ACC Championship 2012: What Georgia Tech Must Do to Upset Florida State

Scott Carasik@ScottCarasikContributor IIDecember 1, 2012

The Yellow Jackets will be without leading rusher Orwin Smith.
The Yellow Jackets will be without leading rusher Orwin Smith.Rob Carr/Getty Images

Georgia Tech and Florida State square off Saturday night in the ACC Championship game. While everyone has the Seminoles as the favorite, Georgia Tech hopes for an upset. 

The Yellow Jackets will have to play efficient football to defeat the Seminoles. They will have to stuff a high-powered offense and move the ball effectively on the ground to keep it away from FSU. They will also have to try to throw against a top-notch pass defense and create turnovers with their defense.


Control the Clock and Run the Ball Well

In Georgia Tech's six losses, the Yellow Jackets only rushed for 300 yards or more twice. In their six wins, they didn't have fewer than 330 yards rushing. They won those games by controlling the clock. When Georgia Tech wins the time-of-possession battle, it has a much better chance of winning. The Yellow Jackets must keep Florida State's offense off the field.

Florida State's offense is averaging 41.5 points and 29:45 in time of possession. If Georgia Tech can hold onto the ball for 35-to-38 minutes, it will be difficult for Florida State to win this game.


Use Play-Action and Hit a Couple of Deep Bombs

Georgia Tech is a triple-option team. However, unlike your historic triple options that passed it fewer than  50 times a season, Paul Johnson's offense takes a bunch of deep shots. Despite throwing just 168 passes,  the Yellow Jackets have gained 1,625 yards through the air.

Georgia Tech throws just enough to keep defenses from concentrating completely on stopping the run. Florida State does the opposite, running just enough to keep defenses from concentrating completely on stopping the pass.

If Tech can use its play-action passing to complete some deep bombs and force Florida State to have just  eight players in the box instead of nine, it would have done its job in the passing game.


Play Great Defense and Force Turnovers

The Yellow Jackets have to somehow stop a Seminole offense that has amassed 5,729 yards of total offense and has scored 57 touchdowns. The only way to beat the Seminoles this season has been to beat them in the turnover battle. 

In Florida State's 10 wins, they have a minus-1 turnover differential. But in their two losses, they have a minus-4 turnover differential. Get the Noles off the field by forcing turnovers and three-and-outs, and the Yellow Jackets could go ahead and punch a ticket to Miami for the Orange Bowl.

In the end, Georgia Tech has to make sure Florida State doesn't have the ball. The Seminoles will be scoring points on their drives. So if Georgia Tech can rush effectively and play keep away, they will end up shocking the world by winning the ACC Championship game.


All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus's Premium, or 

Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, the NFL and the NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL Draft Website and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.