Inside the Top 25

Originally Published: October 28, 2004
Scouts Inc.
While 24 out of the Top 25 teams take the field this week, only two games feature ranked teams facing each other – No. 2 Oklahoma faces No. 20 Oklahoma State, and No. 8 California battles No. 21 Arizona State.

Our scouts have complete breakdowns on those two, plus No. 7 Georgia vs. Florida State and No. 4 Auburn at Ole Miss, plus these takes on every other Top 25 game:

Thursday, Oct. 28

7:30 p.m. ET - ESPN
Virginia Tech was supposed to be in a rebuilding phase but has far exceeded expectations. Since losing a heartbreaker to N.C. State, the Hokies have won three in a row and continue to improve on both sides of the ball. The biggest difference has been the return of RB Mike Imoh from suspension. His powerful running style has provided a new element to the offense and taken some pressure off QB Bryan Randall.
   The Yellow Jackets' defense is underrated and shouldn't be taken lightly. It has given up just 14 points in the last two games and improved considerably since the return of DE Eric Henderson. In order to take the crowd out of the equation, expect an extremely conservative offensive game plan from head coach Frank Beamer and the Hokies' offense. Virginia Tech knows it can win this game with a solid dedication to the run, because the Hokies have an opportunistic enough defense to exploit a Yellow Jackets' offense that has given the ball away 15 times this season.
  Conversely, the Jackets will look to get healthy RB P.J. Daniels on track after he rushed for 126 yards against Duke two weeks ago. The "X-factor" in this game is Georgia Tech QB Reggie Ball, who threw two more interceptions against Duke. If he can cut down on his mistakes and utilize his explosive athletic ability to complement Daniels on the ground, Georgia Tech can pull off this upset. In what shapes up as a run-oriented and defense-dominated contest, the Jackets will feed off the environment and outlast the Hokies.
Prediction: Georgia Tech 23, Virginia Tech 21