining. Pass was promptly picked off, and five plays later FSU’s Deondre Francois hit Nyqwan Murray on a 58-yard touchdown pass for the win.</p><p>"I look back at it, obviously, I should have ran the ball," a somber Petrino said in the postgame press conference.</p><p>No s**t! Louisville had two running backs averaging better than five yards per carry in the game, and if Petrino calls three running plays and kicks a field goal (the Cards’ kicker has made his past seven field goals) … in that scenario, FSU gets the ball back with less than a minute left, no timeouts and down a TD. Pass finished with 306 yards and two scores but also had another pick. Louisville totaled a season-high 421 yards of offense. Dorian Etheridge had a game-tying high eight tackles after missing the previous two games with an injury.</p><p>Georgia Tech snapped a three-game skid by rolling Bowling Green on Saturday, 63-17. It was the third largest margin of victory over an FBS opponent in Johnson’s tenure. Prior to Saturday, Georgia Tech had never scored a TD on every possession of a half under Johnson. Against the Falcons, the Jackets scored on every possession through the game’s first three quarters.</p><p>That option attack was in full force as the Jackets rushed for 372 yards and attempted only seven passes. Bowling Green came in last the nation against the run, giving up 333.5 yards. Tech senior A-back Clinton Lynch made history in the game by becoming the first player in school history to accumulate 1,000 yards both in rushing and receiving career.</p><ul> <li>Yellow Jackets are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.</li> <li>Yellow Jackets are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.</li></ul><p>I don’t particularly love this <a href="" rel="nofollow">Friday NCAAF pick,</a> but I think the fact that Louisville is getting 3.5 points instead of just 3 is enough for me to back the Cards being the home side on the short week. They played pretty well most of the FSU game.</p>
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