NIU Huskies (0-0) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (0-0)
September 4, 2021 7:30 pm EDT
The Line: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets -18 / NIU Huskies +18; Over/Under: 57.5
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The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets meet the Northern Illinois Huskies Saturday in week 1 college football action at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The Northern Illinois Huskies finished 0-6 last season and enter the third year under coach Thomas Hammock. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets were 3-7 last season and enter the third year under coach Geoff Collins.
The Northern Illinois Huskies averaged 24.8 points and 367.5 yards per game last season. Northern Illinois allowed an average of 38.7 points and 418.8 yards per game last season. NIU has to find a quarterback, as all three players who had a pass attempt last season are no longer on the roster. Harrison Waylee is back after leading Northern Illinois with 400 rushing yards and one touchdown while Tyrice Richie and Trayvon Rudolph is a receiving duo that combined for 800 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, Jordan Gandy returns after leading Northern Illinois with 41 tackles, Devonte O’Malley had two sacks and Jordan Hansen had two interceptions. Northern Illinois has obvious questions on defense after being one of the worst in the country last season and they need to find a reliable quarterback. However, NIU is more experienced this time around and that should help.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets averaged 23.9 points and 389.9 yards per game last season. Georgia Tech allowed an average of 36.8 points and 459.3 yards per game last season. Jeff Sims is back at quarterback after throwing for 1,800 yards and 13 touchdowns. Sims also led Georgia Tech with nearly 500 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Jahmyr Gibbs and Malachi Carter is a receiving duo that combined for 600 yards and six touchdowns. Defensively, Quez Jackson returns after 80 tackles, Jordan Domineck led Georgia Tech with four sacks and Zamari Walton had two interceptions. Georgia Tech should be solid offensively with a more experienced playmaker at quarterback and with nice receiving options on the outside. However, the Yellow Jackets have to improve defensively after ranking 109th in scoring defense last season.
The Northern Illinois Huskies didn’t look good in their limited season last year, have major questions defensively and don’t have a proven quarterback on the roster. There’s a really good chance NIU ends up being one of the worst college football teams in the country. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have to prove they’ve figured things out defensively, but they have an athletic quarterback in Sims and should be able to score. Georgia Tech has to be licking its chops for this matchup. I’ll lay the points with the Yellow Jackets.