Miami got a huge monkey off its back last Saturday, snapping its seven-game losing streak to rival Florida State with a last-second 24-20 victory. Now the 10th-ranked Hurricanes look to keep their undefeated record intact with Georgia Tech, fresh off a bye, coming to town in an early battle for first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division.

The celebration following Miami's big triumph over Florida State was tempered by the disappointing news a day later that star running back Mark Walton would need season-ending ankle surgery. The Hurricanes are thin at running back -- quarterback Malik Rosier ranks second on the team with 37 carries -- but sophomore Travis Homer has shown flashes when given the opportunity, averaging 8.3 yards on his 25 carries (207 yards) this season. "I just know that I have to come out here and work as hard as I can," Homer said. "I hope I have showed the coaches that I am ready to come out here and do what he did." Georgia Tech's defense, ranked sixth in the nation in total yards allowed (260 per game), dodges a bullet with the absence of Walton, but the Yellow Jackets, who have yet to play a true road game this season, have lost their last four at Miami.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Miami -5.5

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH (3-1, 2-0 ACC): Offensively, the Yellow Jackets' spread-option attack ranks among the nation's top 10 in eight different statistical categories and first in the ACC in seven of them, including rushing (second, 396 yards per game), time of possession (first, 36:39) and third-down conversion percentage (fourth, 53.3). Running the show is junior quarterback TaQuon Marshall, who has emerged as a dynamic threat in his four career starts this season, leading the nation in scoring (13.5 points per game) although he is far more dangerous as a runner (team-high 523 yards, nine TDs) than a passer (333 yards, four TDs). The defense has done its part to get the ball in Marshall's hands more often, as Georgia Tech has forced 26 three-and-outs on its 49 defensive series this season (53.1 percent).

ABOUT MIAMI (4-0, 2-0): With Walton out and unproven Homer in at running back, the Hurricanes figure to open things up more through the air, where Rosier has stepped up over the last few weeks, making big plays when needed in wins over Florida State and Duke. His top target, senior Braxton Berrios, has become a playmaker, earning ACC Receiver of the Week honors for his performance against the Seminoles, when he hauled in a career-high eight passes for 90 yards and two scores to become the first Hurricane since Reggie Wayne (2000) to catch a TD pass in each of his first four games of the season and the first Hurricane with a touchdown grab in five consecutive games (dating to 2016) since Leonard Hankerson in 2010. The defense won't have to worry as much about Georgia Tech's passing game as the Yellow Jackets have thrown the ball just 33 times for 333 yards, but Miami has been vulnerable against the run (148 yards per game) and the unit will pay dearly for missed tackles against Tech's explosive ground attack.


1. The Yellow Jackets are the only team in the nation that hasn't played a true road game as it opened the season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Tennessee in nearby Atlanta, just 1.5 miles from Georgia Tech, then played three straight at home (a matchup at Central Florida on Sept. 16 was canceled due to Hurricane Irma).

2. Walton is third in the ACC in rushing yards per game (107.0), ranked behind only Marshall (130.8 YPG) and Georgia Tech RB KirVonte Benson (119.0 YPG).

3. The Yellow Jackets and Hurricanes have split the first 22 games in the all-time series (11-11) although Georgia Tech is just 2-7 under coach Paul Johnson, including a 35-21 loss to Miami a year ago in Mark Richt's first ACC game as the Hurricanes coach.

PREDICTION: Miami 30, Georgia Tech 24
NCAA Football , football