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After lopsided loss, Miami to meet Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech, which is 3-2 since Geoff Collins was fired as coach, will host Miami on Saturday in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at Atlanta.

The Yellow Jackets (4-5, 3-3 ACC) are favored against the disappointing Hurricanes (4-5, 2-3), who are coming off a 45-3 home loss to Florida State.

While the Hurricanes no doubt are feeling embarrassed by the lopsided score against their rivals, the Yellow Jackets have some momentum.

Zach Pyron, the team’s true freshman quarterback, made his first career start last week and led the Jackets to a 28-27 win at Virginia Tech.

The Hokies led 27-16 in the fourth quarter, but Pyron engineered two late touchdown drives.

“(Pyron) has ice in his veins for a young kid, whether it’s making a throw or lowering his shoulder to get a first down,” said Jackets interim coach Brent Key, who replaced Collins in September.

Georgia Tech starting QB Jeff Sims, who is out with a foot injury, could be ready for the Miami game. But that doesn’t mean Key will use Sims, who has completed 58.5 percent of his passes this season. Sims hasn’t improved much as a passer in his three years with the Jackets, completing 57.5 percent in 25 games.

Pyron, who has completed 61.7 percent of his throws, has a better QB rating than Sims. Pyron has thrown for 451 yards, and his average yards per attempt is 7.5, which is superior to Sims’ figure of 5.9 this season.

Meanwhile, Miami has had problems at quarterback. Starter Tyler Van Dyke left the Florida State game in the second quarter after he appeared to injure his passing shoulder again, and backup Jake Garcia has averaged one interception per every 20.5 throws (compared with Van Dyke’s 61.3 number).

Third-string QB Jacurri Brown is strong as a runner but has struggled at times as a passer, bouncing or sailing throws.

In addition, Miami’s offensive line is without left tackle Zion Nelson, an NFL prospect who has yet to play this season because of injury, while left guard Jalen Rivers was injured Saturday.

“There’s no sugar-coating it,” Miami coach Mario Cristobal said. “We have a lot of work to do.”

–Field Level Media