The Yellow Jackets' win over North Carolina was the highest-scoring game in ACC history. There's no reason to expect Johnson's spread-option offense will face more resistance this week.
Georgia Tech's defense has struggled, but it is statistically better than Duke's unit, which ranks last in the ACC with its average of 32.6 points allowed.
The Yellow Jackets' defense, which allows 30.2 points per game, has been so bad Johnson had to make a midseason change on his staff. Johnson fired defensive coordinator Al Groh and promoted Charles Kelly to direct the unit on an interim basis.
The defense showed no improvement in a 41-17 home loss to BYU on Oct. 27 and last week's slugfest against North Carolina. Georgia Tech's best defense is a good offense, and redshirt freshman quarterback Vad Lee has given the unit a lift.
Senior Tevin Washington has started every game, but Lee's playing time continues to rise. He took over for Washington after only two possessions last week and played the remainder of the game. Lee ran for 112 yards with two touchdowns and passed for 169 yards with a touchdown.
Lee said Georgia Tech players are surprised to be in the ACC race.
"It's very surprising," Lee said. "If you would have told us two weeks ago that we would be in this situation, we probably wouldn't have believed it. Things have been working for us and we're right in the hunt. It's a very motivating factor for us as we move forward. I think we'll just be ready to play our best game of the season."
Lee, from Durham, N.C., was recruited by Duke. Cutcliffe didn't have to look at last week's Georgia Tech-North Carolina film to understand the quarterback's dual-threat skills.