MIAMI GARDENS (The Sports Xchange) — Miami (Fla.) looks to recover from another humbling defeat when it hosts struggling Georgia Tech on Saturday in an ACC matchup.
The Hurricanes, who lost to Clemson 58-0 in October, trailed by 31 at halftime en route to a 59-21 thumping at North Carolina last week while Georgia Tech has dropped seven of its last eight contests going into its league finale.
Quarterback Brad Kaaya continues to put up big numbers for Miami, and top target Stacy Coley is averaging an ACC-best 88.8 yards receiving in conference play. The Hurricanes’ defense must turn things around after giving up 298 yards on the ground last week as they take on a Yellow Jackets’ offense which stands seventh in the nation in rushing (256.6).
Georgia Tech’s lone victory in the last eight contests was against No. 16 Florida State and has lost five games by eight points or fewer. The Yellow Jackets need a big game from quarterback Justin Thomas, who was held to only 149 yards of total offense in a 23-21 loss to Virginia Tech on Nov. 12.
TV: 12:30 p.m. ET, ACC Network, ESPN3. LINE: Georgia Tech -1
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH (3-7, 1-6 ACC): The Yellow Jackets was ranked 17th in the preseason, but will miss a bowl game for the first time since 1996 despite extending their streak to 20 straight ACC games with 20 points or more. Thomas has completed just 42.6 percent of his passes, although sophomore Ricky Jeune has emerged as a go-to receiver with 21 catches for 480 yards – 161 the last two games. Freshman Marcus Marshall, who leads the team at 7.8 yards per carry, has been limited to a total of 27 yards the last two weeks.
ABOUT MIAMI (6-4, 3-3): Coley is one of three receivers with at least 33 catches and 500 yards for the Hurricanes, joining Rashawn Scott (40, 456) and Herb Waters (33, 518). Kaaya, a sophomore, is already 10th on the school’s all-time list with 5,656 yards passing and 39 touchdown passes – 13 this season – after throwing for 326 last week at North Carolina. Tailback Joseph Yearby has accumulated 74 or more yards on the ground in each of the last three games and leads the way with 793 overall for the Hurricanes, who are still 13th in the ACC in rushing.
1. Miami K Michael Badgley has made 2.11 field goals per game to lead the FBS and owns 88 points on the season.
2. The Yellow Jackets are second in the nation in red zone-touchdown percentage (77.4) and least penalties per game (3.5).
3. The Hurricanes have won five of the last six meetings and have taken all three played at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium.