Music City Bowl preview: Georgia Tech vs. Ole Miss
Georgia Tech (7-5, 5-3 ACC) vs. Ole Miss (7-5, 3-5 SEC)
December 30, 3:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Georgia Tech Players to Watch:
Vad Lee, QB—There were some unrealistic expectations for Lee and his “dark horse” Georgia Tech squad to begin the season. He’s a talented athlete, but struggled down the stretch. Lee’s performance determines whether the Yellow Jackets win or lose.
David Sims, RB—A powerful back that presents a difficult task for opponents scheming against the triple-option, Sims averages 5.6 yards per carry and has 11 touchdowns this season.
Ole Miss Players to Watch:
Laquan Treadwell, WR—One of the most dynamic wide receivers in today’s game, Treadwell has the versatility to line up anywhere on the field—he can beat you deep, beat you in the short passing game and draws a ton of attention.
Robert Nkemdiche, DE—There was a lot of hype for the nation’s No. 1 recruit for the class of 2013, and he may not have the glorified stats to show for it, but Nkemdiche’s presence on the line has made a huge impact for the Rebels’ defense this season.
Georgia Tech Key to Victory:
Get pressure on Bo Wallace. Georgia Tech has two pass rushers with over five sacks and make a living hurrying the quarterback. Give Wallace time in the pocket and he can be just as good as any other QB in the country. Make him uncomfortable, and he becomes a turnover machine—he’s had trouble against edge rushers throughout his entire career.
Ole Miss Key to Victory:
Force Vad Lee to throw the ball. This has been the game plan for opposing defenses ever since Paul Johnson took over Georgia Tech and installed the triple-option offense. Lee has completed 47.2 percent of his passes and the Yellow Jackets as a team average just 129.0 yards per game (No. 118 in the nation) with the No. 84 team passing efficiency. It’s simple, really: force a lot of third down passing situations, and then execute against one of the worst pass offenses in college football. Ole Miss' stout defensive line should be up to the challenge.
Line: Ole Miss (-3)
Prediction: Both teams came in with some high expectations from themselves and the media, and neither were able to reach them. Georgia Tech beat ACC winner Duke, but lost to the bulk of the conference’s big boys. Ole Miss took care of Texas and LSU, but failed to win the close ones against the SEC’s premieres. However, the Rebels arguably faced a much more difficult schedule, losing to Auburn, Texas A&M and Missouri by a combined 25 points. I think their talent level and coaching is above that of Georgia Tech’s.
Ole Miss 33, Georgia Tech 26
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